Librem 5 why use Gnome instead of KDE


Just out of curosity, how come Librem 5 uses Gnome instead of KDE (and same thing with the laptops as well)? Cause KDE soemwhat recently released an update that uses about 400 MB (in total with the operating system) and it is very highly customisable. Gnome seems to use more, and customising is not as great so just curious why not implement KDE instead?


I agree it might not have been the best move logically considering that plasma mobile is already far ahead, especially in the past few months (alongside the desktop plasma 5.17). However, purism uses gnome on their laptops, which i think is the reason they went with it on their phone too. They want a ecosystem with everything recognizable and the same.


Question indirectly answered in the FAQ. The answer is quite old but should be still relevant.


Thanks for the link I hope to see KDE supported some time in the near future


I guess that makes sense, but they should have honestly started with KDE.


GNOME is not as slow and bloated as everyone claims.
Not everyone wants to customize every pixel or have to dig through menus for long periods of time to change anything.

GNOME is more than just a DE, it is a foundation with a solid ecosystem to build from.

Also mentioned by others the fact that Purism already uses GNOME on the desktop means it just makes sense.


With some optimization from purism it could be pretty good on resources. Especially since they aren’t using mutter, and have done a brunt of the work themselves already to ensure things are light and simple (like using wlroots). Gnome might run pretty fast, but it is without a doubt resource hungry, even with the most recent versions. The shell itself has gotten alot better, but it’s applications, mutter, etc combined suck up alot of resources. Compared to other desktops it’s higher.


KDE is based on QT, and even though QT is free of cost, it is not managed like a normal open source project.

The most annoying thing about GNOME is that they have a very low user interface complexity budget. They consider completeness to be an anti-feature, or bug. The application is expected to give about 80-90% of what users need, and omit the rest to avoid becoming too confusing for new users. This means that if you need that missing functionality, then you have outgrown GNOME and must go somewhere else. For most people, they go to KDE.


any desktop environment gets “bloated” if you add bells-and-whistles to it to the extent that it comes close to a windows gui environment.

for anyone that wants extremely low resource usage and speed there is


I have used Zoron OS and it takes up around 1.1 GB, they use a Gnome DE. And KDE is still more lightweight compared to Gnome.

Yes you are correct, however if you don’t want to customise your DE, at least KDE has a nice looking UI by default, the option of customising is there for those who want to really customise.

Yes true.


Yes that is why KDE should be something that should be supported on PureOS instead of Gnome.


You can install KDE in PureOS and use it instead of GNOME. And Purism partnered with Plasma Mobile to help with support on the phone. Purism’s time and money goes directly towards GNOME, but they do work with KDE/Plasma to help them, too.

Nothing forces you to stick with GNOME just because it is the default.


I love KDE than GNOME.

I would also prefer kde and work there


I prefer i3 and have both gtk and qt libraries installed to work with apps from both ecosystems. I’m trying to avoid though anything pure “gnome” or pure “kde”. Gnome in this case is more lightweight as it doesn’t suck to much dependencies (each component is more or less independent unless it hooks on monstrosities like mutter (which is not too much). Anything K on the other hand pulls a number of dependencies above my psychological threshold which is the reason i never managed to go kde.


I’m not sure i3 would give a great experience on the Librem 5 :wink:


neither i do but phosh has very few deps as well - following the suit


Same over here mate :slight_smile:


I don’t know how Zorin operates, but some distros add a ton of their own tweaks and customization on top of GNOME. This could make it seems bulkier than it actually is in a more vanilla state.
I use it on Fedora and I must say it definitely does not take even 1GB when idle.
Whereas KDE on fedora was kind of choppy and weird (compared to Mint kde which is no longer supported)


i would argue that the gnome from ubuntu (19.10) looks very nice but if you install certain snaps then you can run into theming issues