KDE Software Compilation 4.4.0 Introduces Netbook Interface, Window Tabbing and Authentication Framework

KDE Official News

Today KDE announces the immediate availability of the KDE Software Compilation 4.4, "Caikaku", bringing an innovative collection of applications to Free Software users. Major new technologies have been introduced, including social networking and online collaboration features, a new netbook-oriented interface and infrastructural innovations such as the KAuth authentication framework. According to KDE's bug-tracking system, 7293 bugs have been fixed and 1433 new feature requests were implemented. The KDE community would like to thank everybody who has helped to make this release possible.

Read the Official KDE SC 4.4.0 Announcement and the Visual Guide To KDE Software Compilation 4.4 for more details on the improvements in 4.4.


Way cool, and about time, I couldn't take the waiting anymore! Congrats everyone :D

By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:20pm

Congratulations everyone! Six hard months of rocking now out!

By Luca Beltrame at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:21pm

I think this is the best KDE release so far!
Improved performance, improved artwork, improved usability, more features, less bugs,.. you get the idea. :-)

By Frank Karlitschek at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:26pm

Congrats on the new release!

- Plasma still far from usable. I get this when I try to configure it:


And, what's even worse, in my bug report Aaron said everything is behaving as intended: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=221473
Well, if that's intended, then yes, I was correct before - plasma (still) sucks :(

- I still don't see a way to print odd/even pages in print dialog :-(
- No global multikey shortcuts yet :-(
- Tons of new eyecandy
- Window tabbing, really nice :-)


By vedranf at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:28pm

come on the tarballs are live only minutes and you start complainig about stability? not a very convincing troll...

By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:40pm

that post was there before the tarballs were...
Come on people... don't moan at devs on the news page.

By Jeffery MacEachern at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:42pm

Sorry, but svn is always accessible. You can call me a troll, but image doesn't lie, nor the developer's response on bugs.kde.org.


By vedranf at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 2:46pm

I don't have any issues with global shortcuts, and clearly printing odd/even pages is also supported:


By Sebastian Kügler at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 3:14pm

Multikey global shortcuts do not work. That's confirmed for a long time:


About printing. It is possible that I did something wrong during compile, but that dialog is not what I got few days ago when i compiled kdelibs/kdebase. Maybe I need to rm -rf ~/.kde.


By vedranf at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 3:22pm

You need to be running CUPS locally at runtime for Odd/Even to be enabled. Do you also have the other CUPS features like n-up and banner pages showing?

By odysseus at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 4:23pm

CUPSd? Nope, only client, CUPSd server is on another machine. Could that be the problem? For the second question I'll check later as I'm not near that machine now.


By vedranf at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 5:30pm

Yes, our cups detection routine is very primitive, it detects cups by trying to connect to localhost:631, so remote servers are missed. But I guess I could improve that now by copying the Qt detection routine, now that it's LGPL. Stay tuned :-)

By odysseus at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 9:43am

OK, thanks. Easy fix for 4.4.1 would be to detect cupsd by connecting not to localhost but to whichever server is present in the ServerName directive of the /etc/cups/client.conf.

By vedranf at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 10:16am

Hmm, that could be a good way, would just need to look through the full list of possible locations for the file and parse the file correctly. The full Qt method requires building against cups and calls to cups directly to check a dozen different things work, which we obviously can't add in a bugfix release. It would just be easier if Qt exposed what print engine it was using through the api.

By odysseus at Thu, 2010/02/11 - 10:15am

Actually, it's easier than that :-) I've just remembered a particular behavior of the Qt printing system that differs between cups and lpr which I can query to see which mode it is running in. Easy peasy.

By odysseus at Thu, 2010/02/11 - 11:20am

As I said in that bug report, we are aware that the ZUI for activities is not workable. The reasons are multiple and include:

* not being able to do nice transitions, so the zooming is really just a change from one mode to another which makes it harder to grasp what just happened when "zooming out"

* when there is per-virtual-desktop activities it gets tricky since you can see all the activities for all desktops there

* when there is more than one monitor, a similar thing arises

* to make sense of the ZUI, the user needs an internal mental model of activities that they can then map to a spatial representation; this is not as common as hoped for :)

as a results, in trunk (which will become 4.5 eventually) the ZUI for activities has been completely removed.

all of that said, to call plasma unusable due to that one feature is hyperbole.

By Aaron Seigo at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 9:59pm

Aaron, since zui for activities is not working (and is due to be removed in 4.5), how do you manage activities (i.e. add, remove, set activity per desktop, etc.) in 4.4?

By cirehawk at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 11:51pm

He say it's not workable, not that it's not working.

By that it seems he means that it works in a no-optimal and cumbersome way, with several issues and bad handling of corner cases. Like the parents dual screen setup. In short it does not fulfill the Plasma teams vision for activities and the handling of them, and they need to develop a different approach.

By Morty at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 12:15am

I understand your point, but for the purposes of my question, the difference in "not working" and "not workable" is only semantics. If zui works in a cumbersome way, my question still remains if there is another way to manage activities in 4.4? That question is not meant to point out a flaw, but rather the opposite. i like "per desktop" activities and am looking for the best way to manage them at this point.

By cirehawk at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 1:24am

in 4.4, you can either use the Activity Bar Plasmoid, or you can go to the Activity Settings (right click or click on the desktop toolbox -> Activity Settings) and in the Mouse Actions panel you can select the Switch Activity plugin and then associate it with what trigger you wish (mouse scroll wheel, right click, etc)

By Aaron Seigo at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 4:30am

I always want to use Activities (as in different screens with different widgets) .. but atm it is just too many clicks so I don't.

Will 4.5 have something simpler? Easier to understand. More like gnome-shell. You press one button and you see your activities and you can put widgets on them and delete one or add a new one.
I would really appreciate that.

But 4.4 is a great release no matter what, so keep up the great work guys!

By kragil at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 9:11am

I don't know about others, but for me there's nothing which is hard to grasp about activities. I said unusable because every time I tried to configure it, I've got what you see on that screenshot. Only way to get working plasma configuration with activities was to edit plasma-desktop-appletsrc by hand and chmod it a-w.

By vedranf at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 10:11am

The best KDE EVER :D

By pinheiro at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 3:06pm

The KDE SC is developing at a pace nowadays, it is ridiculous. This is one hell of a release!

By Dennis Martin Herbers at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 3:08pm

With every release, KDE just keeps on surpassing itself. The 4.4 release looks awesome with new cool features like window tabbing, improvements in many areas (maybe I'll finally enable Nepomuk) and overall polish. Excellent.

Congratulations and thanks everyone!

Oh, and don't forget that you can post release kudos over at the forums: http://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=77&t=85699 (registering not needed)

By Hans Chen at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 3:40pm

Now that 4.4 has been released, is there a place (besides trunk) where I can easily get the new wallpapers? They look awesome.

By Raúl Gómez Muñoz at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 5:10pm

You can download them directly using websvn. What more would you need?

The best way of course is to install 4.4.0, so you get all the other goodness "around" it as well :)

By Sebastian Kügler at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 11:43am

Just a shame that kde 4 still have problem with duel head
this make it unusable for me.
But as soon as "there is no dbus session bus that matches the x.org
display and so all dbus calls fail and therefore the unique apps also fail"- problem has gone I will upgrade asap. KDe 3.5 as beginning to age

By beer at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 5:25pm

Beer, I know that you are going to dump me for this as always but I will not stop until you get it. It's not duel (a challenge), it's dual (double) head.
I know that you are not English speaking so I am just trying to help a bit ;)

By Bobby at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 9:58pm

I might add that many people use dualhead in Xinerama mode, and that this seems to work just fine. I've personally been using Plasma on my dual-screen setup since before 4.0, and while there were problems in the early stages, I've been very happy with its dualhead support.

I've multiple panels (one on each screen that shows only the windows active on that particular screen, KWin behaves well and performance with compositing is just fine.

Nothing to complain about dual-head from my side, YMMV.

By Sebastian Kügler at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 11:46am

Normal I have one x session on each screen and I would choce that solution over Xinerama.
I have 4 reasons to do that:
When I start a program I expect that program to start on that screen where I started it and not where I closed it last time.
When I tab I would only see the program I am working with eg those program I have on the middle screen and not on my screen to the left and the right.
A few games have problem with running on full screen in Xinerama mode. (they use all 3 screen instead of 1). There might be a solution for this.
Last time I tried to play around with Xinerama mode I could not set it up becosue I have 1 graphic cards to take care of scren to the right and left and another card to take care of the screen in the middle and I could not get help online.

I plan to stay with kde 3.5 on my desktop to either I get enough knowledge to settup kde in another way that I like, that black screen problem with kde 4 is solved or I am forced to find something else. By forced I mean that squzed is released I cannot use kde 4 by then

By beer at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 3:05pm

What is the status of the Plasma Netbook Interface? I read before that it was going to be a technological preview, but i haven't find this information in the release announcement

By Raúl Gómez Muñoz at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 5:43pm

It's not a technical preview. It's new, a first release, but it is stable and usable - or should be ;-)

By Jos Poortvliet at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 7:15pm

...it is classified as Tech Preview in the sense that is good enough to be released, but not necessarily "done" in that the developers still have big plans for it. This sort of thing might also come with a disclaimer, but I haven't actually seen one in this case. That said, I used Kubuntu's backport of it several months ago (which is old code now), and it was quite functional and stable, if still a bit rough around the edges at that point. I would expect that it would be perfectly usable now, and I'd encourage you to try it.

EDIT: sorry, my mistake. Last I heard they were still calling it a Tech Preview, but apparently not anymore. Sorry for the confusion.

By Jeffery MacEachern at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 7:22pm

Which distribution should I choose to enjoy a decent KDE4 implementation?

I have always been a KDE fan, I started using it regularly in the KDE2 days. Since the advent of KDE4 finding a good KDE distribution seems really impossible. Each time a new release of KDE comes out, I start the usual distro hopping madness looking for a reasonable KDE user experience, but I always end up going back to Mint (and Gnome).

I'm convinced the problem is not in KDE itself, which I greatly prefer over Gnome, but in distro implementations. The last KDE distro I tried was Opensuse 11.1, but after about a week I had to surrender and go back to Mint - again.
The ease of use, consistency, stability, polish and most of all SPEED of Mint/Gnome is vastly superior to Opensuse/KDE and Mandriva/KDE. Oh, and don't get me started on Kubuntu, those people seem to be actively boycotting KDE for some reason. And unfortunately Mint/KDE builds on Kubuntu, so it basically is a (less ugly) pile of crap.

So please help me out: I want to use KDE, but I also want a distro that simply works out of the box and manages to stay out of my way while I work (in other words, I need Mint. With KDE).

Does anything like that exist?

By Marcello at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 11:31pm

Since your last try was some while ago and OpenSUSE 11.1 was KDE 4.1.3 based, so lots have improved since then.

As for recommendations, I'd say Mandriva 2010 or OpenSUSE 11.2. Perhaps Fedora 12 or even Slackware 13.0.

By Morty at Tue, 2010/02/09 - 11:57pm

My mistake, my last try was with Opensuse 11.2 (KDE 4.3.4 IIRC). Then I switched to Mint8, which had more or less just been released.

On another forum people suggested I try Arch or Pardus. Any thoughts?

By Marcello at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 8:37am

Can't you just install kde on mint?

i'm still happy with opensuse and kde4: quite fast, well integrated and mature.

mandriva and kde4 also works very nice on my netbook, but opensuse's version is further developed in some areas.

By whatever noticed at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 12:02am

Mint/KDE builds on Kubuntu, so it's a no-go. I think that not even the brilliant Mint developers could obtain anything usable from Kubuntu...

By Marcello at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 8:39am

Come now. To start with the same codebase that everyone else uses and then produce an unmitigated pile of junk would require genius of the highest order.

I've used both Kubuntu 9.10 and OpenSUSE 11.2, and the differences are nothing like you describe. (Anti-disclaimer: I am _not_ a Kubuntu developer.) Bugs are frequently reproducible across distros. That's one good reason to be excited about 4.4 (which I haven't yet tried myself).

By tangent at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 12:21pm

My distro of preference is PCLinuxOS. Since they pride themselves on the principle of "it just works", they held off on implementing KDE4 until they deemed it stable enough. In the meantime, I used Mandriva and it has performed very well. However, a new release of PCLinuxOS is eminent and it will use KDE4.4 and it looks impressive (I've played with the testing packages for a while), so I'm about to switch back to PCLOS. I'd say give those 2 a try.

By cirehawk at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 1:18am

I would recommend Linux From Scratch.

The build instructions are here:


That way you don't have to worry about anyone screwing up KDE.

By James Richard Tyrer at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 6:05am

Hehe, if I had the time I'd probably try that. But if Openuse / Mandriva developers which are way more intelligent than myself can't do a satisfactory job, I doubt I could.

Your suggestion was ironic, right?

By Marcello at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 8:43am

are the best choices from my experiences.

ARCH is indeed very slick. it comes with decent KDE packages and you can also install KDEMOD (which is a "pimped" version of KDE)

OpenSUSE is also very good. The Suse people did a splendid job to provide a great KDE feeling. Even Firefox and Openoffice have KDE dialogs, Yast is based on Qt. This is really polished. But, it might be the most heavyweight distro of all three...

Mandriva is the good bet in the middle. Also very polished, not so heavyweight, but not so slick like Arch...

By thomas at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 3:12pm

OpenSuse has the best implementation of KDE 4 and the most polished one IMO. It also integrates the GTK applications very nicely in the KDE4/Qt environment.
I haven't tried Mandriva for a while now but it was also very good that last time I tried it. I would also say that these two are the best KDE distros.

By Bobby at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 9:33am

mandriva is great, but doesn't offer bleeding edge kde.
i read somewhere that kde 4.4. won't arrive to mandriva, until kde 4.4.1.

By whatever noticed at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 11:23am

Turns out that mandriva decided to release kde 4.4 unofficially on ftp.kde.org:


By whatever noticed at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 8:19pm

After 10 years of running linux, KDE4 4.4 has blown me completely of my feet. I saw Jos' Poortvliets demo on Linuxworld in Utrecht, I dreamt, followed openSUSE Factory packages, saw it mature and now it's there. Take a couple of days, get the feel, configure and use Nepomuk, the Launch and Search activity, woooooow.

Cheers to all who made this possible

By Gertjan Lettink at Wed, 2010/02/10 - 9:00pm

I wish I could use KDE at work but alas, not possible yet.
I do use it at home and I do want to send some gratitude to all of you who work on this.
Thanks for the new release.

By osh at Thu, 2010/02/11 - 10:09am