I can’t believe it’s finally here, but KDE 4 has been pushed out the door! After about 8-months of rigorous testing of pre-release versions they have managed to get a stable edition of KDE 4 assembled and made available to the public.

I read a lot of information this morning in regards to KDE 4, and from what I can tell the general consensus is that anyone wanting to be on the bleeding edge of software will be running it. However, some people have been noticing that it’s a little slower than KDE 3.5, and for that reason a majority of the audience will hold off until KDE 4.1 is released. It’s kind of like waiting for Service Pack 1 to be released for Windows before you make the upgrade. Even Kubuntu 8.04, scheduled for release in April, is expected to have KDE 3.5 enabled by default, but it will include the KDE 4 packages so that users can make the switch.

Below you’ll find all kinds of information in regards to the new KDE 4. First off we take you through a rundown of the features. Then we give you step-by-step instructions on how to get KDE 4 setup in your existing Kubuntu installation, and finally we wrap things up with what the plans are for several different Linux distrubutions in regards to KDE 4. To get the ball rolling let’s flip through some of the cool new features offered in KDE 4:


  • Dolphin has replaced Konqueror as the default file manager, and initially I would have to say that it looks pretty nice. It almost reminds me of a Mac at first glance.

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    KDE4 Dolphin

  • Plasma breathes new life into the KDE widgets.

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    KDE4 Widgets

  • Application launcher fans rejoice! KRunner will let you run applications, open websites, and even do simple calculations.

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    KDE4 KRunner

  • KWin brings some more advanced window previews, which is useful for things like tiling all of your open windows. It can also be useful for managing your virtual desktops:

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    KDE4 Virtual Desktops

  • The Kickoff Start Menu is a drastic redesign from what you’re probably used to in KDE. It has a tabbed interface for quick access to your favorite applications, files on your computer, and more. Generally I think people will like it.

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    KDE4 Kickoff

–Kubuntu & KDE 4–

The Kubuntu team wanted to make it easy for anyone to try out the new KDE 4, and to do so they released a Live CD of Kubuntu 7.10 that is packaged with it. For those of you wanting to do this on your existing installation here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Remove previous KDE 4 packages, they are not compatible (apt-get remove kdelibs5 kde4base-data kde4libs-data)
  2. Add deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu gutsy main to your /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Install kde4-core, note that PPAs aren’t authenticated so you will likely get a warning when installing
  4. KDE 4 apps should appear in your KDE 3 K-menu or you can run a full session by selecting “KDE 4″ from your login manager.
  5. To avoid having to start a second X server for a full session install xserver-xephyr and run Xephyr :1 then and run /usr/lib/kde4/bin/startkde in the Xerphyr xterm.

–Distribution Status–

  • An alpha version of KDE4-based Arklinux 2008.1 is expected shortly after this release, with an expected final release within 3 or 4 weeks.
  • Debian KDE 4.0 packages are available in the experimental branch. The KDE Development Platform will even make it into Lenny. Watch for announcements by the Debian KDE Team. Rumours are that a Live CD is planned as well.
  • Fedora will feature KDE 4.0 in Fedora 9, to be released in April, with Alpha releases being available from 24th of January. KDE 4.0 packages are in the pre-alpha Rawhide repository.
  • Gentoo Linux provides KDE 4.0 builds on http://kde.gentoo.org.
  • Kubuntu packages are included in the upcoming “Hardy Heron” (8.04) and also made available as updates for the stable “Gutsy Gibbon” (7.10). A Live CD is available for trying out KDE 4.0. More details can be found in the announcement on Kubuntu.org.
  • Mandriva will provide packages for 2008.0 and aims at producing a Live CD with the latest snapshot of 2008.1.
  • openSUSE packages are available for openSUSE 10.3 (one-click install), openSUSE Factory (one-click install) and openSUSE 10.2. A KDE Four Live CD with these packages is also available. KDE 4.0 will be part of the upcoming openSUSE 11.0 release.

KDE 4 Announcement
Thanks for the tip Mohan!