KDE Activities vs Virtual Desktops vs Both

268307_389740747757019_285270731_nA long, long time ago, KDE was a simple a great desktop environment for use on Linux, but they started going off in weird directions that I couldn’t understand so I gravitated toward Linux Mint Mate. Now I’m back.

The problem I was having, even recently, was understanding what KDE’s Activities were. A lot of people complain that KDE is favoring Activities over Virtual Desktops and the KDE team say that Activities are the way to go.

Then there are those that wonder, “Aren’t ‘Activities’ just another way of implementing virtual desktops?”

I’m here today to tell you after using KDE Plasma 5 now for about 5 months I finally get it.

No, Activities are not virtual desktops. Yes, virtual desktops are essential. Activities make them even better.

Let’s say, by default, you have 4 virtual desktops, and you’ve set up your system so you can rotate between them with Ctrl-Alt-Right or Ctrl-Alt-Left.

Now, if you create another Activity, it will also have four virtual desktops, but a different set of virtual desktops. Therefore, you can have one set (aka Activity) with virtual desktops dedicated to entertainment where you watch videos, another Activity has four virtual desktops dedicated to following bitcoin prices, another Activity has four virtual desktops dedicated to downloading stuff, and so on.

Each Plasma Activity has its own set of virtual desktops. Each Activity can have different icons on their desktops, different backgrounds on their desktops, and so on.

It’s kind of like having whole different computer environments that you easily flip to and from with Superkey-Tab.

It’s brilliant. I’m back and I’m loving it.

Author: Wayne Boyd

Wayne Edward Boyd was born in Morristown, New Jersey in 1953. He is a published author, former ISKCON sannyasi, and traveler, having lived on 3 continents and visited 37 countries. He presently lives in Amarillo, Texas working as a correctional officer and has interests in photography, political science and astronomy.