KDE on Cygwin: 2.2.2 Beta 1 Release Available

The KDE on Cygwin project, the project to port Qt and KDE to Windows, has announced the first beta release of KDE 2.2.2 for Cygwin and Cygwin/XFree86. At the moment they offer kdelibs and kdebase for download but it seems we can expect other packages like kdegames, kdepim and kdevelop in near future too.


by Koncerned User (not verified)

Kongratulations to the developers, KDE on windows is a very kool.
Konsider all the kool things you kan do when windows and kde apps koexist.
When the port is komplete, you kould run koffice right next to mikrosoft office and kopy and paste between them.
I kould finally run my favorite kalendaring software on windows.
Kreative developers will be able to kombine windows koding tools with kdevelop to quikkly kreate kool kode.
But I am koncerned this will make people use mikrosoft more.
Why konvert to linux when all the kde stuff is available on your mikrosoft os?

by CheeseHead (not verified)

Nice akcent :)

by . (not verified)


by big_question (not verified)

I am not a english native speaker - but either the previous poster is a troll - or he did not understood the comment. Or also possible - i misinterpreted his comments.

The comment: "nice akcent" refered to all the k-letters in the words (kode - code, kool - cool).

Just my 2 cent komment ;o)

If i understood the above wrong please korrect me.

Thanks for the great work to all KDE participants.

by me (not verified)

Well KDE for windows is sure alot slower than KDE for linux. Thats a reason why I would prefer to run it under Linux.

by Ian (not verified)

Its because of the cygwin emulation layer. Hopefully they'll be able to port the GPL Qt to Windows, and ditch cygwin and a X server at some point. Qt is obviously made to be ported relatively easily, though I'm sure its still a huge job.

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

A GPL Qt would do a lot of damage to Qt - a lot of their licenses are sold for in-house and/or bespoke products. If a GPLed alternative became available, people wouldn't have to by Qt anymore, the license revenue would crumble, and a very good and decent company would fall by the wayside. After all Qt has done for KDE and the free software community (there was never any great financial benefit to releasing the GPL version in the first place) it would be a shame to see the community then take them down.

Remember, without Trolltech, we'd have to update Qt ourselves. That's not an easy job, look how long Gnome 2's been in development - every aspect of it had to be done by the community, from glib up. KDE benefits from havning a professional company of what, 50 people, working 40 hours a week on it's core library.

I know I've said you don't need a reason to start coding, great stuff has come from people just looking to scratch an itch (look at the fish:/ and audiocd:/ io-slaves), but when there's a good reason to leave it alone, you should at least consider it.

by Julien Olivier (not verified)

GPL mean you can use it to make GPL apps. So, if anyone does a GPL version of QT for windows, nobody will be able to make proprieatry software with it, just GPL software. It's the same NOW on linux.

In fact, I think it's a shame Trolltech hasn't released a GPL version of QT for windows because I don't imagine anybody to pay in order to make GPL software.. it's a total abheration !

Conclusion: if Trolls are too stupid to understand that people won't pay to make GPL apps, make a windows version of QT for windows ! After all, nobody forced them to make a GPL version for Linux !

by Manfrodo (not verified)

The GPL says you must provide the source IF you distribute binaries.

A lot of Trolltech's clients use QT for in-house development (software used only whithin the company) so they could use the hypothetical GPL'd QT for Windows and not release the source.

by jmayer (not verified)

Just a few points:
1) You basically argue that a) the free (GPLed) version for Linux is being subsidized by the Windows users. b) A port of Linux Qt to Win (GPLed) would seriously hurt Trolltechs business. So, if one day (which comes soon hopefully) Linux achieves the goad of "world domination", Trolltech will loos it's source from thos inhouse users of Win Qt anyway. What will they do? If you are right with your assumptions, then they will stop subsidizing Linux and make version 4.0 (or 5.0 or ...) non GPLed. That's the time, when KDE will have to work on Qt anyway.
2) There are some open source applications, that should be available on Windows as well as on Linux that use Qt. These applications cannot be ported in a way that gives Win users their "look and feel", because it's currently XFrees look and feel instead. This is an obstacle many win users will not even attempt to master.

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

A lot of people don't seem to understand what I was on about. Most of Qt's business goes to programs developed in house, or programs developed by a company for a particular customer. It's not about making boxed products. In most cases the source is available anyway, if it's in-house it benefits everybody to have it, and for bespoke solutions (i.e. programs made to request) it's probably a part of the contract. That's why Qt non-commercial specifically states that you can't program with it in a company. If Qt/Win became GPL, it would make no difference to it's main customers, as they're usually making the source available for free anyway, so they could simply get the free GPL version (Qt might be able to charge, but everyone else could just copy it on, and it's been shown to be extremely difficult to make money from support).

As regards the loss of the Windows market, as Linux becomes more mainstream, more boxed software will be made available under proprietary licenses, and Qt should do well (though if the Free Software Foundations ideal comes to pass, Qt could find itself in trouble). I expect that the majority of Qt's money comes from Windows licenses.

As for making open-souce apps work on Windows, Windows users can get the look and feel by installing a theme. In a rootless X server running the WinXP theme for KDE most KDE apps would blend right in. Remember, a lot of the cheaper Windows applications don't look so homogenous. From the user's perspective a Cygwin system should look fine. Most Windows users who toy with the idea of installing Linux will have no problems with Cygwin.

by Philippe Fremy (not verified)

I used to think that too but I changed my mind: no company will buy a product without a license or without a support. Trolltech's CEO Eirik Eng once told me that something like 1/5 of their sales was for Unix inhouse development where the client obviously could have used GPL Qt.

And you'll get more with Trolltech's true Qt on windows, like the promising ActiveQt, than with a port that will always be late, doesn't provide support, is not commercially backed, ...

by Jerzu (not verified)

Do you have any special keyboard layout installed? I mean that when you press C, you get K :))? Such a layout should be default on the future verions of KDE, I think...


by shayne (not verified)

Here I was thinking I had to use a B! What a silly bunt I am.

(Badly paraphrased montypython joke.. yeahyeah, cant remember quite how it went!)

Now, back to that b++ code

by PraveenML (not verified)

Please help me how to start the KDE ?
I have downloaded and installed the KDE cygwin directory but after that what i should do to start the KDE what files I need to have to start the KDE ?
Please help me
Thanks in advance


by El Loco (not verified)

I don't get it. Why have KDE on Windows? KDE was originally designed for Linux, which is far better anyway! I think you can do kooler things when windows doesn't exist on your machine.

by AntiX (not verified)

I would still convert to linux anyways, I have had much better experience with linux then any windoze box.

by DestroyerOfMidgets (not verified)

I like the idea cause there are apps in linux that I wish to use at work but it is frowned upon to change your OS at work with out permission from god. I just wish I could get Ksimus to work on this in win2k :)

by Anonymous (not verified)
by Julien Olivier (not verified)


I don't understand something:

Why does it need an X server for it to work on Windows ?
I mean why not just use QT for Windows to compile KDE ? Is it a legal problem or a technical one ?

by Anonymous (not verified)

> Why does it need an X server for it to work on Windows ?


by HB (not verified)

Yeah. It's cool... but who cares ? That not I don't want kde on windows, I just don't want windows - until it's open sourced of course. These people should work on koffice to push it at the required level instead of wasting their time (IMHO, they don't what they want...).
Some tell that "it would ease the migration later... blah blah". It's bullshit: it won't show really what linux can do and just make people keep windows. Again, what gnu/linux should do is improve until it's really superior to other os/software. Then, the choice _will_ be obvious. And meanwhile, don't bother marketing or such: again, when it will be really superior (and I found the KDE framework full of potential for evolution, next step IMHO = full DBMS integration + at least partial switch to functional programming with strong typing in key components), it'll be the truth.
Believe me, boys and girls.

by Bryan Feeney (not verified)

There's two reasons why this is beneficial. First it provides an easy non-destructive way for a windows user to experience the Linux desktop. Most people balk at the idea of partitioning their disk and installing a completely new operating system on it. This gives them a reason to give it a go.

Secondly, there is work on a rootless windows version of X - this would allow KDE applications to operate transparently alongside Windows applications, which would allow more people to try them out, and, again give them more incentive to go for the whole thing.

Finally, why on earth should anyone have to do anything for a good reason? If you've got an itch, scratch it and be proud ;-)

by Andy Wingo (not verified)

I agree. Although personally it's difficult to get beyond the feeling of 'wasting time' on the win32 port, I also remember trying out litestep (an afterstep clone for windows) five years ago on my w95 box. It was like a gateway drug, I've been linux-only for the last four years :-))

cheers, wingo.

by Stof (not verified)

I think KDE's slowness on Windows can only hurt KDE's image. We all know most Windows users are not that smart (and that's an understatement). When they notice KDE's slowness, they will only think "KDE is slow, KDE is Linux software, so Linux must suck."

by ac (not verified)

What about GNOME's general suckiness? Could that hurt KDE's image? I think it's unfair too.

by Ranger Rick (not verified)

Yeah, rootless will make this pretty usable -- it's great on OSX (http://www.befunk.com/~ranger/osx-kde/).

by Anonymous (not verified)

Great to hear you make big progress. And nice shots!

by J (not verified)

Right. Additionally, the reason I would have is a little more contained within developer circles. Porting any software to another disparate operating system, such as the win32 platform, uncovers a lot of weaknesses that, when found and fixed, can make it run even faster and smoother on all platforms. For example, Habacker found that Unix Domain Sockets were heavily used and relied on for inter-process communication. These discoveries and more usually don't come without a some-what reworked port of a software package by a different set of people. Whether something is learned and applied to the HEAD branch ... well, good luck to Habacker and team!

by Ian (not verified)

If KDE was a company, and you could move around people at will then you could argue that (though I still think you'd be wrong.) As it is, people are scratching their itch, which happens not be a office suite for KDE (or at least not their biggest of more interesting itch, if we take the analogy too far).

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

What about companies IT rules ? Changing os isn't possible for bigger companies (expect you are the person who defines this rules), but introducing a new application by an administrator is quite easier.

So the strategy is to introduce some kde apps for specific needs and to extend the base of installed kde apps.

One day, it may be possible to delete explorer and set konqueror/kdesktop/kicker as default browser/desktop/... and than swithing the "backend" to another os like linux is not such a big task like it is now.


by Stof (not verified)

How's Windows KDE's performance compared to Linux KDE?
Is it faster or much slower?

by Jeff (not verified)

While I havent tried it out myself, I fully expect it to be slower. The reason is because there are some "go-betweens" between KDE and Windows namely X and cygwin. Essentially your computer would have to work harder since theres all those translation steps between KDE and Windows.

by hbc (not verified)

It is significantly slower at starting apps. Once the app has started it is not too bad. It takes about 6 mins for startkde to complete on 500Mhz NT box with 1G of RAM.

The KDE1 version is a lot faster but still slower than a native environment.

by Maarten Rommerts (not verified)

Uh, you really mean 6 minutes? Perharps a spellerror (meant to be 6 seconds)?
And if it is 6 minutes, is everything installed right and works everything correctly?

If this really is the case this sort of staruptimes are normal with very powerfull and fast computers THEN KDE ON WINDOWS REALLY SUCKS!!!!!


by hbc (not verified)

Thats 6 minutes (no spelling error). Everthing is installed and works correctly though (even the sound).

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

This was only true for a pre alpha release. The beta release starts much faster (I have measured about 2 minutes (30 second for the second start) for the whole desktop on a PIII 733 MHZ Toshiba laptop).


by cylab (not verified)

1) its his fun project, so he will continue even if you continue to give such dumb comments.

2) if any developer will stop coding, because his code does not perform the way he wishes at the beginning, we wouldnt have any software at all. (anybody say mozilla :) )

3) i like it. particular in combination with remote x-sessions where no full blown x/window manager is installed.

4) if it runs, it runs.. i usually start my pc once and use it all day, so the 6 extra minutes for startup are marginal.

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

> 4) if it runs, it runs.. i usually start my pc once and use it all day, so the 6 extra minutes for startup are marginal.

... and this works also with laptop standby modes (expect combined with screen resolution changes on xfree currently), so you have to start only once a week or less.

BTW: Why does windows need so much time to start if many applications are installed ?
Answer: In the boot process they preload all the needed dll's, so that application starting time is usable. If this is similar done for kde, than the loading time is like the value for second starting.

Enjoy kde-cygwin

by Andy M (not verified)

Is anyone else having a problem starting the DCOP Server?

While the KDE Splash Screen is flashing the, "Setting up interprocess communication" icon, I look at the Cygwin bash window that I type "startx" from, and see:

kdeinit: Launched DCOPServer, pid = 562 result = 0
_KDE_IceTransmkdir: Owner of /tmp/.ICE-unix should be set to root
iceauth: creating new authority file /cygdrive/c/.ICEauthority
DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
DCOPServer self-test failed.
kdeinit: DCOPServer could not be started, aborting.
kdeinit: launch -> dcopserver --nosid

This repeats 2 more times, then the X window shows a dialog that says, "There was an error setting up inter-process communications for KDE. The message returned by the system was: Could not read network connection list. /cygwin/c/.DCOPserver__-0. Please check that the "dcopserver" program is running!". Click on OK, and the X window shuts down.

I can start X with another window manager, but I can't run most KDE applications (Konsole fights with this problem, but then starts up, anyway).

Thanks for any help,
- Andy

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

See http://cygwin.kde.org for howtos and mailing lists relating to the kde-cygwin project. I think this isn't the right place to ask for installation support.

by Hunter Oaks (not verified)

Ralf, this issue is widespread (appearently anyway) and is *not* addressed on the website that you list, nor on http://www.cygwin.com - Why NOT ask here?

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

There are several thread in the kde-cygwin mailing list relating to this topic for example see http://lists.kde.org/?l=kde-cygwin&w=2&r=1&s=dcopserver&q=b


by mike (not verified)

Did you ever find a solution to this? I noticed the QA deal, but that didn't seem to help me...

by Doug E (not verified)

Mike/Andy - I fixed this by remounting root as binary (using the -b option). mount -m will list the mounts...


by Alex (not verified)

All your doing is giving windows users no reson to switch to Linux! FOols

by Ralf Habacker (not verified)

do you not know that some company have IT rules, which defines the type os operation system ?

I have a real example of a german company with 150.000 employees, in which desktop system have to be windows. If I would tell them to use linux, the will ask me "What about the costs for re-educating all the employees" and "What about all our running applications, could we use them under linux ?" And today the linux desktop isn't ready to migrate immediatly. What about all the administrators, who have knowledge only about windows ? They need time to learn linux, so my strategy is to adopt linux as server platform, so that the administrators have time to learn, how linux works and second to provide linux applications (through cygwin and kde) onto the windows desktop, so that the user s can learn how it feels and how it works. If the admin are ready to admin linux and the users feel comfortable with linux application, is seems easy to pull away the underlaying os, isn't it ?

Of course, there may be brute force way to bring linux to the users, but I feel more comfortable with this described way, additional because, as I know, companies does not change it's desktop structure very quickly.


by atomico (not verified)

I completely agree with Ralf. I will describe the environment where I work:
Huge company (50.000 employees). I work in a R&D unit where we develop telecomms software. Although our sw runs in a 'sort of' UNIX environment, we are forced to use windows in our desktops. The only solution if you want to have your trusted command-line tools? Cygwin.
Furthermore, I have discovered that running X on top of Cygwin beats much more expensive X-windows clients. My company licenses one called 'ViewNow', which is terrible.
Would I be happier with a modern Linux distro? No doubt.
Is it realistic to expect it too happen? Not until Microsoft Project and many other tools run there.

I am impressed by the great job done with Cygwin. Thanks a lot!

by Sandro (not verified)

It's OK for me!!! (Win95)

by saurabh naik (not verified)

I was getting the similer problem and was not able to login in KDE
now please tell me what is dcopserver is all about and why such a
problem occurs.