GNOME vs. KDE: The Top Linux Desktop News Of 2016

Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 28 December 2016 at 06:36 AM EST. 14 Comments
For those curious about the most viewed GNOME and KDE news of 2016, we have you covered.

Both the KDE and GNOME camps had very successful years. KDE had improved their Wayland support a lot where now it's rather usable on a daily basis to enthusiasts, the KDE Plasma Mobile initiative is moving along, the KDE Applications stack saw many improvements to Kdenlive and other promising apps while new ones were added like KWave, and other improvements made.

GNOME also had a rather great year if considering their rather-solid GNOME 3.22 release, their Wayland support is very solid now, there is early work on GTK4 with the GTK Scene Kit and even a Vulkan renderer, Flatpak for app sandboxing is becoming adopted by different projects, and more.

So if you've been wondering what the most-viewed KDE news stories were on Phoronix for 2016:

KDE's 20th Birthday Celebrated By Re-Releasing KDE 1
The 14th of October marks the KDE project's 20th birthday! In celebration, the last KDE 1.x release has been re-released with compatibility for the latest Linux distributions.

KDE Plasma 5.6 Bringing More User-Facing Improvements
While Plasma 5.5 was just released last month with many improvements and appears to be in great shape -- as outlined by Ken Vermette's big review of Plasma 5.5 -- even more great stuff is coming for Plasma 5.6.

KDE's Plasma 5.7 To Let You Login To Online Accounts, Initially OwnCloud
Better ownCloud integration is coming for Plasma 5.7.

KDE Announces Kirigami UI
KDE announced this morning the new Kirigami UI.

The State Of Wayland For KDE Plasma 5.7
There are a lot of Wayland support improvements to find in the upcoming release of KDE's Plasma 5.7.

KDE Plasma 5.7 Beta Released
KDE developers quietly released the Plasma 5.7 beta on Thursday for offering a new glimpse at the experience ahead of its official debut in July.

KDE Plasma 5.5.3 Comes With 20 Changes
The KDE development team has announced their first Plasma 5 update of 2016.

A Number Of KDE Apps Will Be Dropped If They Don't Get Ported To KF5
Around three dozen apps from the KDE Applications suite could be dropped if they don't see a port from kdelibs4 to KDE Frameworks 5 within the next year.

KDE Frameworks 5.23 Released
KDE Frameworks 5.23 was announced today as the latest major update to this collection of add-on libraries complementing Qt5.

KDE Developers Have Been Working On Improved Windows Support
KDE developers this week at Randa have ben working on improvements for KDE applications on Windows.

And the most viewed GNOME stories this year:

More Planning Details For GTK4 & Beyond
Coming out yesterday from the start of GNOME's latest GTK+ hackfest were details on GTK+ 4.0 and future releases whereby they would change how they enforce API stability and how frequently they do major stable releases of the toolkit.

GNOME's Mutter Sees Big Rework, Striving For Multi-DPI Rendering
A ton of patches hit GNOME's Mutter this morning by Jonas Ã…dahl as he's been working towards multi DPI rendering and other improvements by drawing monitor contents to individual frame-buffers.

GNOME 3.20 Gets Ready To Shine With New Features
With GNOME 3.20 on final approach for landing tomorrow, 23 March, here's a recap of some of the exciting changes and new features of this six-month update to the GNOME stack.

Flatpak Officially Announced For "Next Generation Linux Applications"
Coinciding with today's release of Fedora 24 is the official debut of Flatpak, formerly known as XDG-App.

GNOME's GTK Developers Come Up With A Plan For GTK+ 4
At a GTK+ hackfest this week the developers have come up with a new plan for delivering major releases of the GTK+ tool-kit every two years, e.g. GTK4, GTK5, GTK6, etc.

GNOME's Nautilus File Manager: "Its Best Moment Since It Was Created"
At various points in GNOME's history the Nautilus file manager has been less than maintained, but these days the situation is much brighter.

GNOME 3.20.1 Released
GNOME 3.20.1 is out today as the latest stable version of the GNOME desktop environment.

Remote Wayland Preview, GNOME 3.20 / Fedora 24 Is Shaping Up Well For Wayland
Matthias Clasen has written a status update concerning the state of GNOME 3.20 on Wayland.

GNOME Lands Mainline NVIDIA Wayland Support Using EGLStreams
While waiting for a new API that can succeed GBM and is agreed upon by both NVIDIA and the open-source community, GNOME developers have gone ahead and merged support for using EGLStreams into their Mutter compositor so that the current proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver will work with GNOME on Wayland.

The New Control Center Is Being Worked On For GNOME 3.22
If all goes well, the GNOME 3.22 release due out in September will feature a new Control Center user-interface.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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