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.


Actually, no. The needs for applications like Krita or Kalzium, or for compositing window managers like Compiz/Beryl are modest enough that any lower-scale graphics accelerator will do perfectly fine as well, and still provide enormous speed improvements.

I am writing this from my laptop with integrated Intel graphics, which does not need proprietary graphics drivers at all, and I can play all those Linux games with sufficient frame rates, my Beryl (when it's activated at all) feels smooth and handsome, and accelerated apps are snappy as one could imagine.

It's just a question of selecting and supporting the right hardware from the right vendor. I actually paid more for this configuration than I would have for an ATI or nVidia card, but it's well worth it.

By Jakob Petsovits at Tue, 2007/05/15 - 5:00am

Thanks for providing a LiveCD, so everyone can easily help out finding bugs in the user interface (see pervious post on the dot). For the impatient, you can get it here:

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

Judging from the timestamps on the ISOs, they are not of the Alpha release, but of earlier versions. I am sure that any time now the Alpha ISOs will be available though.

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

And in the meantime the ISO for the Alpha version became indeed available!

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

To try the LiveCD with qemu, you'll need to instruct qemu to use a larger virtual memory (the default is 128, and the LiveCD complains of lacking of memory and reboots the virtual machine).
Such as:

qemu -m 256 -cdrom KDE-Four-Live.i686-0.1.0.iso

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

Oh, and installing kqemu, and inserting the module to the kernel (as root or using sudo), will make the emulation faster:
modprobe kqemu

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

But it's bloody slow on my system.
But had a look at dolphin, and I like what I see, and have one remark:

1-You can show size, type and date information bellow the icon files, but only one of these at a time. Shouldn't these options be checkboxes, to be able to select them at all? Or would that be overkill, and that's what the function of the side informational panel?

Gnome does this:
You can configure Nautilus to show what information below a icon file is shown in each zoom level. For example:

100% - type
150% - type size
200% - type size date

When I was using gnome, I didn't zoom in to see this details, mind you (the detailed information list is more handy for me)... But maybe it was just not well implemented. Perhaps the extra information could fit inside the file icon as it enlarges, but this would clash with text file previews. That information could be shadowed, or using another graphical gimmick, so to diferentiate itself from file previews (they should not look like they are part of the images, movies, pdfs, etc. files being previewd).

So far, the only time I use zoom on file views is to get a better look at the previews. Maybe there's a change to make it more usefull?

P.S.- As I understand it, kde4 will have a "low ground" and a "high ceiling", i.e.,
the initial default (although it will probably be changed by distros) will be oriented for people with just some computer knowledge, but through self-exploration will be able to get more proficient at using kde4, and to configure and extend kde4 to their personal tastes and habits (which in my opinion is what true usability should mean, not one size fits all).

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

sorry for the bad spelling. I wish you could change the dictionary of konqueror's spellchecker without having to reload the webpage.

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

happyness and joy in KDE 4, then, as it'll even automatically detect the language and change the spellchecker :D
BTW afaik you don't have to reload the page, just restart the spellcheck dialog...

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

Hm, you sure? For example, right now kspellcheck is using PT dictionary, and I'm in the middle of writting a text. Now I will change it, with right-click-> spellcheck->dictionary . After I change, a message pops up saying (you'll have to reload the page for settings to be applied). But anyway, cool that that will happen in kde 4! Will be waiting for it.

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

This will be another great function! As far as I understand, the new spellcheck system will automatically detect the language you are writing, even if you change language in the same textbox/mail/document..right? If this is true, this is simply a killer feature for me, cause I usually write in four different languages almost every day...

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

yes, it's supposed to detect languages in each paragraph independently...

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

how can I write it?? nero asks a overdisk writing method and says the ISO needs a 95min (841mb) disc????? is it that true?? is there any other way using k3b or some thing like??

thankx and congrats for first KDE4 binaries!

By Saulo A Moraes at Tue, 2007/05/15 - 5:00am

Nero cant write it properly, but k3b does!!


By Saulo A Moraes at Tue, 2007/05/15 - 5:00am

When are we going to see the new style/window decoration? Plastik is great, but appears a bit old, mixed with all that amazing Oxygen icons...

And congratulations for the release. ;)

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

I don't know when it is getting merged in, but it looks and feels very mature to me. You can see a clip of it here:

It's a huge memory hog, though - it adds at least 5MB to every app that uses it (and yes, I've accounted for shared memory) :(

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

Thank you, the style looks great.

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

But it looks sweet :)

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

I think it would be better if the tab box didn't extend all the way to the right, but ended where the last (rightmost) tab ends.

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

I think it'd be better if the style was a bit more polished. Right now, it still looks a bit too... "big". I really like the work done on the Domino KDE3 Style, and it would be great if oxygen could borrow more design tips from there :)

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

I agree, the Domino KDE3 Style looks great!

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

Polyester is also very nice.

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

No. Much respect to the author but any hint of Polyester should be kept out kde4 at all cost. Ohh.. it dissapointed me that kubuntu picked it for feisty...

By anon at Mon, 2007/05/21 - 5:00am

with kde4 four live, it's possible to activate the oxygen style with "kcmshell style"... i just tried it out: One thing i didn't like is that everything looks a bit too bright.. for me it's hard to actually "see" the scrollbar, radiobuttons etc., but maybe that wasn't considered yet. Apart from that, it looks pretty good! Especially hovering over the menu bar is a lot of fun :) Thanks to all kde devs, great work!

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

I think that the oxy-widget style is coming along nicely but there are a few issues with it: first of all, buttons and other "active" elements of the UI are not highlighted as they deserve (worse usability), secondly I think it needs a little touch of color (you know, the blue in the aqua style ;)

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

Yes, more color in the Oxygen style would be nice.

I also don't like the scrollbar with its up and down buttons both at the bottom and with no arrows on drawn on them. Plus, they don't look connected to the scrollbar in any way. The Domino scrollbars look pretty good, though:

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

mmmmh to be honest I don't like this looks like an "aqua meets keramik" to me :P

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

I like Domino mostly because it has really nice smooth edges in _every_ single widget, and because it can be configured to look almost like anything. At the moment I am using a really simple look with it, much simpler than any of those screenshots in kde-look, and it looks easily more elegant than any style on KDE ever. Of course this is only my opinion, but actually I would like to see something like Domino as the default style of KDE4. Those videos etc. of Oxygen-style look quite scary imho, almost like the second Keramik: lots of animations, effects and bling bling, but style and usability are completely forgotten. It kind of looks like a tech demo.

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

niiiice !!

good work !

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

Does oxygen use hardware acceleration?

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

Looks like a mix of os x with windows vista window boarders. KDE 3.5 fresh and colorfull current theme seems nicer.

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

Are you kidding?
Just because it looks like a Mix, is it bad?

This look one hundrer times better than actual look.

Congratulations Oxygen team!

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

It looks awesome!!! _AND_ highly professional even for graphic artists.

Good job guys!

By fp26 at Tue, 2007/05/15 - 5:00am

ok it sounds odd, but please can you do something to make pure qt application better integrated to kde, ie,( open file dialogue, print dialogue...)
for me perhaps the best thing in kde 3.90.1 is when you try to run plasma in terminal, you get a hehehe wonderful surprise.

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

No, that's just not possible. If a Qt app wants to use the KDE open file and print dialog, they have to use the KDE libs to do that, and they BECOME a KDE app. Though there is work going on to allow run-time detection of environment and using the appropriate dialogs, but you'd have to bug the Qt app dev's to use this infrastructure (when/if it's done), not the KDE dev's...

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

Regarding technology, "not possible" is not a wise thing to say. When the first Pentium came out, everyone said that was the end of the x86 line, and we'd all have to move to PowerPC chips.

I could be wrong, but it seems possible that LD_PRELOAD could be used to force Qt apps to use KDE settings, for one possible solution.

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

TrollTech could make it an option to use KDElibs on X11, same way they support Windows and Mac's dialogs. Why doesn't this happen? (Would KDElibs LGPL affect their QPL licensing or something?)

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

Ask them. The Top bar menu would be the next wish.

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


Anything but the top bar, it sucks ass hard.

It's hell to deal with in anything larger than 800x600, and you'll absolutely love when you are using a trackpad and accidentally clicked while moving from the application to it's 1000px away menu.

It sucks.

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

Uhm... The keyword here would be "support" or even "option"... The thing is that right now it just doesn't work with pure Qt applications, while it /does/ work with KDE applications. Noone's forcing you to turn the option on ;)

By Dan Leinir Turt... at Mon, 2007/05/14 - 5:00am

I'm way late with this, but if anyone should happen to pass by, have a look at kgtk

This little gem lets one use KDE file dialogs with GTK and Qt apps. Doesn't always work perfectly, but maybe with some help and integration into KDE it could improve.

By jason at Sun, 2007/06/10 - 5:00am

Argh, ausgerechnet der blöde Eisbär :P

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

i thought exactly the same thing...
and the next release will be named "bruno"?
But maybe we can convince the zoo to sell the soft toy polar bear with a little "K" on it
That would be geek enough for me, then :-)

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

> and the next release will be named "bruno"?

So you want to declare the next release dead on arrival?

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

How does one download and install the new alpha version of KDE 4 is not mentioned anywhere on the site.
I have KDE 3.5.5 with my SuSE 10.2 and KDE 3.5.6 with Kubuntu 7.04.
Being a newbie I find it difficult to upgrade to KDE 4 in both the Distro's and would appreciate any assistance given in this regard.

Farid Ansari
Karachi, Pakistan.

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

Click on the screenshot in the story above, and go to the "Getting KDE 4.0 Alpha1" section.

There are packages for Kubuntu, OpenSUSE, OSX, and Gentoo. Along with sources.

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

For Kubuntu 7.04, the details are here :



By arnaud741 at Fri, 2007/05/11 - 5:00am

i get an "Segmentation Fault" on these Packages on startkde. .(

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

me too :(

startkde: Starting up...
kdeinit4: preparing to launch /usr/lib/kde4/bin/klauncher
kdeinit4: Launched KLauncher, pid = 7179 result = 0
kdeinit4: Communication error with launcher. Exiting!
Warning: connect() failed: : Connection refused
Segmentation fault
startkde: Shutting down...
Warning: connect() failed: : Connection refused
Error: Can't contact kdeinit4!
startkde: Running shutdown scripts...
startkde: Done.

By Fabian M. at Sun, 2007/05/13 - 5:00am

Even given the above comments, keep in mind that this KDE 4 alpha is a real alpha release. It doesn't bring most great new application features, it crashes, and you certainly don't want to switch from KDE 3 yet.

This is a release for developers and die-hard testers. If you just want to use it, wait a little longer - at least until the first betas have arrived.

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