For years I’ve been using i3 as my window manager on Linux/FreeBSD systems. Recently I wanted to try something fresh which I could comfortably navigate by mouse as well as keyboard, have all tools integrated, but still have a feeling of tiling window manager.
Enter KDE Plasma
I have used KDE years ago, actually around 15–20 years ago. Since then I haven’t followed KDE development, but recent screenshots in r/unixporn looked good enough to give it a go.
My current setup was:
Ubuntu 20.04 + regolith-desktop (built on top of i3 and GNOME).
Ubuntu 20.04 + KDE Plasma (kubuntu-desktop) + kwin-tiling.
KDE Plasma provides decent defaults, so you can get up and running pretty quickly. If you’re on Ubuntu:
- Install kubuntu-desktop
- Install kwin-tiling
- Configure shortcuts
- Configure KWin for Window transparency.
Dolphin + System settings:
Chrome windows arranged with kwin-tiling (with gaps enabled):
With Konsole I’ve been able to drop Tilix + tmux completely and get more efficient working environment for terminal needs. You can split terminals, create/rename/move tabs with only keyboard shortcuts and don’t need to worry about long standing tmux issues of copying.
VS Code with transparent background set via KWin settings:
Overall KDE Plasma looks amazing, has great defaults and requires minimal configuration to get comfortable working environment. And KWin API provides you with low level configuration options / scripting for advanced needs.
Visual aesthetics and ergonomics are important for me, thus for any future Linux desktop installations I’ll go with Kubuntu by default.