Knoppix 6.01 Quick Review – KDE Alternative to Kubuntu

I’m reviewing KDE distros of Linux as part of my ongoing series, searching for a replacement to Kubuntu, which I have been running for three years but decided to leave after their upgrade to KDE 4.x

Knoppix 6.01 Live CD

Knoppix 6.01 is running LXDE, that’s a good start in my opinion.  I remember using a much earlier version of Knoppix about 8 years ago as a Live CD version of Linux.  It was one of the first (correct me if I’m wrong) to push the outer limit of Linux distros and show that you can run an OS from a CD.

Having not used Knoppix in so many years, it was quite nostalgic to hear the nice lady say “initiating startup sequence”, like a 1950s sci-fi TV show.  The OS loaded rather quickly and once the KDE main window was up, the CD stopped churning and it didn’t churn again through the entire review.  They probably have the best memory-load of the live-cd distros.

Annoying Animation Effect

Someone made a design decision to make the windows and menus have animation.  It was cute for about one second.  No more.  Obviously, this is a configuration option that one could change, but why would you include that as a default?  How many people, regardless of age, really want their Firefox browser exploding into blocks when they close the window?  I set a capture screen on delay so you can see what I’m writing about.

Knoppix 6.01 Screen Shots

snap1
Knoppix Main Screen

Knoppix 6.01 Animated Window Close
Knoppix 6.01 Animated Window Close

The desktop itself came with no other major surprises. The software selection was a bit different than I’ve seen in other distros.  They had Gnome mplayer as the default music tool.  Gimp was included, as well as Open Office, and Korganizer.

When I shut down the CD, the nice lady said “Initiating Shutdown Sequence”.

Well, I’ve already left Kubuntu.  So far, Mandrive has shown promise.  Knoppix is not for me.  Onward the search for a replacement continues …

Goodbye Kubuntu, I’m Staying With Ubuntu. Here’s why.

Saying Goodbye to Kubuntu
I said goodbye to Kubuntu two weeks ago when I replaced my KDE desktop with Gnome and I haven’t looked back. It feels at the same time invigorating and betraying. Like I’ve left a former love for my new fling.
I had been using Kubuntu as my main OS for over three years, having started with v 5.x and migrated along all the way to 9.x. When the Kubuntu folks decided to abandon KDE 3.5 and jump to the new experimental KDE 4.x, I felt as though I was using a beta product, as opposed to the solid well-built OS that I had come to love.

Very Happy with Ubuntu Instead
But make no mistake, Ubuntu is a better distro. The Gnome environment is very straightforward. Yes, there are less gadgets. But how many flying windows and 3-D animations do you really need on your desktop?
As a developer, and entrepreneur, most of my day is spent either on Evolution (email), Firefox or in Terminal windows, developing and monitoring my servers. I’ll check some spreadsheets on Office and occasionally play some music in the background.

Kmail vs. Evolution  (Side by Side)

Kmail on KDE
Kmail on KDE
Evolution on Gnome
Evolution on Gnome

Sure, Kmail is nice, but I like Evolution better. Why? I can’t explain, it’s just a feeling that the software is more-baked. Evolution had a more elegant interface.   Evolution doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as Kmail, but their handling of Signatures, HTML formatting, and general ease of use beats out the more extensible Kmail.  Both include calendar, memos, tasks, and contact management.
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