KDE 4.0 Alpha 2 Released

The KDE Community is happy to announce the immediate availability of the second alpha
release of the K Desktop Environment. This release comes straight out of Glasgow,
the largest city in Scotland where aKademy is currently taking place.
Hundreds of KDE hackers are working like crazy to hunt down bugs, complete features
for KDE 4.0 and sit together developing and finishing new and exciting applications
for the new major version of the leading Free Desktop.

The most exciting new development is currently going on in
Plasma, KDE 4's new shell for the desktop.
Plasma provides krunner, an application to directly launch programs and start other
tasks. Plasmoids are applets that display information such as the time, information about hardware
devices and also provide access to online resources, for example
showing RSS feeds, images or providing dictionary lookup.

System Settings, the replacement for kcontrol is an improved user interface hosting various modules for
configuring the desktop and other aspects of the system is another addition worth mentioning.

The upcoming weeks will be spent on further stabilizing and streamlining the underlying
KDE libraries to provide a stable interface for programmers for the whole KDE4 lifecycle.
Furthermore, the focus will shift to finishing the applications that are shipped with
the base desktop and polishing their user interfaces.

The end of July will see a full freeze of the kdelibs module, manifested in the first
beta release of KDE 4.0 with the final release currently planned for the end of October this year.

For the bravehearts who want to try KDE 4.0 Alpha2, please refer to
the alpha 2 info page
to find ways to have a peak at the current status yourself. As the pace of development
would outdate screenshots very quickly, the best way to find out about progress is to
refer to sites such as The Dot or
Planet KDE, the collection of KDE developers' weblogs.


By binner at Wed, 2007/07/04 - 5:00am

The SUSE build service is really nice but isn't a size of 667M a little too much for just previewing KDE?


By backtick at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Too much? That's the space needed for all KDE modules, KOffice and Amarok. You can use Kiwi to create a much smaller CD with kdebase only of course. :-)

By binner at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

If you use the build service and not the CD then simply install as many packages as you want?

By Anonymous at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

I've posted a metalink for the live cd at http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html#kde

I tried it out metalink downloads in the new KGet about a week ago, but it didn't work yet. they contain mirrors & checksums.

By Ant Bryan at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am


When I launch this live-CD on my computer, here is the message I get immediately after the linux kernel is loaded :

Loading KIWI CD Boot-system...
Failed to detect CD drive !
rebootException reboot in 60 sec...

I don't understand why it doesn't work, because I have a kubuntu distro installed on this computer, and the hardware is very well recognized.

If someone could give me an advice...



By arnaud741 at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Have you verified the MD5SUM before burning?

You can also test the LiveCD in qemu ('zypper install qemu' first on openSUSE) by running: qemu -cdrom KDE-Four-Live.i686-0.2.iso -boot d -m 256 (or -m 512 if you can give it that much memory).

By apokryphos at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Thanks for that. I'd been too lazy to look into running it in a vm - hadn't realised it was that simple.

By Simon at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Thank you for this suggestion : it works very well in qemu !
Maybe it doesn't work otherwise because my DVD drive is a S-ATA one ?

By arnaud741 at Fri, 2007/07/06 - 5:00am

Using a USB CD-ROM drive, I get the same error message.
(A temporary solution was to use a IDE CD drive, which not everybody has...)

By probono at Sun, 2007/08/05 - 5:00am

Is there a torrent for this somewhere???

By ryukendo000 at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Judging from the file dates, and the dates on this announcement, this is an OLDER CD, not alpha2.

By Lee at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Judging from the date of the files and the date at which KDE Alpha2 packages were tagged and created (which is the important date unlike the date of the announcement), this definitively likely to be the alpha2 CD.

By Cyrille Berger at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

"KDE-Four-Live.i686-0.2.iso 29-Jun-2007 04:49 667M KDE 4.0 Alpha 2"
is this the official alpha 2? or just after the "alpha 2" tag begun?

By Coward at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

oops, already answered... nvm then, downloading.

By Coward at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

The Live-CD is very nice and shows KDE4 progress. Thanks !

I could not get a French keyboard it seems that the xorg keyboard definitions are missing.

By Charles de Miramon at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

ok it 's an aplha release, but at lease i was expecting a working kicker ( or whatever it will be), the system tray is totaly broken, how i am supposed to test amarok.

and where is the icons !!!!!!!!

By djouallah mimoune at Wed, 2007/07/04 - 5:00am

Kicker will be replaced by a Plasma plasmoid app (at least this is the plan).
But Plasma is kind of late in the schedule for KDE4, but the good news it that it seems like it's libraries don't need much changes and work is focusing on plasmoids. This means that freeze won't be that much of a problem for Plasma and development will continue to be seen in newer versions od KDE4.

By Iuri at Wed, 2007/07/04 - 5:00am

don't bother, everytime djouallah posts something on the dot, it's for bitching about KDE:


By patcito at Wed, 2007/07/04 - 5:00am

You are an user ! go away - this release is not for you

By dfsdfsdf at Fri, 2007/07/06 - 5:00am

Hi, the link to PlanetKDE is wrong (you have two double-colons there)

By Dorin at Wed, 2007/07/04 - 5:00am

Fixed, thanks.

By Navindra Umanee at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

I'm just playing around with alpha 2 in a VM and I'm really impressed! The first alpha was nearly unusable slow for me and crashed all the time. Alpha 2 is much, much better.

The programs show really nice improvements compared to KDE3.x, Oxygen looks just beautiful and I really like the little animations in Dolphin (zooming of icon size preview, fading of status messages) or Konsole (themes sliding in).

And everything including Plasma is very fast and responsive - in a virtual machine without any 3D acceleration and without compositing.

Great work!

By Ascay at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

I wonder what the reasons are behind replacing kcontrol with Systemsettings.
While it doesn't matter for me I'm pretty sure that others had some thoughts about it.

Is Systemsettings easier to maintain? Or does it fit better to HIGs? Or does it offer more options? And if yes, which?

By Roland Wolters at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

There was a long thread on KDE-core-Devel Mailing list about this...
It looks like that People like it better than KControl.

By Emil Sedgh at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Although a probably bigger motivation is that KControl is unmaintained and broken for KDE 4, while System Settings is actively being worked on has started to be ported to KDE 4.

Of course, some people liked it better, and some didn't. :)

By Juan Carlos Torres at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Thanks for the info - the discussion can be seen here:

By Roland Wolters at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Systemsettings - this is the one that Kubuntu currently uses, is that correct? It took a bit of getting used to after years of KControl for me but I can see that it is probably better for someone coming to it new. Also, there are the other reasons as discussed on the mailig list

By Simon at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Ah, just read your blog post Liquidat, which answers my question

By Simon at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Someone over at the ubuntuforums.org raised some good points where System Settings is inferior to KControl Since I generally agree I'll just paste them here:

1) KControl displays widgets much better in any screen size. System settings responds to a smaller screen size by always adding scrollbars, instead of resizing the widgets. (see Screenshot #1 style.png). This even happens on my relatively large 1280x800 display, so it certainly isn't good on even smaller displays.(see screenshot #2 size.png).

2) KControl has a much more intuitive way of managing oversized modules. It places the module within a scroll bar, but places the Apply/Cancel buttons outside, ensuring that they are always available. This is much smarter than system settings, which scrolls everything including the buttons(see screenshot #3 search.png).

3) While System Settings has a decent search function, which tells you which categories the results are in, the Kcontrol one is a lot better. It allows you to load several modules to see which result you want, while keeping the search results active. While system settings can do this, you need to go back and forth to achieve the same result.

By Erunno at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Yep, and systemsettings isn't controllable by keyboard (you need the mouse).

But I think (hope) that now it is in the KDE svn those issues will be solved because usually KDE software is of very high quality also in regard to keyboard control (unlike unfortunately the software added to kubuntu which is not in default KDE).

By ac6 at Fri, 2007/07/06 - 5:00am

Actually, the keyboard issue is already solved, and work is going on on the size-thingy.

The search interface might improve as well, though the way Kcontrol vs systemsettings are makes it impossible (I think) to really do it the Kcontrol way.

By Jos Poortvliet at Mon, 2007/07/09 - 5:00am

I didn't code any of this or greatly follow it's creation, but my interpretation is that the System Settings changes were motivated by a very rare situation. That being: usability is not the primary concern of a computer settings editor, discoverability is.

High usability apps are usually somewhat difficult to learn (look at any professional tool and how many shortcuts it has that aren't obvious, most of the Adobe suite comes to mind). The general settings for a desktop are very rarely edited, so having it not done in the exact minimum time-frame is not a large overall penalty.

In real use, a settings editor is only used periodically and often when it is being used it is being used by a first-time user, or at least by a user who has never done what he is looking to do before. You usually only have to touch a specific setting once or twice before it's right, not every few days.

Because of this, a 'well designed' settings editor might be a little cumbersome to an experienced user, because the improvements to discoverability slow them down. I think that's the main reason that, when the interface is improved overall, this particular tool can take what many see as a back-step.

So, keep in mind not only how much the changes effect you, and also how much the changes will affect inexperienced users, as they're the ones most affected by the interface of this module.

By jame at Tue, 2007/07/31 - 5:00am

As with previous alphas, the core components (kdelibs4, kdepimlibs and kdebase4) are packaged for FC6 and F7 in the kde-redhat unstable repository. Those packages are designed to be safe to use in a KDE 3 environment: they install to /opt/kde4 and save settings in ~/.kde4.

We (Than Ngo, Rex Dieter and me) are working on getting you a more complete KDE 4 experience for Fedora 8, see:

By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

PS: The main goal of the FC6 and F7 packages is to allow developers to port applications to KDE 4 (or write new ones). Running a full KDE 4 desktop with all components upgraded to the KDE 4 versions is the goal for Fedora 8.

By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

On which rhythm are these updated? Weekly? Or only after the official releases of Alpha/Beta snapshots?

By Roland Wolters at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Currently at each alpha/beta.

By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

So... are you Celtic or Rangers KDE devs?

By me at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

For those who don't get it, this post is sectarianism. I'd suggest deleting it, and maybe banning the poster.

By Lee at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

I think its actually humour.

By blah at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Indeed - there is some division in Glasgow (and other places still) along sectarian lines, although never anywhere near as bad as used to be in Northern Ireland. Rangers v Celtic (football clubs) corresponds - or used to - to Protestant v Catholic.

I don't doubt that the original post is intended as a lighthearted joke and I think for most people in Scotland/UK it would be seen as such.

By Simon at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am


By Anon Ymous at Sat, 2007/07/07 - 5:00am

does anyone know the status of kiosk in kde4? has it been ported yet? is there a development team for that project?

- Thanks!

By robert at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

The status is that it hasn't been ported, and that, unfortunately, no one is working on it currently, that was an issue raised at a talk about deploying KDE on installation with more than 1000 computers, so maybe someone will stand up and take the job.

By Cyrille Berger at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Actually I think that kiosktool is not ported yet, the KIOSK framework is since it is a part of the config framework.

By Kevin Krammer at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Has codenames been abandoned?

Example: First Development Snapshot of KDE4: "Krash"

Not that it matters to me :)

By Joergen Ramskov at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

From http://www.kde.org/announcements/announce-4.0-alpha2.php:
> KDE Project Ships Second Alpha Release for Leading Free Software Desktop,
> Codename "Cernighan"

By Kevin Kofler at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

I just tried out the KDE Four Live CD with alpha2 on my machine and i have to say that i am impressed by the progress that has been made. I am sure KDE4 will just rock :)

One remark about the LiveCD: It would be very nice if X starts in 24bit mode instead of 16bit. I had to do some editing to get KDE started in 24bit, and it looks much better then :)

By Jab at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

Having downloaded the LiveCD, I would like to try my hand at making Plasmoids. Are there any tutorials available? Documentation? Where is the clock plasmoid stored?

By Peter at Thu, 2007/07/05 - 5:00am

When the fallout from Akademy has cleared, come on over to #plasma on irc.freenode.net. It's a bit hectic and disorganised at the moment, but a few people have successfully managed to make their own. Good luck!

By anon at Fri, 2007/07/06 - 5:00am