Joanna Rutkowska, a member of the Qubes OS project, has published today an interesting ticket to the list of issues for the upcoming Qubes OS 3.2 operating system on the project’s GitHub page.

In the respective ticket, Joanna Rutkowska talks about the promotion of Xfce 4.12 as default desktop environment for Qubes OS 3.2, the next major release of the GNU/Linux distribution based on Fedora Linux and built around the Xen hypervisor and other popular open source technologies.

Qubes OS usually ships with the KDE Plasma desktop environment, but Joanna Rutkowska confesses that they always wanted to get rid of it, but postponed it until later because of other important issues. Qubes OS 3.2 is currently in development, with a first RC (Release Candidate) version published for public testing.

After some rigorous tests, Joanna Rutkowska arrived at the conclusion that the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment on Qubes OS 3.2 is a total disaster and cannot be used by default on the installation ISO for end users to employ on their personal computers. She thinks that KDE Plasma is bloated, heavy on resources, unstable, and ugly.

“Meanwhile, we have released Qubes 3.2-rc1 with upgraded KDE to 5.x which, for me at least, looks like a total disaster… A disaster that must be worked around ASAP, i.e. before the final 3.2 release, IMHO. And the best we could do, I think, is to switch to Xfce4, which today works really well,” says Joanna Rutkowska.

Qubes OS 3.2 Release Candidate 2 should ship with Xfce 4.12

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with the latest KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment on the upcoming Qubes OS 3.2 distribution, we recommend reading the GitHub ticket (link above) in full to find out how Joanna Rutkowska arrived at the conclusion that Xfce 4.12 is better suited for their GNU/Linux distribution.

In the meantime, the project’s development team is hard at work preparing a second Release Candidate build, which should ship with Xfce 4.12 by default. Also, Joanna Rutkowska thinks that Qubes OS 4.0 should ship with Xfce4 as well, suggesting that it won’t make the switch to the GNOME desktop environment, as initially planned.

You can download Qubes OS 3.2 Release Candidate 1 right now via our website and take it for a test drive on your personal computer to see if KDE Plasma 5 is crashing so often or not, and report your experience on the Qubes OS project’s GitHub page. Check out the screenshot attached to see what Qubes OS 3.2 looks like with Xfce 4.12.

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