I Switched to the Gnome Desktop

I’ve been using SuSE or openSUSE since Caldera Open Linux shut down about 10 years ago. I liked the KDE desktop and YAST (Yet Another System Tool.) YAST concentrates all the system tools into a common graphic interface, which makes configuring the system easy.

I’ve since upgraded my hardware many times and now have a dual monitor display. I have a slide show of photographs I’ve taken as the background image spanning both monitors. KDE3 was a very comfortable desktop. It was much more flexible than Gnome. I had a number of icons scattered around the periphery of the desktop so that I could get to frequently used applications with one click. My panel spanned both screens at the bottom.

OpenSUSE 11.1 and 11.2 had early versions of KDE4 which were not ready for prime time. So I stuck with 11.0 and KDE3. I did have Qt4 installed and have converted my programs to run on it. Now openSUSE 11.0 has reached the end of support.

With some trepidation, I installed 11.3 with KDE4. I quickly discovered that configuring it was a real PITA. It does not handle multiple screens well, if at all. It will not allow a background image to span the two monitors. It will not let you move icons from one display to the other. Just getting them on the desktop is frustrating. Panels cannot span both displays. Wobbly windows do not improve productivity.

Over the years, Gnome has improved a lot. I reinstalled openSUSE 11.3 with the Gnome desktop. I still needed some KDE4 libraries to run KMyMoney, the best open source replacement for Quicken.

I do have my pictures in a slide show spanning the two displays and icons scattered around edge of the desktop. It won’t let a panel span the two displays. So, I put a panel at the bottom of each display. Most of the fixed stuff goes on the second screen.

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