Ususally when I do a full Linux install I install Gnome as my Desktop Enviroment. I’ve used others like WindowMaker and Enlightenment when I want a very light-wieght enviroment. E17 however is still in flux, and WindowMaker seems to have died. Also with the advent of Beryl and Compiz I decided I wanted to use those for my eye candy instead. I got Beryl working with Gnome in Gentoo with relitivliy little effort. However, being the experimenter that I am, I decided to walk off my beatten path and try KDE 3.5. The install for Gentoo can be a bit hectic, especially if you go with the split ebuilds for KDE. This takes a LONG time to compile hundreds upon hundreds of packages. The good about this though for us source folks is that when one thing needs to be updated you don’t have to recompile the entire KDE build, just the program in question.
Getting KDE personalized once I got it installed was what I expected from KDE in previous uses. I ran KPersonalizer and got a nice setup Mac style. I usually go windows or Unix, but figured I would give the Mac style of using KDE a try. I have to say this can be confusing if you have a few windows, because the upper panel in KDE is now the menu bar for EVERY KDE program available.
KControl however makes up for that, and it’s not like you can’t rerun KPersonalizer again and switch it back to something else. If a program is designed for KDE, then more then likely all the personalizations you want to make can be done in KControl. From windows decorations to themes, fonts, sounds, and some network settings, Kcontrol does have all the settings in one place. Coming from Gnome this can be a bit of a shock, but so far I haven’t seen any big issues with it. It took all of a few seconds to figure out that I needed to change settings in KControl for Sounds in Kopete when I had no sound in that program.
I’m still getting used to it, and still need to get Beryl recompiled for use in KDE. However I see no issue doing so, and have uninstalled most of the Gnome programs I used before. I also recompiled my system to no longer compile for gnome compatability.
I’ll post more as I get used to KDE, for now I will say that I do think it’s a nice little interface once I really give it the personal touch.