KDE's Leaner Experience On openSUSE Tumbleweed vs. Ubuntu 17.04
Written by Michael Larabel in SUSE on 1 September 2017 at 01:05 PM EDT. 47 Comments
With the Power Use, RAM + Boot Times With Unity, Xfce, GNOME, LXDE, Budgie and KDE Plasma tests this week, many expressed frustration over the heavy KDE packaging on Ubuntu leading to the inflated results for the Plasma 5 desktop tests. For some additional reference, here is how KDE Plasma (and GNOME Shell) compare when running on Ubuntu 17.04 vs. openSUSE Tumbleweed.

From the Razer Blade Stealth I did a fresh install of openSUSE Tumbleweed to see how the idle desktop memory measurements and boot times compare to my recent Ubuntu 17.04 measurements, given the belief of the poor KDE packaging on Ubuntu.

Tests were done in a standardized and reproducible manner.

Indeed, KDE Plasma out-of-the-box on openSUSE Tumbleweed gobbles up far less memory than under Ubuntu 17.04... The memory usage was over 500MB less with openSUSE over Ubuntu! The peak memory usage was more than a 700MB difference in this out-of-the-box comparison. On openSUSE this also puts the KDE Plasma desktop memory use lower than GNOME Shell. Even with the GNOME Shell desktop, the memory usage was just under 100MB lower than with Ubuntu 17.04.

The boot time to the auto-logged-in desktop was also much quicker for KDE on openSUSE while the GNOME booting experience was slightly slower than Ubuntu 17.04.

The KDE user-space components by default on Tumbleweed were far shorter than Ubuntu. More discussions in this lengthy thread.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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