KDE 4.0-alpha1 Released: "Knut"

The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the first alpha release of the
KDE Desktop Environment, version 4.0. This release is a basis for the integration of powerful new
technologies that will be included in KDE 4. Read on for more details.

Highlights of KDE 4.0 Alpha 1 are:

  • A new visual appearance through Oxygen
  • New frameworks to build applications with, providing vastly improved
    hardware and multimedia integration (through Solid and Phonon), spelling and grammar checking, to name just a few
  • New applications that focus on a smooth user experience, such as Dolphin, the file manager, and Okular, the document viewer

KDE 4.0 Alpha 1 marks the end of the addition of large features to the KDE base libraries and shifts the focus onto integrating these new technologies into applications and the base desktop. The
next few months will be spent on bringing the desktop into shape after two years of frenzied development leaving very little untouched.

The final release of KDE 4.0 is expected in late October 2007.

The work on the framework makes application development easier and more satisfying. This will result in a crop of new features and applications over the next few years, underlining the position KDE holds as the leading Free Desktop and bringing Free Software to new users worldwide. A detailed release schedule can be found at, the new technical resource accompanying the platform, that provides extensive and high-quality documentation about KDE.

More information such as screenshots and installation instructions can be found in the KDE 4.0-alpha1 Visual Guide.


First post! Everyone should post suggested KDE 4 alpha T-shirt designs here.

By Adriaan de Groot at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

A T-Shirt with Konqi on it, wearing a T-Shirt with the words "I Knut" in it :)

By Kevin Krammer at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

How about a T-shirt of Konqui wearing a T-shirt of Konqui wearing a T-shirt of Konqui wearing... until you run out of resolution ;)

By Godji at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

How about simply "i Knut" ? :P

By zonk at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

No, no. See, now I have to hurt you. Like the attached T-shirt.

By Adriaan de Groot at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

I got an advanced preview of this visionary artwork and had a tough time keeping my mouth shut until Ade unveiled it.

It's like staring into the face of God. If God were 8-bit anyway.

By Wade Olson at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Yeah this Tshirt is so cool, and the text on it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By [email protected] at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Sorry folks I don't agree with this picture.!!
I think we must keep our image away of nasty sex behaviours.
That tool looks like a german sex toy by Beate Uhse.

By Yuri Romanov at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

The tool is looks like something generally used to scrub toilets. Maybe thats where your mind is? ;P

Though some scrubbers used to clean dishes also look similar to that, but are generally much smaller than the toilet version and have more of the thingies (give me a break, I just woke up like 5 minutes ago!)

By Sutoka at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Cute but does it give the correct image? It doesn't give credit to the professionalism or quality of the work done by the KDE team, it gives the opposite impression that KDE is immature. I cringe at things like "firsty fawn" etc at it sounds so childish - in-jokes always do when launched on the unsuspecting public. Unfortunately most of the people with buying power in the internatinal bank i work in dismiss products with labels like "Fiesty Fawn" etc as not serious and therefore don't deserve any attention.
I may have missed some hounour in this thread about this shirt (i still haven't had my first tea of the day yet), apologies if I have.

But thanks to all the KDE development team for the fantastic product, it is still the best out of all the desktop enviromonents.

By Ian at Sun, 2007/05/13 - 5:00am

Well, The Knut release IS immature, is it not? Furthermore, as such it is not meant for wider public (at least I thought there was some mention of Alpha there...)

Summa summarum, I see no problem giving it an impression of being immature :)

By Tuomas Nurmi at Mon, 2007/05/14 - 5:00am

I Want a T-Shirt with Konqi eating a dolphin on a skewer.

By G Child at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

LOL! Nobody forces you to use Dolphin. Konqueror is still out there, and Krusader is going to start their KDE 4 port soon too.

And you do know that that would be promoting illegal behavior (eating an animal of a protected species), right? ;-)

By Kevin Kofler at Sun, 2007/05/13 - 5:00am

Damn, that's a typo just waiting to happen! :)

By anon at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

you mean knuth, like donald knuth?

or, omfg, no you can't! you do mean Kant!?


By Gregor at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Especially in polish language. The first two words that I thought about were:
"knur" - meaning "boar", or (colloquially and somewhat offensive) "swine".
"knot" - meaning "something fscked up" ;).
Not too nice associations, I think :P.

By Name at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

It's probably closest to "knot" then.

Knut is an adorable little polarbear that made the news a couple of weeks ago, and since that bugger's got its own wikipedia page, we're tapping into his popularity:

By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Well, my bad. It's the first time I heard about that bear. But the article you pointed mentioned that the zoo has trademarked "Knut". Won't there be any problems for KDE stemming from this? ;)

By Name at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

I'm looking forward to reading articles like "Zoo sues Free Software Project" or "Sue zoos ..."

It must be Friday.

By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

"Polarizing Knut: Illegal Use of Imagery Unbearable and Seals Fate"

Triple Pun FTW.

By Wade Olson at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

best comment ever. thumbs up wade.

By eol at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

How the heck can one trademark a name? Knut was the name of a king of Denmark and England (anglicized as Canute). It didn't appear with this bear. To what does the trademark apply? Pairings of the name with the image of a bear? I suppose it's like restricting usages of the name McDonald that have to do with food. It would suck to be a resterateur named McDonald or a computer software guy named Mike Rowe ;) (I know)

By jason at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

By gizz at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Excellent :) And from following links: laffo @ knutwurst, knutella and bärate uhse

By jason at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Knut is so cute ~ he will always be in my heart. I think it's great they have named this alpha after him... He is incredible cute - And the polarbear lives on the other side of the world than the penguin... But: Does this mean - that KDE is working completely into the other direction of the usual linux-world-philosophy? i am confused.

@[email protected]

Greets from "Knut"-Germany,

By alexa at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Thank you! But why do you mention polarbears ?

By Knut Mork at Mon, 2007/05/14 - 5:00am

Reminds me of my recents german week-end in Rheinland :

1°) Knut everywhere, and clearly too much for me...
2°) Sporgel everywhere, it's a pity there were so much of it & I ate so few, I'm a wreck !
3°) Grönemeyers 12, just catch it & leave the country :)

I think KDE will remain quite German-Styled in meeting locations as in cultural references and I can't see why it should not be good !!

By Jean-Alex Silvy at Mon, 2007/05/14 - 5:00am

Could it be a tribute to Trolltech's "community manager" Knut Yrvin? I mean, Trolltech produces Qt, which is essential to KDE ...

Here's some short info about Knut:

By Not Knut at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Knut is a nordic name, and my name =p
Seeing Knut as the codename for a KDE alpha put a smile on my face on a rather miserable day =)

By Knut Ness at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Were they thinking "Knut", as the male name, or the more KDE-mandatory K-as-frontal-letter-ification of "nut", "Knut" (K-nut).

They're all (K)nuts!!

By Un-knut at Sun, 2007/05/13 - 5:00am

konqi t-shirt.. i'm happy to render out version of him wearing (or not wearing) anything, so just let me know! I already have some quite strange poses of him in KDE4 fashion... but no place really to put them.


By basse at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Can you send them to me? I'm always happy to collect artwork, and would be delighted to be able to nag you about new stuff. :-)

By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

How about a Konqi wearing an Oxygen mask, playing with a Dolphin...

By Andre at Mon, 2007/05/14 - 5:00am

The projected final release date, according to the above release schedule:

"2.4.12 October 23, 2007: Targeted Release Date"

And the chemist in me celebrates! Yay for Mole Day!

I sure hope that they release at 6:02 in the morning! ;-)

By Kris Kerwin at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

That's a T-shirt waiting to happen, too. KDE logo is a trademark of KDE e.V. and the Mole logo is a trademark of the FLOSSMole project (yay Megan!).

By Adriaan de Groot at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

First of all congratulations to all the devs! You all rock!

I have to say I'm a little surprised to see in the screenshot the same old "kicker" UI. When KDE4 planning was starting it seemed like the whole desktop/taskbar/program launcher/systray area would undergo a revolution. What are the plans in this area? I read on the release schedule that Beta is less than 2 months away. Is the kicker UI as we know it going to stay in KDE4?

(Please don't take this as flame bait, I just like to know where my beloved KDE is heading!)

By Flavio at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Development is being shifted to this kind of things now, it's unclear how it will look like, but it's likely to being changed shortly.

Work on plasma has mainly happened under the hood until now, but the parts are shaping up nicely. There's kross which enables scripting interfaces, graphicsview extended with the necessary features for shiny graphics, libplasma, porting in superkaramba to kde4 / qgv and of course krunner as the most visible thing right now.

By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

the KDE4 panel and desktop will Plasma that users talked about it very much.please read the last few news about that.its development started a few weeks ago and will came into KDE in its time.

By Emil Sedgh at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

How stable is the API? Could a KDE4 app developer develop againist this alpha without having to worry about someone fixing their app to build againist a newer SVN version?

Basically, should Amarok advise new developers to just get the alpha packages or should they still go ahead and build it.

By Ian Monroe at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

kdelibs' API is supposed to be frozen.

By Sebastian Kügler at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

I'm interested in developing some toy plasmoids: are the APIs for those also frozen? I tried looking around in Techbase, but couldn't find much info.

By dario at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

The APIs pretty much don't exist, yet :)

See e.g.

By anon at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Appreciate you KDE!
Can't wait to try it!

By rockmen1 at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Why don't you use more hardware-acceleration? e.g. Marble, Krita, Kalzium

By EMP3ROR at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

Krita and Kalzium actually do use OpenGL, and all the hardware acceleration that comes with it.

Marble's objective is not to create an alternative for Google Earth, but to create a reusable geo-location widget for any application that might want to use it, minimize the disk space it needs, and make it as widely available as possible. Because of that, Marble uses a rendering algorithm that is totally different to "real 3D" like offered by OpenGL, so it can't take advantage of OpenGL by design. On the other hand, it doesn't have a pressing need for it either.

By Jakob Petsovits at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

ah, ok
I asked because I read this (but it's not really up to date):

By EMP3ROR at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

I guess you mean this sentence?

"PS: The rendering was done without hardware acceleration but is very fast"

That is simply because back then I had no 3D-card in my PC --> no hw-acceleration :) I simply wanted to say that it is really fast even without it!

Currently you get 30--50fps without 3d-acceleration and _much_ more with.

By Carsten Niehaus at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Great! :)

By EMP3ROR at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

> On the other hand, it doesn't have a pressing need for it either.

Right. However I have a development path that also includes hardware acceleration in mind already. Due to more important Marble tasks I estimate that I won't start to work on this before III/2007.

By Torsten Rahn at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am

Hardware acceleration is great. But just remember that most of it comes at the expense of having to use a proprietary video driver.

By Brandybuck at Sat, 2007/05/12 - 5:00am