Lumina vs KDE - what’s the difference?


When I first got interest in FreeBSD about 4 years ago, I wanted to run KDE. I spent a week working on it but got smart and switched to TrueOS. I’m not a programmer so if the tutorial I’m following isn’t perfect it takes a lot of reading and research to figure it out. Well anyways TrueOS is great and easy, like Ubuntu. But I’m just wondering what the difference is between Lumina and KDE is/are.

I was disappointed to see the change from PC-BSD to TrueOS but honestly don’t know enough to know if it really matters. Thanks.


Searching for KDE or Lumina on this forum will present you with a lot of different views.
From a developer’s point of view the being in command of dependencies is an important factor. KDE is much more complicated in this way.
Typically I am looking at the desktop environment as a user. There you are running into all the different ‘feelings’. There are people utilizing the command line only because of all this bloat of any desktop environment or graphical user interface at all. Most people get used to a specific ‘look and feel’ of their working environment and are not appreciating any change. Look and feel is just different between KDE and Lumina. Over time I have used Open Box, Gnome 1+2, KDE, XFCE and now of course Lumina. No desktop environment was ever convincing enough for me to get married. :wink:


Will both environments run the same programs? As in the only thing I might be missing by not runnninf KDE is just being able to tailor the look and feel more?


The short answer is ‘No’.
For instance both environments have a file manager but they aren’t identical. If you search for ‘Dolphin’ here in this forum, you get a list of posts which give the impression that it is not trivial to use this KDE file manager on TrueOS. Applications like an office suit or a browser can be installed via AppCafe independent of any desktop environment.


I’ve been using KDE primarily since I started using PCBSD back in 2008 or so. I got used to KDE back then, gotta have my wobbly windows and desktop cube eye-candy, you know. Since the switch to TrueOS, one of the first things I do is install KDE through the appcafe, and go from there, usually without any problems. I know it “bloats” my system, but what’s the point of having capable hardware if you don’t use it? I also install the other DEs such as MATE, LXDE, Gnome, Enlightenment and Xfce just for demo purposes. I end up with lots of File Managers and browsers and system setting/control panels, but disk space is cheap so I don’t mind. I’ve always felt one of PCBSD/TrueOS’s strong points is its ability to have multiple DEs to choose from (instead of having to use a specific distribution to get the DE you want like in the Linux world), it’s about freedom of choice, right? This probably “pollutes” my systems somewhat, but I haven’t noticed any serious issues, generally speaking. Though one time I uninstalled googleearth, and it blew out the KDE install. Simply had to reinstall the KDE meta pkg, and I was back in business. Enlightenment locks up when i right-click and navigate the menus, but that same issue has been found in linux, so no big deal. In terms of attracting regular users to Open Source OSes, I think the main consideration for the average former Windows or Mac user is the DE. With TrueOS, you clearly have the most freedom of choice, and with things like Cairo-dock and highly configurable DEs, it’s easy to get a DE that you like, even something that looks and feels and works just like your favorite Windows or Mac version.


Thanks for sharing your insight. i wanted to set everything up the old fashioned way, freeBSD - Xwindows - KDE but I gave up after a week because I kept getting stuck and wasn’t worth it. So I just run TrueOS now. Hopefully in the time to come they continue to improve it. I might try out KDE, but we’ll see.


KDE is a complete GUI desktop environment that includes system control, management and administration utilities (mostly Linux aware), many native KDE applications and visual effects

Lumina is a basic GUI desktop environment with few native applications such as: Insight ( file manager), text editor, PDF viewer, file archive (for compression/decompression) and few other apps.
It has basic GUI desktop configuration, sysadmin and AppCafe to manage (install or deinstall) mixture of FreeBSD software applications.


Great discussion here. Being new to True, I only have Lumina DE and the other default (name escapes me). Now I see I can have some fun by trying some others!


I didn’t have fun trying out the others. I immediately uninstalled them. Long Live Lumina!


Did you try KDE?


Didn’t see your reply till just now, Hanz. I have used KDE on Manjaro, and it was very impressive, but it is probably too much for my system. It worked mostly fine, but xfce worked better so I went with that. Until I ran into a problem with Manjaro and Linux Lite. They don’t seem to like each other. I could only boot LL from my Ubuntu Mate grub menu.

But that was then. Now, I just have Linux Lite on one drive, Windows 7 on another and True on another. they are all HDD’s and not in the best of shape, so one system per disk may help with longevity.

I’ve decided that it makes sense to use the default DE with your system as much as possible. And since Lumina was created exclusively for True, why use a DE created for Linux? but that’s just me of course. Anyway, I’m happy with all three system at this point, except I’m going to have to reinstall True when the next version comes out, as I can’t fix the time sync problem, and have apparently deleted rc.conf from my system somehow in trying.


How manyy boot environments do you have? You can use the beadm command to mount a different boot environment. Once you do that, you simply go to whereever you mounted it, navigate to /etc and see if there is an rc.conf there. Then copy it to the current BE and modify as needed.


Well, I had to do more than that. My system finally stopped booting. The farthest I could get was to a non-gui page where I was able to log in, but beyond that is beyond my humble abilities at this point, although I did spend some time looking around. So I booted to “initial” kernal/boot environment, which booted but took me back to a much earlier stage. I had to run the update to the current version, which went fine. So now I’m back with a current and much less messed-up system, ready for more adventures. But I’m a bit leery of doing too much at this point. I may try the “workaround” (if you can call it that) of putting extra clocks on my screen, with time from different parts of the world. At least one of them will be right. Kind of fitting, since, like a broken clock, I’m right at least twice a day.


Boot environments (BE) are your friend, as you just found out.

you could always create a TEST BE, and tinker, knowing you have a good BE to roll back to


Great idea, I may do that, especially after “The Great Migration” occurs.