Linux gets spruced-up desktop

KDE 2.2.2 arrives, with security updates and a need for speed
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

The K Desktop Environment Project has released a new version of KDE. The software is a desktop environment running on top of Linux, the open-source operating system favoured by software developers and many Web sites.

KDE 2.2.2 fixes bugs and security glitches and adds a few new features over 2.2.1, released last month, but the main advantage to users will be speed improvements. The new desktop speeds up icon loading and some dialog boxes. Some developers feel that KDE's performance -- which has been criticised as slow -- is now the main issue developers should focus on.

Version 2.2.2 is the last scheduled update of the KDE 2 series before version 3 appears. The KDE Project unveiled a KDE 3 alpha in October designed to encourage developers to begin porting applications to the new environment. Screenshots of what the new desktop will look like appeared earlier this month.

Packages for installing the new desktop are available on KDE's Web site and will soon be available through the automatic software update programs in individual Linux distributions, like Red Hat, Mandrake and SuSE. KDE also runs on other implementations of Unix, such as FreeBSD.

In August the organisation, which draws on the efforts of a large number of open-source enthusiasts, released version 1.1 of its office suite.

KDE's aim is to create an easy-to-use desktop for Unix-based systems, similar to those found on consumer operating systems like Macintosh or Windows. The other most popular desktop scheme is GNOME.

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