GNOME vs Unity vs KDE

What is your Favorite Desktop ?


The most Popular Linux Desktop, Latest version : 3.0 (Released on April 6, 2011), Other major version : 2.3. it’s free and open source software, developed by GNOME community, developers around this planet. it’s based on GTK framework. Most of the Popular distros like Fedora, Ubuntu (not in 11.04) etc. uses GNOME as their default Window Manager.


Another Popular Desktop (free and released under LGPL), based on Qt framework.


a new desktop, Developed by Canonical, will be the default desktop for upcoming versions of Ubuntu.

So let’s decide, what’s the best desktop among them and why ( explain it,  through comment(s) ) ??

Which is your Favorite Desktop ??

Tell us through this Poll –

Join the Conversation


  1. GNOME 3 and Unity are both “not ready for Prime Time” Unity should not have been been forced on users in the current release of Ubuntu. After using Unity for a week I find it to cause system hangs, and program compatibility issues/crashes. While the Unity interface has promise, most users will become frustrated with the slow response. New users of Ubuntu will return to their original OS. This was a poor choice on the part of Canonical.

    1. Switched to Arch last year after 3 years of Ubuntu, using KDE since version 4.1. I’m about to cry when I see what Ubuntu and Gnome have become, and you can dislike KDE as much as you want to, besides XFCE it is currently the most solid Linux desktop available.

  2. GNOME 3 is the new rockstar.
    I haven’t faced a hang or a stall.
    Smooth as silk and worth the wait. I think they nabbed the open source concept which should be release a rock-steady product or else delay it.
    Kudos to them and their way of work. True openness and creativity balancing usability should be grown before pronounced as ripe.

  3. Having tested Gnome 3 and Unity on Ubuntu 11.04 I can say that both have their good sides, Gnome 3 more than Unity, but fail to really impress. Gnome 3 is good looking and feels like a professional desktop environment more than Unity and especially KDE (which I think is way to childish) but it also lacks a lot of things that made Gnome 2.x great. Applets, system overview and customising are now gone. The very fast and simple application menu is replaced by a NOT so fast and simple screen. Good for touchscreen, yes, but for mouse? No. The menu is in short terms s-l-o-w. It takes 4 or 5 clicks to do the same thing that took 2 clicks in old Gnome. You also have to move the mouse all over the screen instead of having it all in one corner. Anyway, with some training it is not a big deal and the learning curve is not high. But it is not an improvement from the old way even if it is pretty fancy and good looking. A few irritating things that is hopefully corrected very soon like missing battery indicator, CPU meter and “Suspend” instead of “Shut down” makes it feel not ready yet but I can live with it. My favourite is still Gnome 2.x though because it is stable, fast, simple and customisable.

  4. The best thing about Ubuntu — the thing I used to show people who were leery of Linux; the big point I made of everything being organized logically (Applications, Places, Administration) — is gone.

    I absolutely hate Unity. Until I can figure out how to use Gnome again, it’s KDE for me.

    1. It’s easy. Just log out and choose the classic ubuntu session. Not sure how to make it the default but I’m sure Google will deliver results…

  5. It’s quite easy to switch back to Gnome if you don’t like Unity, just select “Ubuntu classic” or something like that at the login screen. I like Unity though, will be staying with it.

  6. Thanks a lot to all for supporting GNOME 2.x and even 3.0.
    Especially 2.x is much faster and handier then UNITY.
    It looks no more then a professional desktop.
    To many of the best features are gone.
    UNITY is not easy to customise, slow response,
    system hangers, irritating, childish,….

  7. I am not sure if I like Unity or Gnome 3.
    I have used Unity since installing Ubuntu 11.04 a week from tomorrow, I find it is a lot better than I had expected, and the fact that I can hit the Super key and type a few keys and hit Enter that it opens the app I am wanting.
    Gnome 3 I don’t know much about, I have used it for a maximum of 20 minutes, I was testing it from a live I think OpenSUSE cd, I would install it side by side with Unity, if it didn’t ruin it, otherwise I would test it on my netbook, idk if it has the specs to run it, but I like the idea of not being able to minimize things, and having the workspace switcher on the right of the Activities…
    KDE I have rarely used, I had an OpenSUSE live cd, I used that for about an hour, and then I had it installed alongside Gnome 2.x on my old laptop running Fedora 13, it was pretty good, I prefer Gnome 2.x over it…
    And then I have used Gnome 2.x FOREVER, I know the most about it of all three, I don’t think I would go back after using the 2 newer interfaces.

    1. What you describe, press Super and type the program’s name, would be very important to me too. Anyway I do the same in Gnome 2 having installed “GNOME Do”.

  8. so far I do not like Unity. Unity looks good but it not remotely as efficient as Gnome 2.x was. Surfing my NAS is 4 or 5 clicks. was only 2 clicks in GNome. Cannot get status updates on Dropbox sync and other stuff. I miss “places” and I get frustrated with the adminstration thrown into on pot with apps. …….
    After a week now I will go back to Gnome 2.x.

  9. Having tried 2 recently, and not having used KDE in a long time….

    NONE of the above.

    I used Gnome 3 in 10.10… did not like it.

    I spent 8.5+ hours trying to get 11.04 to function (40+ years of computers and NEVER had more troubles with crapware as with that. Missing Drivers, sub systems, slow as hell and I could care less you can bring up Gnome 2.x… Unity still sucks too many cycles making it a drag on a system when you are not using it.

    NOTHING worth the effort…

    So, I am looking to get away from Ubuntu.

    For those that like it… please enjoy…

    At best it will be a beta in 2-3 years.

    A lot of formerly faithful Ubuntu users feel the same

    1. you should give KDE a try again since you haven’t used it in two years – it’s come a long way since then! I just switched from Ubuntu to Kubuntu and I love it… but I’m a little biased since I love developing with Qt.

  10. In the past two weeks i have abandoned my old single interface experience and used Gnome2, Unity, Gnome3, KDE and also LXDE (for correcting the things that the other systems have messed up).
    I used to like Gnome2, and i still do, but i have changed to feel the “zeitgeist” of linux interfaces. I didn’t like Unity, as long I still don’t have a touch interface, and i found the change in ubuntu 11.04 very forced for now. I loved Gnome3 (though it’s been extremely unstable and every upgrade make a mess in the system). Kde is a good and stable interface.
    The good thing about that is that i won’t have a “single” interface anymore. Each one of those has it’s advantages, and, of course, some drawbacks. And now I appreciate a little bit more the value of our freedom, to have a system that let’s you choose which interface to use…

  11. My first experience with Linux was on Slackware 8 with KDE 3 on my work PC.
    On my home PC I used XP Pro and few years later install my first “home” Linux.
    I hated KDE 3 taste and install Ubuntu 6 with Gnome. Gnome was kind of weird after Windows but far better than KDE 3.
    Later I discover KDE 4 and install Kubuntu. Later I found the best KDE-distribution – Open SuSE with its YaST and stick with it for years. Few month ago I successfully install and tweak for my needs fastest distribution on my experience – Gentoo with KDE 4.6
    Just for fun and to know in what direction moves my old friend Ubuntu I installed 11.04 and…
    WTF?!! Just watch Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy”. Ubuntu 11.04 – completely “idiocracy compatible” or at least “idiocracy ready”. OK, I like icons and mouse but I have brain also! I can read and think! Hey, Canonical, are you make your OS for stupid people? No? I can not believe you… I spent hours trying to tweak system to usable state but have no luck… Well, Gnome was powerful instrument, it was easier than KDE but it was “made with brain” and for “people with brain”. Who and with what shit in their heads make Unity? Maybe I overlook important How To “stand on your head for few days and wait till shit flows and fill your head then you are ready to use Unity”?..

  12. I spent 7 hours yesterday (not exaggerating) trying to get 11.04 to work properly on a 4-yr old system formerly running a flawless copy of Hardy Heron. 11.04 install was a DISASTER. Driver problems, slow response, screen tearing all over the GUI, no customization, godawful “Unity” interface is a random mess of icons in folders, too many graphics, and a total resource hog. Embarrassing. If this is because Ubuntu is moving toward supporting only the latest fastest computers, I’m moving away from it. This crap is crap.

  13. It depends on the abilities of the user. If you ask me, I cannot decide which one is better as both have strengths and weaknesses. If you ask my wife, who doesn’t know too much about computers except basic tasks like chatting, uploading/editing photos, documents and visiting websites, and who just switched from Windows to Linux at my advice, Unity is far more easy to use than Gnome. The fact that you can have a launch bar similar to win7/mac os with the most use applications and the fact that you can search for others by typing (similar again to vista/win7/mac os) made her life easier in accommodating the new platform.

  14. With Unity, I get the impression that Canonical are puffing themselves up in the face of Mac OS X. A “we can do it too!” mentality, to the complete detriment of Linux users who have been around the block a few times.

    I’m not against making Linux more accessible, as this seems to be the battle cry of every stripe of developer; that if we want Linux to ever make it mainstream, we need to be able to include every skill level of user. Fine. For them, there’s Unity. But why force it upon the unwilling rest of us? The last I used KDE was 3.4, and I switched to a GNOME based system and didn’t look back. Now, however, I’m back at it. 4.6 is polished, stable, clean, and to be honest, much prettier than anything this side of Gnome 3, which as others pointed out, is a touch screen optimized mess. So for me, Kubuntu it is. If you’re frustrated with Ubuntu as a whole, you can always try other distros with a KDE face on them too. I’m sure they work.

    Gnome 3 and Unity are both brand new entities, and so ragging on them for what they don’t do seems like a poor path to be heading down. This is Linux, after all. If you don’t like what it does, modify it. KDE4’s first release was an unmitigated disaster, but it’s turned into a great system. The same may happen to Gnome 3 and Unity.

    Or you could all just move to KDE. At the end of the day, at least there are choices, and all those choices didn’t cost you a penny.

    1. I totally agree word by word… I’ve too have switched to KDE from gnome 3 / unity garbage. KDE surprisingly has gotten much better and I think it’s better than classic gnome 2.

    2. I agree 100%!  I took the same path you relate here and I’m back home to KDE and it just simply works.

  15. gnome 2x is still at present the best interface, although unity associated with AWN and dockbarX gives a perfect result too

  16. Just want to help a bit:
    Those who want to have windows 7 like launch bar in Gnome 2.xx, please install GnoMenu. Yes, you can type the name and launch an application from it, and it looks and functions pretty much like a windows 7 launch bar.

  17. why complaining about unity? i have it on my thinkpad T61 and runs perfectly, the start of the applications not as fast as GNOME 3 but i like system settings in unity, you can’t customize anything GNOME 3? what’s the deal with that?

  18. Until they get 3D graphic (i.e. Nvidia /ATI ) drivers working properly. . . I’ll be staying away from Gnome 3. Unity is way too premature to start using and lacks many features. I’m now using KDE 4.6.4 and it is terrific. Great eye-candy and smooth as a top with Compiz and rotating cube desktop for multitasking. I was once a Gnome 2.32 fan but opted out when I started seeing issues with screen corruption remnants with Gnome 3. Hopefully they get 3d video working. I haven’t seen much yet on the Internet indicating any fixes with Catalyst drivers either. Thumbs down for both Unity and Gnome 3.

      1. nah, kde is pretty smooth now. its much, MUCH smoother than even gnome 2 (with compiz). just remember to disable file indexing.

  19. I was an Ubuntu user since 2007. I liked the menue of Gnome and the stability of the running system. Trying out a very early KDE4 was a mess for me since I could not adopt easy to this different approach. As Ubuntu now switches to Unity and Gnome 3 does not behave as I like I gave Kubuntu a try. After I changed the settings of the application launcher to the classic stile, I got back what I wanted. I’m now starting to discover KDE4 but after one evening I already can say that this will be my choice for the future. 

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