GNOME vs KDE: which is right for you?

There was a time when UNIX desktops were developed by big corporations. It took not just one but many large firms to come together to build a desktop for the UNIX OS. The end result was CDE (Common Desktop Environment), developed jointly by Sun Microsystems, HP, IBM and UNIX Systems Laboratories. To its credit, it was a popular desktop environment used in almost all UNIX systems, but it was (and still is) not even close to being a decent desktop for most users. CDE was announced in June 1993. Windows was already available and CDE looked quite primitive by comparison. In 1996, the KDE project was started, followed a year later by GNOME, and the world of UNIX desktops changed for ever. It was quite surprising back then because neither KDE nor GNOME was a commercial project. Both started as open source, and both shared the same goal: to make Linux the best desktop operating system. But the philosophy was different. The KDE project wasn’t concerned with open source idealism – which is why GNOME was born, to create a desktop environment with fully GPLed software. This philosophical disagreement led to two completely different and innovative desktop environments for Linux.

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