Linux KDE 4.2 RC1: Photos

Linux KDE 4.2 RC1: Photos

Summary: The latest version of the KDE desktop environment, mostly used on Linux, arrived last week (4.2 RC1), with the final product due on 22 January. We had a peek inside to see what this overhaul offers.

TOPICS: Open Source, Linux

 |  Image 1 of 9

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • First things first, here you can see we have installed KDE 4.1.96 (RC2). We did so by installing Kubuntu 8.10, adding the developer repository, updating and then restarting.

    Kubuntu is simply the Ubuntu OS with the KDE desktop rather than the GNOME desktop — which normally comes with the Ubuntu distro.

    (Credit: Alex Serpo/

  • The KDE desktop interface is called "Plasma", a term roughly equivalent to the "Aero" interface in Windows Vista. This is what it looks like.

    (Credit: Alex Serpo/

Topics: Open Source, Linux

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • cool but slow and laggy

    i really love the cool looks of kde4. its very sleek and feels really intergrated. my only problem with is that most of the transitioning effect can be very laggy.. i use an intel x3100 card which run compiz like liquid. but lags alot on kde4 . hope this is improved. other than that.. kde4 is a step in thenright direction.
  • Amazing...

    Now that Qt is FINALLY under a completely unrestrictive license (now that Nokia owns Qt and not Troll Tech, a much smaller company), I think KDE is set to become the standard Linux DE (desktop environment) and perhaps replace GNOME, to some degree.

    Qt is the graphics library KDE uses, to make all those flasy buttons and graphics. GNOME uses GTK (which has been Open Source Friendly) for all this time... this is why GNOME apps are more numerous than KDE apps...

    But, as I said, Nokia make Qt under the LGPL, with the intention of encouraging more developers to use it, without worry of licenses!

    The future is VERY bright for KDE4.2+ indeed... sure it's intial release was misunderstood... but now the bugs ( for all intensive purposes ) have been ironed out... it only gets better.

    I am even concidering switching from Ubuntu to Kubuntu or some other Distro that uses KDE 4.2+ All the major distros will start packaging KDE4.2+ right away, and finally do away with all the problems of KDE4.0 intial release.

    BTW, you can still run all your GNOME apps(GTK) using KDE, and vise versa.!
  • Desktop

    It looks awful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I find more favour with Windows 7. It is more refined and doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.
  • That's why it's great to have options, no?

    You think that KDE looks awful, and I think that Vista SP2 (aka Windows 7) looks awful.

    But that's why it's great to have options, no?

    If we left things to Microsoft, there would be zero alternatives and no options; just 1 Microsoft Way.
  • Why is everything so BIG?

    Why is everything so BIG? Huge buttons, menus that take up over a third of the screen? Was this done at 640x480?

    I think that's my biggest gripe Windows UI vs KDE/Gnome. I have a 20" monitor running at 1280x1024. It this scale I expect to fit over a dozen icons vertically (yes, I realize icons on your desktop are poo pood in the latest KDE. I'm just using it as an example.) The start/task bar should be a sliver across the bottom. Standard dialog boxes should be less than 1/64th of the screen size, not 2/3 as shown in some of those screen shots.

    I hope the developers include the option to scale things down to more reasonable levels.
  • article problems

    I'm not trying to nitpick, but windows aero is the state of off loading graphics operations to the graphics card, thus running your desktop via rendering 3d operations, not the vista sidebar. Thus, plasma is more equivalent to the sidebar and its widgets and has nothing to do with aero.

    Also, most of the features are adding back features that existed in previous kde versions. In rewriting code for qt4, some code had to be rewritten and features were lost. This release is a major portion of reviving those lost features such as right click logout, multi line taskbar, and auto hiding the taskbar.
  • now?

    "and the taskbar can now auto hide."

    The taskbar was able to auto-hide and go huge-ugly at least as far back as 3.5.
  • a little ajax?

    c'mon. do i really need to reload the whole page for just a pic?
  • Why is everything so BIG?

    You can or will be able to in some cases. That was one of the reasons why icons are in vector format instead of raster (Pixels)
    Case where you can change icons on the fly is in Dolphin (file Manager) as exhibited in slide 4 above. You can see it way at the bottom of each view. Also, you can change icon size globally or in different areas using the Computer Settings.
    I am pretty sure there will be a lot more new features and enhancements in the future. The developers have been concentrating mostly on reliability and completing features that were in KDE 3.x and are missing from KDE 4.x still.
    I am running Kubuntu 4.2 RC1 and it is very reliable and also fast even on low level hardware. Well, that is my experience.
  • Desktop

    Windows 7 wants to be KDE. Windows 7 has recently been in development and KDE 4 has more than 2 years of development.
  • LGPL is MORE restrictive

    It REDUCES user's Freedom, letting proprietary program be linked with the library.
    People should value freedom above all, otherwise they'd better change OS and go in the golden land of Windows or MacOS.
    So LGPL is a sad change
  • What?

    Just so I know what the heck you're talking about - what's the difference between GPL and LGPL?
  • Wrong

    Windows 7 is not an OS drawn up on a clean sheet, it is more of an update to Vista which has been around for a long time and certainly under development well before the version of KDE being talked about here.

    I can appreciate that people who prefer a Linux OS will obviously prefer the look of KDE though, it's only natural. :-)
  • Option of licenses

    From what I understood, Qt was being released in a LGPL version, so that there were three different versions available: one under GPL, one under LGPL, and one under mystery license.

    That way, developers have complete freedom in choosing a license.
  • The difference between GPL and LGPL

    If you use any part of a GPL licensed program, all the new derivated program is under GPL licences too. And LGPL is for librarys. So that you can use it from a private -propietary- program, without it loosing it's propietary license. Example, you can make a propietary cd-write program interfase that calls a LGPL cd-write library.
  • Silly thing to say

    Why not just say that Vista tried to mimic the eye-candy of OSX? Or that OSX was ported over from the original KDE?

    It's silly to say the win7 interface (which I haven't experienced myself) is an update to Vista's, which was drawn up before [b]this implementation[/b] of KDE, hence some kind of 'original'.

    If you're going to make sense, compare Vista's interface with the KDE released at that time. Concurrent evolution can occur in parallel.
  • article problems

    Just to correct you, aero feature is not "state of the art" as MacOS X has already did this before and so is compiz on Linux.

    To top it up , kwin4 does "off-load" it graphics to the hardware if the driver allows it.
  • Karamba

    You forget that all this widgets-on-desktop thing was being used in KDE 3, years before Vista were on the design desk, through Karamba/Superkaramba. Plasma has now replaced Superkaramba, but it's definitely not a copy from Vista; maybe from MacOs? I don't know, I'm not a very good Macintosh conoisseur.
  • Poor screenshots

    As far as appearance goes, KDE 4.2 is beautiful and highly theme able, so if you don't like the way it looks you can change it, or create your own theme.

    These screenshots are in fact among the worst I've seen. There are plenty of other sites that give you decent screenshots that give you some idea how nice and shiny KDE 4.2 really is.
  • And so its back again...

    So its back again after being absent in 4.0 and 4.1. They're just telling you the feature is back again...