#425 [Proposal] Replace GNOME with KDE in Fedora Workstation
Closed: Fixed a month ago by catanzaro. Opened 2 months ago by tdawson.

Members of the KDE SIG feel that by Fedora 42, it will be time to elevate
KDE to Edition status in Fedora. It already meets several of the criteria for
that status.

  • It is a product that many users want.
  • It has a healthy SIG, that has been healthy for many years.
  • It is a release blocker, and has been for several years.
  • It works tightly with it's upstream community.

What happens in the next year is that KDE Plasma will change their release schedule
to a six month cadence. This change will allow us to match our updates with
Fedora's release schedule.

After looking at the terms to become a Fedora Edition[1] and looking at the
history of past desktop edition attempts, we felt our only option would be
to replace GNOME with KDE in Fedora Workstation. We submitted a Change Proposal
to do this.[2]

We learned several things by submitting this change proposal. The biggest was
that we should have gone to the Fedora Workstation Group first with our
proposal. Thus we are here.

We propose that KDE replace GNOME in the Fedora Workstation.

If this is not acceptable, we would like to talk with the Fedora Workstation
Group about possible ways to promote KDE to Edition level status in Fedora.

Sincerely,
The Fedora KDE SIG

[1] - https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/council/policy/edition-promotion-policy/
[2] - https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Changes/FedoraPlasmaWorkstation


Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue tagged with: meeting-request

2 months ago

As a LongTime Fedora Workstation user, and a magazine contributor I am totally against replacing Gnome with KDE. I will definitely stop using Fedora if this come to pass.

As a LongTime Fedora Workstation user, and a magazine contributor I am totally against replacing Gnome with KDE. I will definitely stop using Fedora if this come to pass.

To be clear, we're not looking into replacing the actual software, i.e. retiring the gnome stack. We're looking to change the fedora default choice, or at least putting it side-by-side with kde.

I am totally against KDE being the default choice then. I don't mind it
being and edition level alternative, I think some of the (other)
desktop environments that are now spins may be qualified to be elevated
to that level as well. But I don't buy into, want or endorse replacing
Gnome as the first class option for the Workstation Edition.=20
Regards
Stephen
On Sat, 2024-04-13 at 12:52 +0000, Steve Cossette wrote:

=20
farchord added a new comment to an issue you are following:
``

As a LongTime Fedora Workstation user, and a magazine contributor I
am totally against replacing Gnome with KDE. I will definitely stop
using Fedora if this come to pass.
=20
To be clear, we're not looking into replacing the actual software,
i.e. retiring the gnome stack. We're looking to change the fedora
default choice, or at least putting it side-by-side with kde.
``
=20
To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/fedora-workstation/issue/425

This issue is solely on the merits of replacing Fedora GNOME with Fedora KDE for Workstation Edition. This issue is about the KDE SIG engaging with the Workstation WG about this.

So, what you're saying is my opinion is not welcome or invited on this
topic?
On Sat, 2024-04-13 at 13:00 +0000, Neal Gompa wrote:

=20
ngompa added a new comment to an issue you are following:
This issue is solely on the merits of replacing Fedora GNOME with Fedora KDE for Workstation Edition. This issue is about the KDE SIG engaging with the Workstation WG about this.
=20
To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/fedora-workstation/issue/425

No, I was responding to @farchord's statement.

Sorry, my bad
On Sat, 2024-04-13 at 13:05 +0000, Neal Gompa wrote:

=20
ngompa added a new comment to an issue you are following:
No, I was responding to @farchord's statement.
=20
To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/fedora-workstation/issue/425

Having tried it on a F40 machine with updates-testing, it surprised me how installing KDE and using it once causes some glitches in GNOME, beyond just changing the themes.

3d1fc3e6-9125-4cc6-9e2f-4f945b9d63b7.png

I'm informed this does not always happen, and some people use both KDE and GNOME interchangeably, but can we require that promotion to Edition status involves testing that the desktop can be used interchangeably without issues?

I have tried to do that (run both KDE and Gnome DE as user selectable),
many releases ago, like way too far back (F19/F20?) to have a valid
opinion. At that time the experience was sub-optimal, now I don't know.
Some of this is the underlying tech I would think GTK (Gnome) and QT
(KDE) and how it actually behaves installed together.=20
But you're correct in pointing that out likely, since the Fedora
Workstation has changed greatly over the past number of releases, and
so too has the KDE project.=20

Regards,
Stephen
On Sat, 2024-04-13 at 13:35 +0000, Michel Lind wrote:

=20
salimma added a new comment to an issue you are following:
Having tried it on a F40 machine with updates-testing, it surprised me how installing KDE and using it once causes some glitches in GNOME, beyond just changing the themes. =20 =20 [![3d1fc3e6-9125-4cc6-9e2f-4f945b9d63b7.png](/fedora- workstation/issue/raw/files/2803d8799c8d9951133f4a3969c49f85c954b2745 9c6aa462593f047cb23fd7d-3d1fc3e6-9125-4cc6-9e2f- 4f945b9d63b7.png)](/fedora- workstation/issue/raw/files/2803d8799c8d9951133f4a3969c49f85c954b2745 9c6aa462593f047cb23fd7d-3d1fc3e6-9125-4cc6-9e2f-4f945b9d63b7.png) =20 I'm informed this does not always happen, and some people use both KDE and GNOME interchangeably, but can we require that promotion to Edition status involves testing that the desktop can be used interchangeably without issues?
=20
To reply, visit the link below or just reply to this email
https://pagure.io/fedora-workstation/issue/425

So, I somewhat tested this myself a couple months ago. I didn't install them side-by-side but I switched from Gnome to KDE and back a couple times by uninstalling the "previous" DE first. I can tell you about a couple things:

1- Anything using the DE's wallet system (Browsers for example) will break. They'll work, but you'll need to relogin to everything.

2- Themeing will usually work just fine in either. The experience was pretty good.

I haven't tried this with both installed at the same time though.

So ... the way this goes is either Workstation becomes KDE oriented (I doubt this will happen) or Workstation becomes multi desktop oriented.

The latter will mean people expect installing all the workstation packages together would work well, so either that happens or any limitation should be clearly documented.

As a LongTime Fedora Workstation user, and a magazine contributor I am totally against replacing Gnome with KDE. I will definitely stop using Fedora if this come to pass.

Please refrain from this sort of comment in this discussion. We are not gathering feedback from users here, that has already been done in another moment and place.

Thanks!

It would be good to have @mattdm 's input when the working group discusses this.

Actually I think Matthew is looking for our input on this!

Actually I think Matthew is looking for our input on this!

Pretty much. We (As in, a couple of us from the KDE sig) did consult him on this matter, and about the whole change proposal as well. His top recommendation was to speak to you guys first, so that's why we initiated this.

My opinion is that Workstation is fine as is, being based on GNOME and I see no reason to change it. Our users are used to Workstation being based on GNOME and the Workstation WG is happy to collaborate with upstream GNOME as is. Furthermore, I don't think it makes sense to have two completely different desktop environments under the Workstation umbrella: I think it's our strength that we are tightly focused here on a single offering.

However, having said that, I also think that it probably makes sense to promote the KDE spin more than what we do now (just not as part of Workstation). I'd suggest opening a Fedora Council discussion to potentially elevate KDE to an Edition status, in addition to the existing Editions that Fedora has, not replacing any of them.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue untagged with: meeting-request
- Issue tagged with: meeting

2 months ago

Hi Troy, do you want me to add this to tomorrow's meeting agenda?

Hi Troy, do you want me to add this to tomorrow's meeting agenda?

Yes, tomorrow's meeting would be great.

Unfortunately, I can't make the meeting today - I'm traveling with kids. So, let me put my thoughts down here:

  • First, the KDE project and the Fedora KDE team has been doing great work. Making a desktop and integrating it into other portions of the operating system is not easy.

  • Changing the meaning of "Fedora Workstation" from release to release to include a different desktop environment would create a very confusing situation for users. Does a F40 desktop upgraded to F41 have a different desktop environment than a new install of F41?

  • I don't think the Workstation team is opposed to making some changes to the the way that the web site looks, or giving KDE an official Edition status, but it would be a serious mistake for the Fedora project to create a situation where a newcomer who doesn't know anything about desktop environments, is forced to choose between "Fedora Workstation (includes GNOME)" and "Fedora KDE (also a workstation)" on what looks like equal footing. People will just go and install Ubuntu.

  • Red Hat and particularly the Red Hat Display Systems team does not have the staffing or the experience to provide any support to KDE within Fedora for blocker bugs, debugging graphics driver issues, handling integration with operating system features, etc. We will not be shipping it as part of any future products.

Changing the meaning of "Fedora Workstation" from release to release to include a different desktop environment would create a very confusing situation for users. Does a F40 desktop upgraded to F41 have a different desktop environment than a new install of F41?

Per the Change proposal, it does not change an existing install, only new installs.

Conclusion from this week's Working Group meeting:

  • Workstation WG is not interested in replacing GNOME with KDE in Fedora Workstation
  • Workstation WG is likely to support Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop becoming a new Fedora edition; however, this is provisional and we require further discussion before finalizing this opinion.
  • Fedora KDE developers will likely need to go to Fedora Council to take next steps, as creating a new Fedora edition is outside the purview of the Workstation WG. Might be useful to wait for further WG discussion first.

Might be useful to wait for further WG discussion first.

We should discuss this next meeting, so that the KDE SIG can go to Council in two weeks.

Having tried it on a F40 machine with updates-testing, it surprised me how installing KDE and using it once causes some glitches in GNOME, beyond just changing the themes.

3d1fc3e6-9125-4cc6-9e2f-4f945b9d63b7.png

I'm informed this does not always happen, and some people use both KDE and GNOME interchangeably, but can we require that promotion to Edition status involves testing that the desktop can be used interchangeably without issues?

for completeness this is tracked upstream as https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=485604 - there is a similar (linked) XWaylandVideoBridge issue where an artifact would appear on the GNOME desktop if you have a secondary monitor attached, dating back to Fedora 38 :(

The keyring breakage @farchord mentioned seems to only affect KDE - on KDE you would have to re-login, but logging back into GNOME everything just continues working (at least as far as nextcloud-client is concerned)

Unfortunately, I can't make the meeting today - I'm traveling with kids. So, let me put my thoughts down here:

  • First, the KDE project and the Fedora KDE team has been doing great work. Making a desktop and integrating it into other portions of the operating system is not easy.

  • Changing the meaning of "Fedora Workstation" from release to release to include a different desktop environment would create a very confusing situation for users. Does a F40 desktop upgraded to F41 have a different desktop environment than a new install of F41?

  • I don't think the Workstation team is opposed to making some changes to the the way that the web site looks, or giving KDE an official Edition status, but it would be a serious mistake for the Fedora project to create a situation where a newcomer who doesn't know anything about desktop environments, is forced to choose between "Fedora Workstation (includes GNOME)" and "Fedora KDE (also a workstation)" on what looks like equal footing. People will just go and install Ubuntu.

  • Red Hat and particularly the Red Hat Display Systems team does not have the staffing or the experience to provide any support to KDE within Fedora for blocker bugs, debugging graphics driver issues, handling integration with operating system features, etc. We will not be shipping it as part of any future products.

Agreed. So this seems to be a Council issue then? Since currently you can't have Editions with overlapping purposes. If the Workstation WG can collectively support KDE being promoted to an Edition status, maybe the KDE SIG can follow up with Council and ask for the Edition criteria to be adjusted to allow this.

That requirement is subject to interpretation. The purpose of Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop is specifically to serve users who like the KDE Plasma Desktop. This is very different from the purpose of Fedora Workstation.

That requirement is subject to interpretation. The purpose of Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop is specifically to serve users who like the KDE Plasma Desktop. This is very different from the purpose of Fedora Workstation.

Right. so... can I read that as saying you don't see that requirement as a blocker in promoting KDE to edition status? I think that's the best outcome we can get from that change proposal even if the implementation end up being something like Kubuntu - Edition status, more visibility etc.

Personally speaking, I wouldn't object to Fedora KDE exploring a different status for itself, so that it could somehow elevate itself above the other spins. Nor would I object to us exploring how Fedora KDE could have a more prominent place on the website. (I'd expect the Workstation Working Group to be consulted before any final decisions are made there, though.)

What I don't think would be a good idea is:

  • Fedora having two sets of desktop documentation. That would be a lot of work, add a lot of complexity, and be really confusing for users.
  • Fedora marketing promoting Fedora KDE. Mixed messaging of this type is confusing and would dilute what we have to say about Fedora Workstation.
  • Fedora QA putting significant time into testing Fedora KDE. Our resources for testing Fedora Workstation are already very stretched.
  • Significant engineering, release management, or infrastructure resources being shifted away from Fedora Workstation, in either the short or long term.

Michael — I totally agree on the use case / target thing. A KDE-based Edition would need more than that. At the same time, I'm open to Workstation broadening and changing its target userbase somewhat too — not to "desktop for GNOME fans" (although I'd certainly like that to be true) but maybe to something broader than "developers, developers, developers" (which as I noted elsewhere, hasn't really worked out, even though Fedora Workstation has been a huge success overall.)

Allan, FWIW...

  • I share your concern about docs. I would expect the KDE team to help with this. This is also why I asked the KDE folks to bring this to Workstation for collaboration: it would be nice for as many things as possible to be similar across desktops (particularly the common difficult issues: sound configuration, dealing with graphics drivers, system updates, etc.)
  • Marketing: I think there can be a rising-tide effect here. But fundamentally, as community-built distribution we should talk about and celebrate the various things different people bring (and, in fact, our marketing folks already do this -- they like to have more different things to talk about).
  • KDE Spin is already release blocking, so this isn't necessarily a big change. Particularly, though, KDE SIG has done a great job of bringing upstream into the process, and we have a lot of upstream KDE devs ready to help.
  • I don't think we should shift any resources away. This should be net growth.

I share your concern about docs. I would expect the KDE team to help with this. This is also why I asked the KDE folks to bring this to Workstation for collaboration: it would be nice for as many things as possible to be similar across desktops (particularly the common difficult issues: sound configuration, dealing with graphics drivers, system updates, etc.)

For what it's worth, we have almost no desktop specific documentation in Workstation today: https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/workstation-docs/

I'm not actually sure whether these documents belong here or if they need to go somewhere more general...

Practically speaking, almost all of our end-user documentation is at https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/contribute-to-quick-docs/.

I expected a lot of this to assume GNOME, but in fact that's not even currently the case.

https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/quick-docs/accessibility-installation-with-orca/ even straight-up tells people to install the Mate spin for maximum accessibility (which, if true, is clearly something we need to work on, but that's a different issue).

But mostly, the instructions are command-line focused, and call out GNOME and/or Workstation when they apply there.

@catanzaro is that scheduled for the meeting tomorrow? I assume it's preferred if we don't come and crowd your meeting again right...? ;)

Yes indeed. The WG meetings are open to the public, but at this stage of this particular discussion, I think we'll likely be more productive with a smaller group. Neal should hopefully be there to represent Fedora KDE, though.

Please set up a meeting this week because the KDE SIG would like to deliberate on this in their next meeting.

So do we have a decision on this?

Nope. We still need further discussion.

I'm totally disagree with this proposal. GNOME offers the best possible experience for the end user and is a graphical interface suitable even for a beginner user. Furthermore, Fedora is currently the only one offering the best possible GNOME Vanilla experience. Any potential radical change of this kind should be objectively evaluated through a wide survey, involving the highest number of users.

I'm totally disagree with this proposal. GNOME offers the best possible experience for the end user and is a graphical interface suitable even for a beginner user. Furthermore, Fedora is currently the only one offering the best possible GNOME Vanilla experience. Any potential radical change of this kind should be objectively evaluated through a wide survey, involving the highest number of users.

You should read the whole thread :) This isn't about replacing Gnome anymore. This is about finding a way to bring KDE more in line with Gnome, i.e. promoting KDE more without affecting gnome.

I'm totally disagree with this proposal. GNOME offers the best possible experience for the end user and is a graphical interface suitable even for a beginner user. Furthermore, Fedora is currently the only one offering the best possible GNOME Vanilla experience. Any potential radical change of this kind should be objectively evaluated through a wide survey, involving the highest number of users.

You should read the whole thread :) This isn't about replacing Gnome anymore. This is about finding a way to bring KDE more in line with Gnome, i.e. promoting KDE more without affecting gnome.

I apologize for the misunderstanding. Despite having read, I misunderstood the meaning of the request. In short, language problems :)
I apologize to all the participants in the discussion 🙏🏻

I'm totally disagree with this proposal. GNOME offers the best possible experience for the end user and is a graphical interface suitable even for a beginner user. Furthermore, Fedora is currently the only one offering the best possible GNOME Vanilla experience. Any potential radical change of this kind should be objectively evaluated through a wide survey, involving the highest number of users.

You should read the whole thread :) This isn't about replacing Gnome anymore. This is about finding a way to bring KDE more in line with Gnome, i.e. promoting KDE more without affecting gnome.

I apologize for the misunderstanding. Despite having read, I misunderstood the meaning of the request. In short, language problems :)
I apologize to all the participants in the discussion 🙏🏻

No worries it happens :)

You should read the whole thread

Seems to me that the issue title should be updated

Well, to be fair, the proposal still stands until we come to an acceptable alternative, so I've been inclined to leave the title alone, but I can update it if we've made some progress.

Chiming in as a contributor for the Marketing Team.

From everything I've gathered, it seems like most folks are fine with Fedora KDE being raised to Edition status. I would like to advocate that it should continue with the Workstation branding, meaning you would have some version Fedora Gnome Workstation and Fedora KDE Workstation.

From a governance perspective I don't know what that means, whether one Workstation WG manages two variants (which in effect means KDE SIG joins to cover their part) or if two WGs are made, Gnome Workstation WG and KDE Workstation WG. Looking at it from just the branding standpoint, the thing that I think will add the most value naming wise is the Workstation name.

First, users pay more attention to what is considered Workstation than what is considered an Edition. While the Edition status does come with the perks of a more prominent display on the website, the main thing users see are five distinct ways of using Fedora each with their own name. All the rest address some kind of server use case and Workstation is the one we install on our laptops. By keeping the Workstation name, new and old users will easily know that Fedora Gnome Workstation and Fedora KDE Workstation are the ones for client use and dismiss the rest.

Second, the Workstation brand is already known in the Linux community. If Fedora KDE is looking to be viewed as an equal desktop offering to current Workstation, having the Workstation name will immediately communicate that to the broader community, whereas the edition status will be easily missed.

Third, the next likeliest name to give the Fedora KDE Spin is probably Fedora KDE Desktop. That runs up against a broader conversation that's going on about how to elevate and clarify the use case of all the spins. One idea I've had that may turn into a Council ticket is to rename Fedora Spins to Fedora Desktops. That makes their use case clearer, pairs it up with Fedora Atomic Desktops, gives them a regular name just like Atomic Desktops and Labs, and frees up "Spins" to the be solely for the second tier of support in the Fedora Project (Editions, then Spins, then Remixes). If Fedora KDE Spin becomes Fedora KDE Desktop, that wrecks the sprucing up effort for the rest of the spins.

Fourth, Edition status is something that is known within the Fedora Project, but not really outside of it. Besides a few places here and there, you are more likely to run into the immediate names of the variants before you run into any classification of Editions vs Spins. The word "edition" only comes up twice on the home page and once on the Workstation page, none of them in prominent places. You get bonus mentions if you hover over Get Fedora, but that's still not a big emphasis. Furthermore, we are not consistent with what is an edition or a spin. Are Atomic Desktops spins? Are Labs spins? Neither appear under the Fedora Spins brand. I could go on, but this is all to say that simply giving Fedora KDE Edition status will not do the job that I think the KDE SIG is looking for.

Another solution that I could possibly see is trying to come up with a new name that's not Workstation or Desktop that would be solely for Fedora KDE. There aren't a lot of options. "Powerstation" is a made up word I came up with as I considered it. But even in that case it creates ambiguity as to where Fedora KDE fits in the hierarchy of support. Fedora KDE Workstation is clear in what it means, especially in relation to Fedora Gnome Workstation.

Is it a perfect solution? No. It's not great to have "Gnome" or "KDE" added to a name when a user may not know what those things are. We can do our best to play with how it's styled (Fedora Workstation Gnome, Fedora Workstation Gnome Edition; Fedora Workstation KDE, Fedora Workstation KDE Edition), but I agree that it's not the best situation. However, if this is something the community wants and it fits within the quality control criteria we have (ie Edition status), then I think we have to make room for it in the way that has the desired effect for Fedora KDE while preserving the work that has already been done by Workstation.

I think we have a rough consensus that:

  • We do not want to use Fedora Workstation branding for KDE
  • We still want Workstation to be the "default" choice (i.e. we don't want them to be viewed as equal) (Neal does not agree with this)

Currently it's called "Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop" and that seems like a good enough name to me. The fact that the name of the desktop is included in the product name indicates its purpose: choose it if you know what KDE Plasma is and you want to install it. Otherwise, you probably want Fedora Workstation.

I think we have a rough consensus that:

  • We do not want to use Fedora Workstation branding for KDE
  • We still want Workstation to be the "default" choice (i.e. we don't want them to be viewed as equal) (Neal does not agree with this)

Is this the official statement from the Fedora Workstation group that we can take to the Fedora Council?

We spent all of today's meeting discuss this, but we still need further discussion before we can provide an official response. I know you've been waiting a while (sorry!) and we want to finish this soon, but this is also too important to rush.

$0.02 from a passerby who's been using Fedora Linux as main OS for several years:

All the editions not supporting Wayland in 2024 should be dropped, while the rest should be given equal status.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue untagged with: meeting

a month ago

Sorry for the delay. Here is our response:

Fedora Workstation Working Group will neither endorse nor oppose the proposal for Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop to become a new Fedora edition. We are concerned that having a second desktop edition risks diluting our focus. The implementation details will matter; if we are not careful, we could jeopardize Fedora's user base growth.

We do not want users to be presented with a choice between multiple desktop environments. This would be extremely confusing for anybody who is not already an experienced Linux user. Having one default that is promoted over all others has been key to Fedora's recent growth in user base. Fedora Workstation should continue to be the default recommended desktop edition, even though this means Fedora KDE would continue to receive unequal treatment.

Each Fedora edition is supposed to have a different use case. The generic desktop use case is already satisfied by Fedora Workstation: it's a Linux desktop suitable for everybody except people who specifically want to use other desktop environments. Although a Fedora KDE edition would also fulfill this same role, we suggest not prominently advertising it as such to avoid introducing confusion as to which edition undecided users should download. Instead, it could be advertised as a desktop intended for people who want to use KDE Plasma specifically.

We do not want Fedora Workstation to use GNOME branding in its name, and we also do not want Fedora KDE to use Fedora Workstation branding in its name. We do not wish to have a "Fedora GNOME Workstation" alongside a "Fedora KDE Workstation."

That said, we still want Fedora to be a welcoming community for people who use desktop environments other than GNOME, and recognize the importance of offering the desktop environments that Fedora users wish to use. KDE Plasma is a particularly high-quality desktop; its community of users and developers is especially large, and failure to attract more KDE Plasma users to Fedora will certainly limit Fedora's user base growth. Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop's current status as a Fedora Spin may not provide sufficient visibility to achieve its goals. The Workstation Working Group wants Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop to be successful and will not oppose Fedora KDE Plasma Desktop becoming a Fedora edition.

We thank the KDE SIG for engaging with us constructively on this matter and for their considerable contributions to Fedora.

Metadata Update from @catanzaro:
- Issue close_status updated to: Fixed
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

a month ago

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