Aashutosh

Embracing the 'bloat'.

Posted on Jun 27, 2021.

After riding the minimalism train for a while, I have decided to drop off and settle in the land of a full featured desktop environemnt - KDE Plasma.

Getting on the “anti-bloat” train, I replaced all my apps with minimal alternatives. While these apps were fun to use, very customizable, and light on system resources, they came at a cost - my time. I was spending too much time, more than I had wanted and imagined, to configure them to fit my needs, to create my custom workflow and a coherent system. All I found myself doing was editing config files out which I wasn’t learning much and my Linux system became a distraction.

Being obsessed with “anti-bloat” and “minimalism”, what I had forgotten was there were already apps and desktops out there, all free software, that fit my needs and worked out of the box. I had forgotten that there were lots of other stuff to learn and do than just edit config files.

Few weeks back, I messed up my Debian system while experimenting with the nix package manager and decided to do a clean install. This time I decided to give KDE Plasma a try and reluctantly pressed ‘y’ on the install prompt that asked me if I wanted to install nearly a thousand packages.

I always had a bias towards KDE considering how I disliked it without giving it much of a try. If it hadn’t been for the recent changes in the Gnome desktop, I probably would have installed Gnome instead. But to my surprise, I am really liking the Plasma desktop.

The desktop has a ton of features and is extremely flexible and customizable. Coming from a patched up minimal system, the full featured desktop feels really cozy and I am loving it. KDE also has a rich set of applications which are packed with features that fit my needs almost perfectly and also help maintain a coherent desktop. Almost everything works out of the box and configuring is no difficult than toggling a few options. The theming seems to be much better than how it was on GTK based desktops. I am also really impressed with the resource utilization considering how feature rich the desktop is.

The amount of time I spend configuring my system has drastically decreased. I now have more time on my hands which I have been spending on learning new stuff that are actually worthwhile and important to me than just obsessing over resource usage and package counts.