Best KDE Distros, GNOME Resurgence, Ubuntu 15.04 Beta

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 27, 2015

It was a bit of a slow news day today without any big item overtaking the rest. Several folks celebrated the Ubuntu 15.04 Beta release and Danny Stieben discussed reasons for GNOME's resurgence. Martin Brinkmann asked "What is keeping you from switching to Linux?" Simon Phipps today discussed the challenges ahead for LibreOffice Online and Swapnil Bhartiya posted a slideshow of the top nine KDE distributions.

The Ubuntu Family 15.04 Final Beta was released today for testers and fans saying it should be "reasonably free of showstopper installation bugs" although there are some to be aware of. One interesting bug listed in the announcement says the end of installation "reboot now" ejects the CD but doesn't reboot. The workaround is to hit the reset or on/off button. Otherwise this release includes Unity 7.3, Compiz 9.12, Firefox 36, Chromium 41, GNOME stuff 3.14, and LibreOffice 4.4. Ubuntu 15.04 is primarily an update release with no big new features. Final is due April 23.

Danny Stieben today said that GNOME 3 ran off a lot of its loyal users because "it was incomplete, buggy, and foreign," but that is the past. Today GNOME is regaining users and Stieben thinks he knows why. The number one reason GNOME is making a comeback is because folks have just gotten used to it. He also notes that GNOME 3 is actually working better and the developers have since tried to listen to their users some. But for whatever reason, GNOME 3.16 seemed to go over real well with folks this week.

Simon Phipps today wondered if LibreOffice software-as-a-service can succeed. Others have failed and if LibreOffice doesn't want to follow, he had some advice. He said "collaboration" needs to work and work well. It needs to stay open source and work with other office suite formats and online document services. He said if "done right, it could also offer a new lease of life to LibreOffice Desktop."

However, Bruce Byfield still thinks LibreOffice's path to wide acceptance flows through OpenOffice - or rather a co-joining of the code lines. He said, "The sooner they become a single project, the better." He then said:

Not only do they share megabyte upon megabyte of the same code, but five years of separation have brought so few visible changes that even an expert has trouble telling them apart without glancing at the title bar.

Byfield then said that there is still so much code clean up and many improvements to be made that neither team can handle it alone. It's mere politics, or "corporation jockeying" getting in the way of the merger. He notes that LibreOffice's Mozilla Public license is compatible with OpenOffice's Apache license, so he wonders if LibreOffice isn't secretly hoping someday for a merger themselves. Interesting read.

My favorite post today came from Swapnil Bhartiya at with his nine best distros for KDE Plasma. His number one pick was openSUSE. He thinks openSUSE's patches and compatibility with KDE Plasma "offers a tightly integrated experience, blending the distro and desktop neatly." I agree, openSUSE is a good one. Kubuntu, Mint, and Fedora were no surprise, but perhaps his choices of Netrunner and Slackware were. But those aren't the only surprises from Bhartiya.

Other tidbits today and earlier include:

* What is keeping you from switching to Linux?

* Bodacious Bodhi Broadens Linux Desktop

* Hands-On: Linux UEFI multi-boot, part two

* Free Software’s Fifth Freedom

* Winning Supplemental Wallpapers for Fedora 22

* The state of open source security

Have a nice weekend!