For the past few months I have been using Mint (an older version as I really cann’t be bothered upgrading at the moment). I installed the version with Mate desktop because I could easily connect to a seagate harddrive on my home network which I couldn’t do on KDE. This, as it turns out was one of the few pluses of the desktop but there were a few negatives as well. I found that as time went on many of the applications such as Eyeofmate and one or two others just didn’t do what I was used to or wanted! I also found that Nightingale (my preferred music player) didn’t really work right as well although it still doesn’t on KDE either as it kept crashing with the lastfm and soundcloud add-on.
So, within 2 months of my newish installation, KDE was on the machine and I was so much happier. Why did I take this step?
I simply prefer the applications and general working environment as well being used to its functions and settings. In particular I wanted Digikam as I am of the opinion that this is the best photo manager that I have used on any system. For some reason it doesn’t open when I am using Mate desktop, may be something to do with the software engine behind the desktop. But this doesn’t really matter.
The other snag that I have found but I have fixed is the locking of the machine when I am using KDE. Its only happened a couple of times but when it locks the desktop, it does exactly that. Nothing will happen, I was able to log back in the last time using a USB keyboard but this just sucks. Because even after the login the computer was still locked via the keyboard and other pieces of the hardware and the only way to be able to get my machine back was to pull the battery out the back of the laptop ( I didn’t want to do this as I’m sure its bad for the machine but was the only thing I could think off). As I say, the settings are now changed to stop the locking of the session to deal with this bug. When I’m using Mate I don’t have this problem because there doesn’t seem to be no automatic session lock come in after a set period of none use. Granted it can be useful but it should only be done by the user if they are leaving the machine for a while which I suspect is the case with Mate.
At the moment I am currently spending most of time using KDE as it is the desktop environment that I can work best with. The applications do what I want with the freedom to do everything from one place. In Mate for example, I cann’t upload pictures to flickr without going out of the dedicated eyeofmate or Gwenview. I have also installed the software that I prefer such as Thunderbird, nightingale and others but there seems to be some difference in the way that they work better on one desktop and not so on the other. It would be really nice if one desktop could be used and be able to use the applications on that instead of having to switch, especially if it just to access the Seagate hard drive on the network. So in conclusion, no desktop wins one hundred percent, I am of the opinion that the perfect desktop experience is yet to come but KDE is pretty close, just sort out the network connection stuff!