KDE 4 Beta 3 "Cicker" Ready for Testing

The KDE Community is happy to release the third beta for KDE 4.0. This beta, aimed at further polishing of the KDE codebase, also marks the freeze of the KDE Development Platform. We are joined in this release by the KOffice project which releases its 4th alpha release, bringing many improvements in OpenDocument support, a KChart Flake shape and much more to those willing to test. Read on for more.

Since the last beta, most of KDE has been frozen for new features, instead receiving the necessary polish and bugfixing. The components which were exempt from this freeze saw significant improvements as planned, and Aaron Seigo notes, "It is amazing to see the Plasma community growing. The pace of development is amazing, and we're getting really close to having all the features we want for KDE 4.0 available. After that, we have a solid foundation for implementing new and exciting user interface concepts for the Free Desktop".

KDE 4 is the next generation of the popular KDE Desktop Environment which seeks to fulfil the need for a powerful yet easy to use desktop for both personal and enterprise computing. The aim of the KDE project for the 4.0 release is to put the foundations in place for future innovations on the Free Desktop. The many newly introduced technologies incorporated in the KDE libraries will make it easier for developers to add rich functionality to their applications, combining and connecting different components in any way they want.

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by Arnomane (not verified)

One again you created a very qt code name. "Cicker" just rocks.

a) Kicker is gone thus some last tribut to Kicker.
b) Cicker spelled German with a Z perfectly matches some of the people complaining about KDE 4. A "Zicke" in German is a drama queen/bitch. Sometimes you jokingly refer to a male Zicke as "Zicker". ;-)


by Bobby (not verified)

I like that one (Zicker), it's really good :-)
I would like to say a very BIG thanks to the KDE team for it's dedication and hard work over the years and for creating one of the most beautiful, flexible and functional desktops on this planet.
KDE is a master piece no matter what all those critics might say and KDE4 will be the crowning.
I am testing it on openSuse 10.3 and yes it's a beta but I can start a lot of applications and they are working quite well. I just can't wait to see the final release.

Respect and keep up the good work guys.

by Marcos Frederic... (not verified)

Yesterday i installed kde 4 beta 3 under my kubuntu 7.10 after restarting the X and change the session, kde start but can not complete the full cicle, on the loading kde restart and back into login. Any one knows what should be happening ??

by Poborskiii (not verified)

You need install kde4base-dev. In yesterday Kubuntu.org announcement this information was missing, but now is announcement complete.

Yes : You are using beta software in a beta distribution.
That simple.

err, gutsy is rc1 now.
Just my 2 cts !

Oops, it has actually been released today !

by Markus (not verified)

Is there a LiveCD for beta 3 yet? At least at http://home.kde.org/~binner/kde-four-live/ I can not find one yet. Would be nice.

Anyway - great work KDE-team!

by binner (not verified)

It's available now.

by ac (not verified)

Thank you! Could someone please post the easy way how to try this on a running system? I vaguely remember being able to do so with qemu, bit I don't remember the exact command.

by Anonymous (not verified)

qemu -m 512 -cdrom foobar.iso -boot d

by bummer (not verified)


by you're a bummer (not verified)

-like you!

by Hans (not verified)

Woah, really? Does it do the laundry too?

by A KDE Advocate (not verified)


by Erunno (not verified)

Well, I installed the Beta 3 packages from the KDE4 openSUSE build service repository on my old T30 Thinkpad with a Radeon 9250 (?) on it and the first thing I noticed when trying to log into the desktop is that each drawing operation takes literally minutes. I have to wait about 5 minutes until the desktop is drawn. Trying to interact with the GUI is not possible at all since it reacts (visually) only after a couple of minutes and even then only in slow motion. The system is still responsive though when it comes to mouse movement and switching consoles so it doesn't look like it's a CPU bottleneck.

That is something that actually never happened before so I would like to ask if this is a bug with the packages or some new default in KDE4 (like composite support) which brings my system to a halt?

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

NEI. (not enough information)

what GUI are you trying to interact with. what is your hardware set up (particularly video card and driver), etc.. you're being way too vague to usefully comment on your issue.

by Sutoka (not verified)

My guess would be your card barely supports composite, and it's enabled, and KWin (which I think has Composite enabled by default currently) is going incredibly slow because mesa is probably doing all the rendering on the CPU instead of the GPU. (note, this is merely a guess based on my own experience with my Radeon card and opengl applications)

by shiny (not verified)

I get the exactly same thing when I enable composited kwin in 3.5.x on my Radeon 9600. Just disable Compositing in your xorg.conf, and all will be fine :).

by andreas (not verified)

I have the same problem on SuSE 10.3. I had disabled the composit but it is not better...
I have the same Graka radeon 9250 that uses the xorg radeon driver with aiglx...
kernelmodule is radeonthat loads the R200...

In kde3.5.7 composit with compiz works very good, ther no problems...

attached .xsession-errors

by Henry S. (not verified)

It is definitely related to composite. On my machine with XGL enabled, I get the behaviour you describe...even though compiz works fine. On my machine with XGL disabled, the KDE4 beta3 works. By the way, I'm using Opensuse also, and I've had this problem with all prevous betas that I have tried.

I would first like the developers for all their efforts. This beta is actually very usable, and it's all starting to look really nice. And personally, I think oxygen is breathtaking. I have no doubt KDE4 will be really great.

Still, one thing I noticed while trying the beta on kubuntu is that the interface feels less snappy then 3.5. After a click on a menu it sometimes takes about a second until it opens. Also, dragging plasma applets around cost a lot of cpu, and the applet moves not so smooth (it takess about a second before the applets appears at the new position). I have a not so state of the art but still decent athlon xp 2500+ with 512 MB ram. Is this performance something that will probably be fixed while polishing KDE 4, or does this new version really require some up to date hardware?

KDE4 will be clearly slower than KDE3, especially the resizing.That's unfortunately the cost we have to pay for the double buffering (painting everything first on a pixmap) but at least with Qt 4.4 we will see the advantage. Beside that, have you tried to disable the effects of kwin or a Qt version bigger or smaller than 4.3.2. The latest Qt release seems to be buggy which makes it three times slower as 4.3.1 :(

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

> KDE4 will be clearly slower than KDE3

i love blanket statements. ;)

please be careful with these kinds of sentences. there are plenty of things that are faster in kde4. there will certainly be regressions, but we're not pulling a vista here.

Ok, sorry, it was really to general. It applies only to Qt4's double buffered way of widget painting what will make KDE4 slower. Qt4's painting itself compared to Qt3 is actually faster. Many people doesn't know about the double buffering and except KDE4 to get faster, like many comments show. I'm afraid they will think KDE is badly coded, like I thought about the fresh gtk2 at that time.

by Diederik van de... (not verified)

> I'm afraid they will think KDE is badly coded

In that case don't make general statements that KDE 4 will be slower. ;-) You'll be creating a perception or myth that's hard to fix later.

Stuff like double buffering can be disabled per widget, but it's not desirable as it's one of the things needed to fix flicking widgets. In the Qt3 book, double buffering was actually pointed out as a way to improve performance in some cases too. :-p

Step 1 will be to get a workable desktop out. Step 2 will be fine tuning, apply more usability idea's and optimizing the thing. So don't worry yet!

"Stuff like double buffering can be disabled per widget, but it's not desirable as it's one of the things needed to fix flicking widgets."

Wouldn't using Qt 4.4 do this without the double buffering? (google 'qt aliens')

"It applies only to Qt4's double buffered way of widget painting what will make KDE4 slower"

And, worst of all, *much* more memory-hungry - buffering an entire window takes a lot of RAM (on a modestly-sized 1200x900 32-bit colour screen, a maximised Window will take up 4.5MB - effectively doubling the memory footprint of, say, a KWrite instance!) God knows how this will work with Compositing, which takes yet *another* pixmap of each window. It's a real shame, as KDE has always been accused of bloat even while its memory footprint is basically the same as GNOME's, but now the accusation is justified. What's even worse is that the Trolltech devs have been proclaiming Qt4 as much more memory efficient than Qt3, when it's clearly nothing of the sort!

by Diederik van de... (not verified)

Did you do any *real* memory tests, or did you just make that up? Please show us real numbers, using good memory management tools! (which isn't `top` or `free`).

I'm using QT 4.3.2.
Will QT 4.4 be faster? (I assume 4.4 will be used in KDE 4.1?)

I was wondering if it isn't possible to disable the double buffering in QT for people using lower end hardware.

Based on what the Trolls have said in their blogs, KDE 4.4 should improve in at least some ways (like resizing windows) greatly, because they won't be using 'native' widgets or windows (can't remember which it was called). Since the Trolls seem to care greatly about performance, and KDE is probably the largest user of Qt so they'll probably be able to find LOTS of bottlenecks after watching how KDE 4.0 performs.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

which applets are taking a while to drag? all of them? if so, something is heinously broken there, and not something we're seeing on the devel side.

as for your processor and memory, that should be fine. what video card do you have and what driver are you using?

I tested it with today's svn checkout and saw that mouse enter / leave and press events are very memory (temp. ca. 50 MB usage) and cpu intensive which are resulting that the applets don't move for some seconds. The digital clock is the only applet where enter and leave events doesn't show this behavior. If an applet gets painted between two screens in a xinerama layout it will get stuck for some time, but they will work on both screens. Beside this issues it looks really good :)

Thanks you for the answers. I didn't know about the double buffering. Interesting to know. And yes, I did notice a higher memory consumption then 3.5.

I tested it with the photo frame (which was displaying a slideshow, nice feature), and the analog clock. They both had that problem, but the photo frame had clearly a larger lag then the analog clock.

I have a Geforce 2 (64 MB) and am using the proprietary nvidia legacy drivers (1.0.7185). You think my old video card is the bottleneck? In that case I think I'll buy a new card when KDE4 arrives. If you think this is caused by a bug, please say so, and I will enter a bug report.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

Good to know this.

My duron 1.6Ghz with 512 RAM is showing it's age and KDE isn't helping (even more that my girlfriend uses another KDE session).
You know, KDE is very fat in 3.X for me, and I was hoping for the less CPU/RAM promisses qt4 brought, but looks like KDE4 won't like for the less resources usages expectations.

I love KDE, but each day I'm looking more and more for gnome because it runs much faster (as a DE, I hate the apps itselfs).

The latest version of KDE4 is also really slow on my system:

Pentium D805@ 3,9GHz
Leadtek Nvidia 8800GTS 640MB
2GB DDR2 667MHz

it takes at least 5 minutes to start kde itself, plasma reacts after 1min when you click on something, the apps also start really slow.

I've got KDE4 from the opensuse 10.3 KDE4 repo (software.opensuse.org/download/KDE:/KDE4, checkout from the 19.October)

The latest nvidia driver is installed and running. I've deleted the whole .kde4 folder from my home to start KDE4 with completely new settings (since last update). I've tried this before and after removing the compositing option. It doesn't change anything. It is still unbelievable slow. This slowdon is just since the version from the 19. October (the last one was from the 17th and it was fast)

Tell me if you need any files and logs and where to get them

I hope I can help you!

With friendly greetings


I've just found out that the slowdown is definately caused by kwin. I've crashed kwin by activating the 3D effects and now KDE4 is as fast as ever

it's caused by some options in the xorg.conf (maybe AddARBGLXVisuals or AllowGLXWithComposite):

here the two xorg.confs i've tried:

1 (slow): http://mustermaxi.googlepages.com/xorg.conf.saxsave
2 (normal): http://mustermaxi.googlepages.com/xorg.conf

by Stephanw (not verified)

I experienced performance problems, too. If you are using an ATI card in conjunction with the "radeon" driver, please enable EXA-Acceleration in /etx/X11/xorg.conf! Example:


Section "Device"
BoardName "Radeon X600 Pro"
Driver "radeon"
Identifier "Device[0]"
Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"

I'd like plasma to be put in the kdesktop locked screen-- not by default, but as an option. If its something that's possible, I'd personally take the time to implement it and distribute as a patch. Here's my ideas:

1. When screen is locked, a plasma window would appear allowing you access to some plasmids.

2. There would be a kconfig module to activate it and add applets. The kconfig module would embed a simulation of the locked screen with all the plasmids in it, like amarok's plasma window.

3. The kconfig module would allow you to add and remove applets, but the locked screen would not.

4. While most plasmids are benign, like the clock, the user would be advised not to include potentially compromising plasmids like the file browser.

5. The user would be warned that plasma as a screen locker represents a security risk. I'll do some field testing to see how safe it is, but for now its best we assume that its not very safe.

I want to do this because there are a lot of cool things that can be done with this. For example, gnome* recently added a feature that allows people to leave eachother notes when the screen is locked. A simple clock would be nice to have, and having a media control applet without logging in is infinitely useful. I'm sure there are many uses of this, Security concerns notwithstanding

*No, this isn't a "gnome has it, why doesn't kde?" I genuinely think this is a good idea.

That would be a really nice thing to have!

Ditto. Sounds great to be able to leave a memo note in a plasmoid on a locked screen for when the user returns or to be able to glance at the clock, etc.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

cool idea; and should be pretty easy to do given that krunner already links against libplasma.

i don't really like the idea of a control panel to manage it though. it would probably be enough to have a "Add Widgets" button or a version of the toolbox in the corner that would prompt for the password before letting the person change things. much more natural.

we'd first want a non-dialog version of the applet browser ... which in turn means getting itemviews on the canvas. those are being worked on in Qt, but aren't available quite yet.

Well, I'm new to kde development, but my idea seems much simplier from a development standpoint. To me, your idea is a little awkward, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, I'm glad to hear to a developer is interested in my idea! I read your blog, btw. I'm compiling the kde development environment now, so hopefully I can get started on some of my ideas soon!

Amarok already has a QGV itemview. :)

by hmmm (not verified)

...From a user point of view. The apps are great. They are, really. The new games are wicked cool. The new kate (those days that it works) is (will be) excellent. Konsole has a split-screen mode, this, alone represents a huge amount of coolness.

Dolphin is really cool. I mean, even with the debug, it is _fast_. And the categories are one of the coolest thing ever seen in a file manager (the coolest is still the ioslaves).

And kwin. A _real_ WM, that works really well as a WM with all the eyecandy of beryl (well, nearly, but that is in fact way less important than the basics of a WM). Yay shadows!

There are, however two problems. The first is really not KDE's fault, and it is integration with the distros. Because of such things as launching dbus, the default .directory and stuff, running alongside KDE3 is not immediately straightforward. This is unfortunate.

The other problem is that for most people, KDE _is_ the desktop and panel. not the apps, not the API. And, well, though plasma is growing in coolness and power at an incredible pace, it is not yet usable. I have no doubt it will be for the final release (go Aaron!), but, well, it takes time.

And this is unfortunate, because it hides all the working goodness to be found in this beta (first impressions, etc.)

Did I mention the Oxygen style looks good (though tabs need more contrast)?

by Diederik van de... (not verified)

Fully agree here. :-)

The apps area really brilliant. Dolphin, Gwenview, Oxygen icons, the svg games, konsole, cleaned up toolbars. They all make me really happy.

> And this is unfortunate, because it hides all the working goodness to be found in this beta (first impressions, etc.)

Grin, I think the KDE teams are quite aware of this :-)


by pinda (not verified)

Does anybody know if kaffeine will be part of 4.0? I haven't heard anything about kaffeine being ported. Or do I have to wait until 4.1? Kaffeine is still my favourite video player.

by Morty (not verified)

Kaffeine has never been part of KDE per se, and ther are nothing suggesting it will be for 4.0 either. It's a 3rd party application released separatly of the KDE releases. If it get ported to KDE 4, it will be released sometime after KDE 4.0. Depending on it's developers.

by pinda (not verified)

Thanks for the answer, I wasn't aware Kaffeine isn't part of KDE.
Do you also know if phonon is ready to be used by video applications, so Kaffeine can start using this?