The Start of Something Amazing with KDE 4.0 Release

Several years of design, development and testing came together today for the release of KDE 4.0. This is our most significant release in our 11 year history and marks both the end of the long and intensive development cycle leading up to KDE 4.0 and the start of the KDE 4 era. Join us now in #kde4-release-party on Freenode to celebrate or come to the release event in person next week. Packages are available for all the major distributions with live CDs available currently from Kubuntu and openSUSE. Read on for details or take the KDE 4.0 Visual Guide to find your way around.

The KDE 4.0 desktop

The KDE 4 Libraries have seen major improvements in almost all areas.
The Phonon multimedia framework provides platform independent multimedia support to all
KDE applications, the Solid hardware integration framework makes interacting with
(removable) devices easier and provides tools for better powermanagement.

The KDE 4 Desktop has gained some major new capabilities. The Plasma desktop shell
offers a new desktop interface, including panel, menu and widgets on the desktop
as well as a dashboard function. KWin, the KDE Window manager, now supports advanced
graphical effects to ease interaction with your windows.

Lots of KDE Applications have seen improvements as well. Visual updates through
vector-based artwork, changes in the underlying libraries, user interface
enhancements, new features, even new applications -- you name it, KDE 4.0 has it.
Okular, the new document viewer and Dolphin, the new filemanager are only two
applications that leverage KDE 4.0's new technologies.

The Oxygen Artwork team provides a breath of fresh air on the desktop.
Nearly all user-visible parts of the KDE desktop and applications have been given a
facelift. Beauty and consistency are two of the basic concepts behind Oxygen.

Distributions known to have packages:

  • An alpha version of KDE4-based Arklinux 2008.1 is expected
    shortly after this release, with an expected final release within 3 or 4 weeks.
  • Debian KDE 4.0 packages are available in the experimental branch.
    The KDE Development Platform will even make it into Lenny. Watch for
    announcements by the Debian KDE Team.
  • Fedora will feature KDE 4.0 in Fedora 9, to be released
    in April, with Alpha releases being available from
    24th of January. KDE 4.0 packages are in the pre-alpha Rawhide repository.
  • Gentoo Linux provides KDE 4.0 builds on
  • Kubuntu packages are included in the upcoming "Hardy Heron"
    (8.04) and also made available as updates for the stable "Gutsy Gibbon" (7.10).
    A Live CD is available for trying out KDE 4.0.
    More details can be found in the
    announcement on kubuntu.org
  • Mandriva will provide packages for
    2008.0 and aims
    at producing a Live CD with the latest snapshot of 2008.1.
  • openSUSE packages are available
    openSUSE 10.3 (
    openSUSE Factory (
    and openSUSE 10.2. A KDE
    Four Live CD
    with these packages is also available. KDE 4.0 will be part of the upcoming
    openSUSE 11.0 release.
  • openSUSE based KDE Four Live CD

Thanks to the coders, artists, usability experts, testers, bug triagers and many more who have made this release the start of something amazing. Tell us what you think on this
4.0 feedback page.


Is it now possible to add SuperKaramba widgets in Plasma or do I have to install SuperKaramba still seperately?

Best Regards,

By marrat at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I've managed to run on plasma superkaramba's supermonitor theme with little modifications, so probably others should work also.

By Adi1981 at Wed, 2008/01/16 - 6:00am

I missed two things in KDE 4.0.0:
- bluetooth:/
- media:/

Don't know if it's a fault of kubuntu packages or those features where just removed, but without them I can't really use KDE4.

By Iuri Fiedoruk at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

media:/ had so many problems that it was deliberately killed off, IIRC.

I don't know about bluetooth:/

By anon at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

Exactly, media:/ was a pile of crap. It was conceptually broken so it's good they got rid of it.

For bluetooth:/, it's a 3rd party add-on and not part of the official KDE release so it may not be ported yet. It may be waiting for a rewrite due to bluetooth handling being intergrated into Solid.

By Morty at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

How do you manage devices such as USB sticks in Konqueror now?
In Dolphin these devices are listed in the location bar. There is nothing similar in Konqueror now.

If media:/ was too broken, then there should be something else to replace it.

For me, this is an example why it is improbable that Konqueror will remain an option as file manager in the long run. There will always be pieces of code that are too hard to maintain. For things that cannot easily be shared between Dolphin and Konqueror, but need different implementations, I doubt that they will be developed for Konqueror.

By Meneteqel at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

You handle devices like USB sticks the way you are supposed to, mounted in the filesystem. The way disk always has been handled on *nix. Depending on your sistribution, removable media are located under /mnt or /media.

Since the functionality already existed, the media:/ ioslave did solve anything. It only created a inconsistency in the filesystemhierarchy, by inventing virtual locations.

By Morty at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I wonder how audio-cds are now handled. media:/ ioslave was IMO quite attractive way to handle cd ripping.
With data-cds and devices it was really conceptually broken and confusing in many aspects so it's good that it's now gone. Even if it means that ripping cds is now done with some external app.

By PJ at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I would guess like they have been in KDE for a very long time, from before the whole media:/ mess, with audio:/. No need to use one ioslave to redirect to anotehr. And since audi CDs don't have a filesystem to be mounted, creating a virtual one in this case is the sane soulution.

By Morty at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

You're right. Tahe natural way would be to handle removable devices within the *nix file system. But when I look under /media I see the USB stick but I actually in Konqueror 4.0 I have no possibilities e.g. to umount the stick via the gui while in Konqueror 3.5 or in Dolphin's location bar you can right click on the stick and umount it.

By Meneteqel at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

media:/ is replaced in several different way. Devices are listed in all File Open dialogs on the left. The "Recently Plugged Devices" plasmoid is on by default and is just a great feature in my opinion. Basically if you plug or insert something in, you can use it.

By Ian Monroe at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

Any idea when a KDE4-version of knetworkmanager will be available?

By yves at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

this functionality is going to be integrated in Solid. Think it may take a while... Don't hold your breath...

By thomas at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I haven't been this excited about any sort of computer software in years.

By Panther at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I really want to thank everyone who helped developing this project!!

But - there's one program that sux a bit: KMix. There are less switches and everytime I press somewhere, the switch is going up and my speakers are getting louder and louder.

Okay, maybe the problem will be solved the next days!
Thanks again, KDE-team!!
Good job!

By Philipp Lorenz at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

I just realised that the train station clock is gone again... days before release it was there as an optional plasma applet, and now it's not even more in plasma extragear (judging by kubuntu's packages).

What's going on?

By Marc at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am


I hope this title was tongue-in-cheek and not yet another manifestation of the "KDE is sub-optimal in some area - the only possible explanation is some terrible GNOME conspiracy of the devs, etc" way of thinking that seems to have infected the Dot as of late.

Anyway, the train and fuzzy clocks reside in playground:


Since playground follows trunk, neither are guaranteed to compile against the 4.0 branch, and in fact they don't: they require libplasmaclock which was moved into kdebase following the 4.0.0 tagging:


They do, of course, compile and run against trunk.

By anon at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

thanks for the 'conspiracy unmasked'

I didn't think of the gnomes or interface nazis or stuff, it was only my impuls to look after the poor kind of underdog train clock, always in danger of being quietly killed by the bad guys 'cause it's just too cool for them... so i won't rest until it's safe ;-)

By Marc at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

If I lock my widgets, I find that the option to change the desktop background simply disappears from the right click menu on the desktop. This scares the hell out of me. Does anybody know if this is a bug or a feature?

By Wheely at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

Interesting thread, thanks. I find I agree with all the posters though less so with Aaron which is a shame.

If, as Aaron says, the KDE developers are changing the way users think about desktops, that is fine though a little help might be nice as per the suggestion to change the "lock widgets" option to "lock desktop". Shame really because I found this option useful for getting rid of the annoying, distracting boxes that appear around icons and other widgets but unusable for that purpose because it stops you changing anything else.

Secondly, the point of the original poster was that the option to change background should not go away but be greyed out or something. I personally find it a fundamentally broken idea to add or remove items from menus according to context. When you find some option in a menu someday which you want to go back to in the future, it is unbelievably annoying if you can not find where the hell it is because at some point you changed a completely different setting. OSX does this a lot too and is why I now run Linux (via vmware) on both my macs.

For me, important information should be easily available and stay where it is. At least a greyed out option tells you you have reached the right place but something else has to happen before it is useable.

Thanks again for the link. Where this kind of thing ends up, for me at least, will be the deciding factor for wheher I have to give up my beloved KDE or not.

By Wheely at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

About the menus, you're reasoning makes sense. Knowing that you can do something in some situations but are currently forbidden to do it for some reason is interesting information. I suppose the idea was to unclutter the contextual menus, but I think we're losing important info there.
I second the "distracting boxes around icons" remark also : I appreciate being able to configure these icons this way, but I would prefer this box not to appear once I have configured the icon the way I want. Problem is that in order to do so, I have to lock everything, which is not desirable : I'm not spending my time configuring the desktop but using it, so I should be locking it all the time. However, everytime I would like to change something on it, I will need to unlock it first, which is really unecessary clutter for a desktop IMO. There are obviously aspect of the desktop you change more often than others. I don't really understand the need for the casual user to lock/unlock the desktop anyway : I've worked with KDE without ever locking my desktop for years. The main issue, IMO, is if locking becomes necessary to avoid some visual or usability annoyance, like this configuration box around icons. I think the whole idea should be rethought.

By Richard Van Den Boom at Thu, 2008/01/17 - 6:00am

Do anyone knows if there are some Slackware packages out there? Thanks...

By Eduardo at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

Sorry, I'm not providing Slackware packages anymore.

I did it for many years and I still use Slack and KDE, but I do have no time to build packages anymore.

By JC at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

You can find link to packages from rworkman (part of Slack team) here :


They cannot be installed alongside KDE3, you have to replace.
Here are others you're supposed to be able to install alongside KDE3, but there's no guarantee.


By Richard Van Den Boom at Thu, 2008/01/17 - 6:00am

I'm not sure that he is part of the Slack team.

But at least you have packages for Slackware

By JC at Thu, 2008/01/17 - 6:00am

According to trends.google.com, searches for KDE more than doubled on the release day. Searches for "KDE 4" and "KDE 4.0" more than quadrupled.

By Grósz Dániel at Mon, 2008/01/14 - 6:00am

checkout KDE, Gnome, Beryl vs Compiz


As of now KDE is in the lead :)

By Dr No at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

What were you guys trying to emulate? GNOME 2.0? Sorry, but pathetic...

Couldn't you just have ported KDE 3.5 to Qt 4? How hard would that have been?

By KDE User at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

nobody tries to emulate gnome 2.0
It's actualy a compliment to say that, because the reason why kde 4.0 has less features than kde 3.5, is because everything had to be written from scratch (or nearly).
This means, a feature incomplete release of kde resembles a full gnome release, quite a compliment.
But don't worry, the kde 3.5 level will be reached somewhere around 4.1 or 4.2

By Beat Wolf at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

LOL, that was a good one.

By Bobby at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

+1 insightful.

By yman at Wed, 2008/01/16 - 6:00am

What were you trying to emulate? TROLL 2.0? Sorry, but pathetic...

Serious answer: I can understand the disappointment if you thought KDE 4.0 would be ten times better than 3.5. However, I don't approve your way to criticize.

Read some of the comments here, blogs (see planet.kde.org) etc. and hopefully you'll understand. For your convenient, here's a snippet from a comment by Aaron J. Seigo:

"> Third half of the customization options from KDE3 are missing.

i call bullshit on this one. if you mean "half the customizations from kicker", yes. if you mean "half the customizations from kdesktop" your probably not right (haven't counted exactly, but i'm pretty sure plasma is currently beyond its feature count). if you mean "half the customizations of all kde together" you're wildly wrong as there are new features all over the place.

so... kicker features: coming.

in the meantime, you may enjoy life more by keeping some perspective."

By Hans Chen at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

currently using ubuntu, but there for example are no icons in the apps menu.
just generic ones, little bit annoying.

what can you recommend?
i tried suse, but I'm confused about the zillion different packet managers

By asdf at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

update your ubuntu kde 4 packages. There has been a update today, and since then i got all icons

By Beat Wolf at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

Good to know. Thanks.

Wonder when they will come out with a new Alpha that will have more of KDE 4.0 in it.

What other distros are great for KDE 4.0 I think I'll defect from (K)ubuntu for a while, while they treat KDE as their red-headed stepchild. See what else is out there..

By Steve M at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

In my experience the Kubuntu packages have been great. You don't have to use an alpha or something, just use the Gutsy backports.

By Ian Monroe at Wed, 2008/01/16 - 6:00am

Where is the "Menu at the top of the screen" ("MacOS style") option gone ? Is it another feature to add to the (already long) list of "Things that couldn't be implemented on time for the 4.0 release" ?

By Keiran at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am


By anon at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

wow, more than 300 comments!
must be the new record...

By chris at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

By anon at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

how do you know that? I couldn't find any mentioning of the number of posts on that page.

anyhow, it's now 392, and still growing every day.

By yman at Fri, 2008/01/18 - 6:00am

And it's far from over...

By Bobby at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

By Steve M at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

OK, I've used KDE 4.0 for a few days now, here's what I think about it:

- general:
KDE 4.0 starts up very fast (even without prelinking) and feels more responsive than 3.5 - great!

- Konqueror:
That's the part of KDE 4.0 I'm really disappointed with. Not because it's not the default filemanager anymore - I quite like Dolphin. But I thought that, since Konqui is now focused on webbrowsing, it would see improvements in that area. But right now it feels that it got ported to Qt4 and nothing else was done. Maybe there were other changes under the hood, but I don't notice them. Browsing the web with Konq feels the same as in 3.1 days - it's still slow, compared to Firefox, better cookie handling is needed ( http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=68582 ), it doesn't like Flash (crashes, or opens every Flash-Element in a separate window).
What happened? Are the Konq-Devs pissed off, because of the endless KHTML vs WebKit discussion?

- Plasma:
OK, you can tell that the development started too late, it feels unfinished from a users point of view. I trust the devs, that the underlying technology is the groundwork for really amazing stuff, but I think it's fair to criticise the way it has been promoted. Promising the holy grail of desktop computing and presenting an ugly, unconfigurable panel and a desktop you can put SVG-clocks on (yep, for a user it's not much more than that) is rather disappointing. Let's wait for 4.1 and see what plasma holds for the users.
Apart from that, I quite like Kickoff - I don't understand, why people are bashing it so much. For me, it's a real improvement compared to the old menu.

- Dolphin:
Nice! The only thing I currently miss is a decent treeview. The "Folders" box only shows a tree of the current directory, is it possible to change it to a root tree?

- Oxygen:
I think it looks beautiful and the artists did a very good job. I can't understand the ones, who complain that it looks like Vista - it doesn't.

- KWin:
The best Part of KDE 4.0 IMHO. The compositing features are simply great. I've tried compiz/beryl a few times, but was never quite happy with them. They crashed a lot and didn't work well with KDE. KWin runs stable and fast over here and behaves just like you would expect from a window manager. The present plugins are very useful, I don't need much more. For my taste, KWin already surpassed Compiz. Very well done!

- Sonnet:
Does it still exist? See http://dot.kde.org/1200050369/1200289711/
It would be great, if a Developer could shed some light on this.

- Strigi:
I read somewhere that metadata is now extracted with strigi. There doesn't seem to be a strigi-based search tool, though. Are there any plans for something like that?

One thing I would like to try out is Phonon, but I'm currently unable to get my soundcards to work with ALSA. Choosing the desired soundcard based on application type/message type sounds promising, though.

Anyway, thanks to all the people involved for their hard work!

By Sepp at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

> - Dolphin:
> Nice!

Thanks in the name of all Dolphin developers :-)

> The only thing I currently miss is a decent treeview.
> The "Folders" box only shows a tree of the current directory,
> is it possible to change it to a root tree?

This is on my TODO-list for 4.1, as this has been requested by some people already and makes sense for drag & drop operations.

By Peter Penz at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

" This is on my TODO-list for 4.1, as this has been requested by some people already and makes sense for drag & drop operations."

What about spring-loaded folders? :)

By anon at Tue, 2008/01/15 - 6:00am

I recommend Firefox over Konqueror for the Internet. It pretty much has the market anyways. No need to develop for Konqueror, as firefox is used by most for webbrowsing these days. Konqeror works fine for the rest, who don't like Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc.

Dolphin is great.. :D

By Max at Wed, 2008/01/16 - 6:00am

Konqueror provide me with services I can't get from Firefox (KDE integration, IO/slaves allowing to deal with distant volumes just as local ones). It has had spelling check years before FF and is for me faster than FF on most sites I'm using.
I certainly hope there will be continuing work on Konqueror at least as a browser, whether it uses KHTML or Webkit. I find it a much more productive tool than FF (and quite lighter in memory usage).

By Richard Van Den Boom at Thu, 2008/01/17 - 6:00am

Right, my original plan was to switch back to Konqueror, once 4.0 is out, because of these reasons.

By Sepp at Thu, 2008/01/17 - 6:00am