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
  • 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.

Dot Categories: 


by Andrew Donnellan (not verified)

GO KDE 4.0!

Will be trying it out as soon as I get a chance tomorrow morning Sydney time ;)

KDE 4.1 will be even more awesome!

by Luke-Jr (not verified)

Hope kdepim comes along soon!

by Adriaan de Groot (not verified)

It compiles, but does not have nearly the amount of polish and testing that it needs. For this, PIM really needs people who want to help out in a constructive manner -- testing, bugfixing. Although KDAB does a lot of good work, they can't save the world -- or PIM -- on their own.

PS. KPilot in PIM for KDE4 *will* eat your children and set your Pilot to speak LOLCAT irreversibly. This is another area we could use some help on; it would up the number of active developers from zero. If you need an extra Pilot to help testing, let me know and I'll send one. Seriously.

by NabLa (not verified)

Downloading kubuntu packages right now :)

I'd like to say THANKS to anyone that have made this release possible. Nice one!

by NabLa (not verified)

* Hmmm how do you add new things to the bottom panel? I removed everything and there is no context menu or anything at all for it... I can't even shut it down to use the old kicker instead (I can fire up kicker, but there is a lot of wasted space at the bottom where the panel sits)... and drag & drop from desktop doesn't seem to be possible (wasn't this one of the Plasma goals?)

* kwin: window compositing seems to be extremely slow, and it corrupts the contents of new windows very frequently... yes, I've got all the proper X configuration and I can run compiz on no XGL very nicely and I've got a nice beefy nvidia card.

* The new menu is awful... The old menu is still there, however, I cannot add it to the panel as stated above... I can't change the size of the panel either, it's insanely thick... I've got a 1280x800 screen so vertical space and clearance is certainly an issue.

* Well, basically, Plasma seems as uncooked as it was a couple of months ago, just slightly prettier... yes, I know all about "setting the foundations blah blah", but its quality is beta at the very best... it has crashed a few times (leaving a very nice white screen behind). I'm sure the underlying libs are shiny and nice, but the actual interface is very klunky...

* Oxygen: i wish it differentiated better between the active window and the rest of inactive windows in terms of different top window colour etc... There is a nice composite plugin that does the job, but compositing seems to struggle on my computer.

* I plugged in my iPod and... nothing happened on the widget that was supposed to tell me about it...

* The new apps are amazing. okular, kopete, etc they all work really well... even if I fall back to KDE3 for a while I'll still use them as they're far superior to KDE3's in most of the cases. Marble is a joy.

* Sound works perfect without the massive overhead of the, gone for good, arts daemon.

* Oxygen: looks really pretty and easy on the eyes. I love it.

/*** SO ***/
All those issues are due to the Kubuntu Gutsy packages being crap, or KDE4 being very flimsy?

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Try to drag from the desktop widget toolbox onto the panel -- it's not quite perfect, but it does work.

The slowness may be due to a buggy nvidia driver. Nvidia already has released an update in December.

by NabLa (not verified)

Cheers Boudewijn, I'll try what you suggest :)

by opensuse user (not verified)

Well I'm using the opensuse packages on 10.3 and haven't had any crashes and compositing works snappily on my fairly average go5700 nvidia card (latestdriver).

The panel is less functional than kicker for the moment but what it does it does well. I had no problem dragging the lockout applet to it for example, and the menu now allows you to add items to panel or desktop (rightclick to access). I don't know how good the kubuntu packages are but the suse ones seem to have been polished (if only little opensuse idents here and there) and they have the most paid developers working on it (correct me if I'm wrong please), summary here and always upto date packages so I'm biased.

by Bobby (not verified)

I can only confirm what you said. I am also using openSuse 10.3. I had a little problem with compositing yesterday (I have a nVidia card) but that also improved after using a tip somebody here gave.
The only funny thing that I am experiencing is that the panel flickers and gets transparent sometimes when I am writing in FIrefox. It might be a bug. I might report it later. Otherwise things seem to be quite smooth and stable. I am slso using KDE3 apps without a problem. Just checked my e-mail using Kmail and burned a CD with K3b.

I would also like to say a very special thanks to the openSuse people who made it possible for us to get an almost daily update of the KDE 4.0 packages upto release. Well done :)

by Chaarles Fryett (not verified)

And today, just one day after release, the suse packages are yet again updated.

ps I wish I had never installed kubuntu as a quick fix after a dead HD with gentoo on it. openSUSE you guys rock (oh... and the kde devs ;) )

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

My personal impressions:

BAD first:
- Some apps like ktorrent and dolphin are slower than it's KDE3 counterparts.
- Plasma.. is still like a baby, it does have potential, but right now it just eat and produces some bad-smelling material ;) Not being able to drag and drop a plasmoid from desktop to taskbar is bad.
- Oxygen style needs more work. Much of criticism (fair ones in my opinion) that was made about it was not fixed. Having the same color for window title for focused and non-focused windows is horrible, no matter what oxygen team says.
- Still immature, BUT it is way, way better than the release candidates, so 4.0.1 should be much better. Let's hope it dosen't take more than 2 months to it arrive.

GOOD ones:
- splash and logout screens are wonderful. It look very professional and in my opinion should serve as an example to other areas to follow.
- Seems much more simpler than 3.X, this will probally be a good thing for new users once things mature enought for them being able to use it without much bugs and not-yet-done parts.
- Uses qt4. Currently I belive qt is much superior than KDE (for 2.0 and 3.0 I tought the inverse), so KDE have to catch this quality in the code.

Overall not impressive, but I'm betting KDE 4.1 will be.
I think this first release should be called KDE 3.9.

by Morty (not verified)

>Not being able to drag and drop a plasmoid from desktop to taskbar is bad.

Funny thing, something like this was never possible with the old Kicker(You could drag icon/links, but not applets etc).

And as far as i know, that kind of functionality are not avaliable in any other desktop either. But Plasma will eventually make it possible.

by Sebastian (not verified)

No, you are wrong - he just used some misleading phrases:

In KDE3.5,
(1) it is possible to drag a desktop object to the kicker panel.
(2) it is possible to frag a desktop object to the pager (kpager2) to be opened there.
(3) it is possible to drag a taskbar item to the desktop (then the corresponding link/URL/process name will be saved)

KDE3.5 got some nice and handy drag/mouse/key shortcuts, just that most people didn't know...

by Bobby (not verified)

"Plasma.. is still like a baby, it does have potential, but right now it just eat and produces some bad-smelling material ;) Not being able to drag and drop a plasmoid from desktop to taskbar is bad."

Plasma is still under heavy development we were told so what we see is just the beginning. Still we are the babies, we are the ones who have to learn how Plasma behaves.
If you want to drag and drop a plasmoid (widget) to the panel then you won't be successful by draging it from the desktop. You have to DRAG IT FROM THE PLASMOID DIALOG BOX. Yes the same window (whatever it's called) that you use to add the plasmoids to the desktop is where you have to drag them from to the panel. You can right click on icons in the start menu in order to add them to the panel or desktop :)

by Koko (not verified)

What I would like to see is "panel versions of plasmoids" build in every plasmoid. For example dragging NewsTicker plasmoid into panel should give me a smaller plasmoid with news which would look there better. (AFAIR Aseigo was talking about sth like this so maybe tit will happen :) )

btw. section "Plasmoids" is on instead of ATM Plasmoids are all C++ apps which need compilation. So IMO they should be placed in (on kde-apps.og there are already 2 plasmoids because authors didn't new that proper place is ). Ideally ATM there should by Plasmoid sections on -look and -apps which content would be the same.

by Anon (not verified)

"What I would like to see is "panel versions of plasmoids" build in every plasmoid. For example dragging NewsTicker plasmoid into panel should give me a smaller plasmoid with news which would look there better. (AFAIR Aseigo was talking about sth like this so maybe tit will happen :) )"

Yes, this is explicitly a core goal of Plasma, so you can definitely expect it. All of the infrastructure is there; applets writers simply need to respect the information provided by the Plasma core and adjust their applets accordingly. Some already do this, IIRC.

"btw. section "Plasmoids" is on instead of ATM Plasmoids are all C++ apps which need compilation. So IMO they should be placed in (on kde-apps.og there are already 2 plasmoids because authors didn't new that proper place is ). Ideally ATM there should by Plasmoid sections on -look and -apps which content would be the same."

Full agreement, here - is the last place I would have thought of looking!

by Adrian Baugh (not verified)

My iPod was detected just fine (kubuntu latest debs). But my 3rd generation iPod really struggles to speak to linux. Not sure if it's the iPod being crappy, or the sbp2 firewire driver, but it's never been happy through various iterations of the kernel. Works fine over usb though (but doesn't charge...)
I have to say, I'm not keen on the new menu. But I found it okay to replace it with the old one.
As you say, the compositing is dog slow (nVidia 5200 here, works okay with compiz, ack pfft!) even with the NVIDIA_HACK trick but hey, it's only a .0.0 release so I'm sure the optimisation will follow. Now the artists have finished their generally good work on oxygen, perhaps they could turn their attention to the effects - I had a better "exploding windows" effect on WindowMaker 8 years ago, with no accelerated graphics...
Plus, with a load of files on my desktop those little plasma borders look pretty ugly - hopefully future editions will bring a way to turn them off? I don't see much need to rotate and resize the icons for the random selection of ready-use files I keep on my desktop.

However, congratulations to the developers. Overall it's a massive achievement and with a bit of optimisation 4.1 will be a stunning general-consumption desktop!

by Andre (not verified)

Congratulations to the whole community on reaching this very important milestone. May 4.0.0 be the basis for an amazing series of releases!

by Adriaan de Groot (not verified)

I'll report on "my" platforms, as a non-Linux user. FreeBSD is in the "it compiles, but runtime is buggy" stage; there is a Qt4 port you can use, and compiling out of SVN has been fairly stable for a long time. Weird konqueror slowdowns have still not been investigated. Lack of manpower is to blame. Some modules fail to compile (multimedia, utils) but I have not looked at them. Join us on #kde-freebsd to help out.

For OpenSolaris, the situation is the perhaps muddier "runtime is ok, but I can't explain how to compile it." Stefan Teleman just blogged more screenies, but getting KDE4 to compile means a lot of manual work to get the dependencies all compiled with the right C++ libraries. It looks like Qt 4.3.1 is required; Qt 4.3.3 seems to have serious memory leaks in the OpenGL stuff on Solaris, but we haven't had time to track that down either. Join in on #kde-solaris for *that* side of the fence.

KDE4 continues the long KDE tradition of cross-platform support (even if it's not-quite-there on the non-Linux Free Software OSsen -- don't get me started on Plan9 unless you have ported to it recently).

by David Johnson (not verified)

"Some modules fail to compile (multimedia, utils)"

I am using FreeBSD, and would love to help figure out what's going on with kdeutils. I am able to build it by hand out of svn, with no problems. Unfortunately, my time is almost completely booked until next week. But if you send me a link to the ports, I can poke about if I find some time.

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

that would be great; ade can use all the help he can get as he's a pivot point right now for both BSD and OpenSolaris as well as being on the KDE e.V. board of directors. oh, and something about a family and a day job. ;) the more people we can get involved with platforms such as FreeBSD, the better! =)

by AIK (not verified)

Congrats to all who worked on it!

by Jakob Petsovits (not verified)

Heh, the promo team managed to surprise me again. I expected a loud hallelujah and praises in this release announcement, it almost feels like pure understatement :D

Congrats to everyone involved! Let's make 4.[0.]1 even more rock!

by Diederik van de... (not verified)

Definitely! I'm really happy to see such exhaustive introduction to KDE 4.0. Lately I was looking for good screenshots to show people something, but now I can just point them to :D

The visual guide looks good :)

by Odysseus (not verified)

Yeah, it's a very good announcement, nicely covers everything in an understated way, good job guys.

But I'm still wonderig about the need for a 'truth in advertising' page detailing what doesn't work so well, what doesn't work at all, and what was deferred to 4.1. I can hear a million ill-informed bloggers firing up their KBlogger as we speak...

For my part I need to post something about the printing changes.


by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

there's enough good stuff in the release to concentrate on that for the time being. the blogosphere is actually very positive on this release right now, and 4.1 will end up being an answer-through-action for much of the rest.

the "this is the beginning" communication has been very effective. i even saw it echoed on wired blogs today. people get it. =)

by Michael Ballantyne (not verified)

Perhaps the blogosphere is positive, but public comments seem negative.

Just look at the comments on the CNET article

or the discussion on Ars

or the comments on digg

by reihal (not verified)

gnomes and MS employees.
Don't worry.

by T. J. Brumfield (not verified)

Ars Technica is normally a very pro-Linux crowd, and Digg is very mixed.

CNET has been somewhat objective surprisingly in many reviews. I believe they've been giving the Eee PC great reviews.

by Thomas (not verified)

Congrats! KDE-team.. you rock!

by Junaid (not verified)

Bundles of congratulations to the devs, you did it people !!

by Emil Sedgh (not verified)

/me gives free beer to whole KDE Community!

by Bobby (not verified)

You mean free beer like FREE Augustiner or just free like "free" :D

A big thank you, lots of congrats and praise to the powerful KDE Team!
I am proud of you guys and happy to have discovered such a wonderful desktop environment that I enjoy using on a daily basis.

by Wyatt (not verified)


No seriously, as soon as I unbreak portage, I think I'll install this

by j.v. (not verified)

I really do!!!

by Jens Uhlenbrock (not verified)

Yeah, after all the bashing it is time to give some love!!

Great job, guys and gals! You are amazing!

by Jos (not verified)

Excellent! This is truly a great moment. KDE4 can run on Mac OS X and Windows, allowing people that cannot yet switch to a free operating system to use it.

So where can I get the windows version of KDE4?

by Aneurin Price (not verified)

Sorry to disappoint, but the answer's something like 'in about six months to a year', if you're looking for a polished stable release.

In the mean time, there's always if you can live with some roughness.

by Max (not verified)

This is going to be so cool....

Let's ween people slowly off Windows!!! First they get used to the desktop, then they switch the "engine" underneath...

Once they get used to the new "body"/"interior", who cares what "engine" runs underneath. If it's faster and more stable, even better. :) Let's face it, how many people these days actually look at the engine of their car??? - My point exactly :D

So let's keep the Windows packages coming and stir up the publicity!!!!

Thank you to all that have been involved!!

by Aaron J. Seigo (not verified)

just in case there is confusion on this point, the workspace is *not* being ported to windows or mac.

by JohnFlux (not verified)

KRunner has a lot of contrast - white on black. Is this the final design? Will it be like that in 4.1 as well?
It would be nice if it was a bit more soft imho.

by Anon (not verified)

IIRC, Ruphy is planning very extensive changes to KRunner for 4.1, visually and internally.

by Torsten Rahn (not verified)

Honestly, I love it. It fits the look and feel of my beloved Thinkpad X60s nicey.

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I think it's ugly.
It should look more like the sign-off screen and less like a mix of dark and white that made me remember some obscure windows 3.1 apps :-P

by Jan (not verified)

4.0 is awesome (and its just the beginning :D), thanks to all the people for their hard work!

By the way, splitted packages for Arch Linux are available here:

Thanks again, and have a nice weekend :)

by Koko (not verified)

"openSUSE 10.3: For openSUSE 10.3, the KDE Team worked on the base technologies of KDE 4. openSUSE 10.3 offers by default a KDE3 desktop with single KDE4 applications. A preview of KDE 4.0 desktop (Beta 2) can also be installed. The aim is to offer an easy way to update to the final KDE 4.0 release once it is available."

Beta2? This is outdated right? When I w ill click this button on 10.3 I will get KDE4?

by Kane (not verified)

I've been using the beta packages for a while, and I just updated and it's installing 4.0 packages, rather than 3.9.x.x so it looks like they already updated the repos...

by Grósz Dániel (not verified)

Beta 2 is on the openSUSE 10.3 DVD and the official repository. The KDE4 repository contains the most recent version for a long time ago, now 4.0. The button installs that.

by Bobby (not verified)

The repros have been updated since the 10.01.2008 at 23:33. I have updated my packages since this morning (amost 9 hours ago).