Do I Have Kde Or Gnome


Have you ever wondered which desktop environment you are using on your Linux system? As a Linux user myself, I understand the importance of having a desktop environment that suits your needs and preferences. In this article, I will guide you through the process of determining whether you have KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment. I will also provide some personal insights and commentary along the way.


Linux is known for its flexibility and customizability, allowing users to choose from a wide range of desktop environments. Two of the most popular options are KDE and GNOME. Both offer unique features and design philosophies, so it’s important to know which one you are using.

Determining Your Desktop Environment

To determine whether you have KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment, you can start by looking at the login screen. Most Linux distributions display the name or logo of the desktop environment on the login screen.

If you are unsure or want to verify your desktop environment after logging in, you can use the following methods:

1. Checking the Processes

Open a terminal and type the following command:

ps -ef | grep -i kde or ps -ef | grep -i gnome

If you see any processes related to KDE, such as “kwin” or “plasmashell”, then you have KDE. On the other hand, if you see processes like “gnome-shell” or “nautilus”, then you have GNOME.

2. Checking the Installed Packages

You can also check the installed packages on your system to determine your desktop environment. Open a terminal and type the following command:

dpkg -l | grep kde or dpkg -l | grep gnome

If you see packages with names containing “kde” (e.g., “kde-plasma-desktop” or “kde-frameworks-core”) installed, then you have KDE. Similarly, if you see packages with names containing “gnome” (e.g., “gnome-shell” or “gnome-control-center”) installed, then you have GNOME.

3. Checking the System Settings

Both KDE and GNOME have their own system settings panels where you can customize various aspects of your desktop environment. Open the system settings panel and look for any indicators that mention either KDE or GNOME.

If you have trouble finding the system settings panel or want a more detailed guide on how to navigate it, you can refer to the official documentation for your specific distribution.

Personal Commentary

As someone who has used both KDE and GNOME extensively, I can provide some personal insights into these desktop environments.

KDE is known for its feature-rich nature and highly customizable interface. It offers a wide range of options to tweak and personalize your desktop environment to your heart’s content. However, this level of customization can sometimes feel overwhelming for new users or those who prefer a simpler user experience.

On the other hand, GNOME takes a more streamlined and minimalist approach. It aims to provide a clean and intuitive interface while still offering essential customization options. GNOME’s focus on simplicity and ease of use makes it a popular choice for many users, especially those who value a clutter-free desktop.


In conclusion, determining whether you have KDE or GNOME as your desktop environment can be done by checking the login screen, processes, installed packages, or system settings. Both KDE and GNOME have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to choose the one that aligns with your preferences and workflow.

Remember that the choice of a desktop environment is a personal one, and what works best for someone else may not necessarily work for you. Experimenting with different desktop environments can be a fun and educational experience, allowing you to discover new features and workflows that enhance your Linux experience.