KDE 4.1.0 disappoints

Jul 31, 2008

Learning that KDE 4.1.0 had been released by the KDE Community, I hastened to download and install this latest, greatest Linux desktop on the Ubuntu-powered Black Tower. Put generously, the results were highly disappointing!

While much more finished than version 4.0, this initial version 4.1 release of KDE still has gaping holes in both its basic functionality and its user friendliness. On the other hand, the new desktop sports radical new features and enhancements compared to the current KDE 3.5.x, so it’s not surprising that finalizing it is taking longer than had been hoped.

The Black Tower’s rather unsatisfying KDE 4.1.0 desktop
(Click for larger view)

Based on my limited experience so far, KDE 4.1.0 really should have been positioned as a “beta release,” or better yet a “feature preview release” — rather than having the “full release” status that a “version 4.1″ designation implies. In short: it’s simply not ready for prime time.

KDE 4.1.0′s System Settings tool
(Click for larger view)

Some of the numerous obstacles I’ve run into so far, in attempting to use it on the Black Tower, include:

  • Inability to automatically align icons (aka “widgets”) on the desktop (what happened to KDE 3′s “Align to grid” option?)
  • Inability to add user-defined icons (widgets) to the desktop
  • Inability to add widgets to the task bar (e.g. “Show desktop” or Konsole), either by using the “Add widgets” function or by dragging them from the desktop
  • I had to delete the ~/.kde4/ directory in order for 4.1 to load without crashing
  • Why are my applications’ fonts now so darned ugly?
  • Why are the titles below the desktop icons truncated?
  • Etc….

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these problems (“features”?) have simple solutions of which I’m not aware. But if so, I don’t see why an experienced KDE 3 user should have so much trouble transitioning to KDE 4. Perhaps a “Quick Start for KDE 3 Users,” listing key operational differences in easy-to-absorb terms, should have been included on KDE 4.1.0′s default desktop?

In conclusion, as a highly satisfied user of KDE 3 for about 7 years, I’m certainly not looking forward to switching to something as alien as KDE 4 appears to be, based on my experience with it so far. Hopefully, when the KDE developers are really finished with KDE 4, it’ll be both a desirable — and user-friendly — upgrade from KDE 3.

I suppose I’m having a taste of what Windows XP users have been forced to swallow in migrating to Vista. But with the KDE Community being a far cry from Microsoft, I suspect the finished product (KDE 4.3.1? ;-) ) will be more than satisfactory! For now, I’m eagerly awaiting that day; but until it dawns I’ll stick with KDE 3, thank you very much.

Please Note

Be sure to read the interesting and informative reader comments below — they form an integral part of this article. Also note that since initially publishing this story, I performed a full reinstall of KDE 4.1.0; by doing so, I was able to resolve some of the issues cited above (see my comments below regarding this).

Further information on the KDE 4.1.0 release is available here.


61 Responses to “KDE 4.1.0 disappoints”

  1. A.J. Venter says:

    Wow, somebody who hasn’t yet heard all the brouhaha about folderview ?

    Apparently you copied your KDE3 settings files over your .kde directory straight (rather use the migration wizard, it knows what NOT to copy) because even HAVING icons on the desktop is suppposed to be impossible in KDE4.1 – instead we have folderview, View many folders as icon sets on the desktop (both local and remote).

    I also suggest checking out Sebas’s excellent blog posts about plasma, once you see what the new desktop shell actually lets you do, you may very well rethink your opinions.

    Even so, KDE4 isn’t for everyone yet – and while it would be a great pity to lose an old user during this process, we are just doing what KDE needs to do – trying to build a better desktop -and what makes us different from Vista is this – you can join us from day one, and help steer what ends up being defined AS ‘a better desktop’.

  2. deviceguru says:

    Ack! I just googled kde folderview and am starting to understand what’s going on (although I can’t say I like it). Switching to a second user session that I logged into with KDE 4, I added back a “Folder View” widget to the desktop — heh, it was the first thing I eliminated in trying to rationalize my new KDE 4.1 desktop, after dragging icons out of it onto the desktop (that’s how they arrived there). I can see the KDE 4.1 desktop paradigm is rather different from that of KDE 3.x and will take some study and experimentation to get used to.

    By the way, some interesting info about what’s planned for this weird thing known as folderview is available here. Further background is here.

    I just tried rotating and resizing a desktop folderview widget — VERY strange! Here are a couple of folderview screenshots (click each one for a larger view):

  3. Chad says:

    I’m surprised that you’ve had problems dragging widgets to the taskbar. That functionality has existed since the early 4.0 releases. You might have to drag from the Add Widgets dialog rather that to the desktop first though. I haven’t experimented with it in 4.1 yet.


  4. deviceguru says:

    Regarding the problem of adding widgets to the taskbar: in KDE 3.x, when I click “Add Applet to Panel” an applet just drops onto the taskbar. But in my instance of KDE 4.1.0, when I click “Add Widget” a blank space shows up on the right-hand edge of the taskbar, but nothing shows up. Then, if I right-click over that blank spot, I’m given an option to “Remove unknown widget.” So something’s definitely not working in the taskbar widget-add function. Perhaps I’m missing the widget library?

  5. J says:

    you clearly have a borked installation of KDE 4.1

  6. tek says:

    How about making sure you install the software properly before telling the world “it’s not ready”. I’ve got KDE 4.1 installed and have experienced minimal problems, mostly based in the KDE Applications and not the core desktop. Try again and delete this garbage until you do.

  7. Aaron Seigo says:

    Yes, your 4.1 installation is indeed not clean; the crash you resolved by removing the .kde directory would be due to having old applet laying around (note that as of 4.1.0 this will only affect applets installed during alphas/betas/rc’s that aren’t updated as we now version the symbols and reject incompatible builds instead of crashing ;) and not being able to add things to your panel is a similar issue.

    Many OS packagers are still getting their head around the new package layouts and requirements in KDE4; they aren’t substantially more difficult than KDE3′s, they are just different. After 6 years of KDE3 and a couple more of KDE2 which had pretty much the same structure as well, it’s taking them some time to get all the ducks properly in a row. Unfortunately, until they do we look bad when they mess up. =/

    As for desktop icons vs folderviews … i see you arranged your icons in the traditional fashion into groupings. folderview is designed to make exactly that a lot easier by creating groups of icons that you can then drag about. You can even filter on names and in 4.2 we’ve added mimetype filtering too..

  8. deviceguru says:

    OK, I’ve just performed a complete removal of the prior install of KDE 4.x and a clean install as follows:

    (1) Verify that /etc/apt/sources.list contains the following line (without the quotation marks):
    “deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu hardy main”
    (2) Run run Adept and find all installed kde4-related packages (search for “kde4″); then request removal of all of them
    (3) Install the kubuntu kde4 packages using the following command line (without the quotation marks):
    “sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install kubuntu-kde4-desktop”
    (4) Add packages “recommended” and “suggested” by the above step, using the following command line:
    “sudo apt-get install ncompress p7zip-full zoo lame kdeartwork-emoticons-kde4 libotr2-bin libspectre1-dbg libvncserver0-dbg okular-extra-backends-kde4 pmount htdig libqca2-plugin-ossl kdeplasma-addons”

    Following this process, KDE 4.1.0 came up smoothly, and I can now add widgets to the taskbar. My other observations still hold, however.

  9. Aaron Seigo says:

    As for “beta release”, I think you have a slight misunderstanding as to what version numbers are for. They mark milestones around which releases are made. That’s what this is, and we’ve communicated *very* clearly what this release is, what is not and who it is appropriate for. Moreover, 4.1 is serving many people very well, so that would be one hell of a beta in any case.

    One of the “prices” of innovating on an open source code base is that there are releases that will be transitional; I think that given the years (6) of incremental KDE3 releases some KDE users forgot about this aspect of things. (The majority of innovation in KDE3 was laid down in 2.0/2.1.)

    In any case, it’s good to see you have the wisdom to stick with what works for you best (KDE3) until the new stuff is ready for your particular tastes/needs. Do note, however, that you can run KDE4 apps in a KDE3 desktop session, and vice versa, so it’s not an all-or-nothing thing.

  10. Cypress says:

    I still like the 3.x series better. I just don’t get this new version.

  11. Jeff says:

    I agree with many of the posters that reviews like this do not serve the community well. Your mistakes in your initial installation soured the tone of this review from which it could never recover. Worse yet, LXer picked it up and now many casual users are already down on 4.1 based on the 4.0 debacle and some early, misguided, reviews.

    That being said I need to respond to Aaron’s comment defending the KDE development team’s behavior when it comes to releases, version numbering, and their expectations when it comes to the KDE community. The KDE dev team has really flown in the face of conventional development by releasing what was, by standard definition, pre-release code as a full blown digit release. Certainly the team is still smarting from that blunder and KDE 4.0. If I were you I would tread very lightly when criticizing the community for not sharing your perspective on their expectations of point (.1) releases. The KDE development team might be a lot lower on the flame pole had they just followed conventional versioning (digit release for prod-level code, point release for functional improvements) practices rather than re-inventing the wheel.

  12. xvalentinex says:

    I don’t mean to be a troll, and I’m sure I’ll get flamed for this, but Ubuntu is a very Gnome centric distro. From reading your article it looks like your not even using Kubuntu, which still does not operate as well as other KDE centric distros. On top of that you didn’t do a clean install of KDE, rather just pushed some new debs on top of old ones.

    Then to add insult to injury almost all of what you say doesn’t work, actually does. Save the fonts looking ugly, but I would blame that on your distro. Also, it’s really easy to change. Fixing your fonts will also help with your truncated icon names.

    It’s a shame LXer is so desperate for sensationalism, that it would feature such a poorly done article. Next time if your going to do a review. Do a fresh install. Either on another PC or a Virtualized OS (VirtualBox is free, but you won’t be able to use the compositing effects), also don’t forget to install the virtual tools, lest you may blame something else for your mouse acting skitish.

  13. xvalentinex says:

    Oh that’s sad, it was actually you that posted it to LXer. Now I just think your being a sensationalist for your own gain.

  14. deviceguru says:


    That’s not true at all — this blog post isn’t about sensationalism. It’s an honest assessment of my experience with testing KDE 4 as an upgrade to my existing Kubuntu 8.04-based install. As you’ll see in the comments above, I removed it and installed it more cleanly, and some of the issues disappeared. But it’s still missing some basic features that have existed for years in KDE 3. A standard Ubuntu/KDE (aka Kubuntu) install has fine fonts, and my system already has been enhanced with ttf fonts — so why wouldn’t KDE 4 discover and use all those resources?

  15. Dulwithe says:

    “A standard Ubuntu/KDE (aka Kubuntu) install has fine fonts, and my system already has been enhanced with ttf fonts — so why wouldn’t KDE 4 discover and use all those resources?”

    Most distros’ “standard” installs pull lots of elements together and try to optimize them. So, just like the Ubuntu team checks fonts and puts some decent rendering fonts and settings for default, other distros (at least any reputable distro) with KDE4 default will also check fonts and make them decent before releasing.

    The trouble, and greatness, of linux is that you can add/remove things at your own will. But, you suffer the consequences. Your fonts not looking good means that you haven’t set them up to look good yet. A vanilla install of a distribution means that OTHER PEOPLE have already done this job for you.

    I added XFCE to an install of PCLOS that I had, and it was buggy. The reason is: The people creating the PCLOS distro were busy making sure that their default desktop and apps work well, and they don’t have time to hold the hand of users who want to forge off on their own into experimental land.

    You really should edit the title of this blog, and the contents, to include the new knowledge that you gleaned from reader’s comments. You REALLY SHOULD!!!

    Also, if you really want to try a nice KDE4 distro, why not try OpenSuse11 (I haven’t tried it yet, but hear it is decent) or another with KDE4. (Doesn’t kubuntu have a kde4 release??)


  16. anna says:

    I understand where you’re coming from with this review, when I first tried KDE4 I went “whoa back up” on a lot of things. The thing is, no one really said it’s ready for primetime. 4.1 is just supposed to better than 4.0. The road to KDE 3.5 was a bumpy one too :)

    Do keep in mind that a LOT of things were written from the ground up (which is why there have been vast improvements in effects and speed). Lde4 isn’t meant to be an upgrade to kde3, it’s not even in the same ballpark. I’ve been a die hard gnome user for years, and switching has made me change my desktop using habits quite significantly.. but I found that when I let it happen my life became easier, the desktop became faster because boy is it fast, and in my opinion it’s just gorgeous :)

    So think of it like Mac OSX when it first rolled out. Now that was something, people needed to use virtualization for backwards compatibility, same with Intel Macs. Same with kde4 – need to mix and match a little if you intend to use it every day. I found it worth it, but I wouldn’t wish the bumpy ride on anyway.

    I’m just excited to see what comes next :)

  17. dan says:

    I’ve reverted to 3.5.9 due to the dreadful performance of the NVIDIA chipset that I have. I’m hoping that the drivers correct the problem because I really liked 4.1. The only must have feature that is missing for me is the 4.x port of Digikam which is currently in beta, and was a bit buggy. I applaud the work that has been done and eagerly look ahead to what is coming.

  18. Casey says:

    Just a heads up. If you are on the nvidia chipset, a work around to “test/play” with kde4.1 that I’m using is with virtualbox. After adding the guest additions, (for full screen and better rez capabilities), kubuntu with 4.1 is pretty slick. I too added 4.1 to my ubuntu system, and with the nviidia 8800GTS, it crashes like a bad brother in law staying over. In the virtual box session, it very smooth and responsive (no crashes), so at least I can test and give feedback on what I like/dislike.

    Currently though, as an ubuntu/gnome user, I’m not seeing anything convincing to move me away on a permanent basis. (my ubuntu main desktop using compiz/avant window manager/ttf fonts, and screenlets is an great place to work from as is.)

    That said, the 4.1 release at least seems stable, and the new folderview/plasmoid stuff is very interesting. :)

  19. xvalentinex says:

    “But it’s still missing some basic features that have existed for years in KDE 3″

    I’m sorry, I realize your just trying to get it up and running for the first time. I have a little hostility in me from all the other blogs.

    Most of the blogs that have had it out for KDE4 don’t ever give specifics about what it is exactly that’s so broken. You have given a few.

    Before going over them, you have to realize that the traditional sense of a “Desktop” is gone. The KDE Dev’s have done some backwards compatibility stuff based on complaints, which is how you ended up with your current desktop. I personally don’t have the feature to make the Desktop Folder View the full size of the screen like you have, but that doesn’t meen the Ubuntu guys didn’t patch your version with that feature (or that I’m missing it completely). You should be able to collapse it down into a Folder View Widget (probably the black square in the top left).

    I’ve long believed that the “Desktop” is worthless. It’s sole purpose is to invite you to your DE with something beautiful and make it quick to launch your first application/file, after that you should use Krunner or Kmenu to open your other applications. It’s ineffecient to be in the habbit of minimizing all your windows, find the application/file you want in a congested mess of icons, and then repeat as necessary. I think if you actually tried KDE4 for more than a few hours you would find that this is the case.

    * Inability to automatically align icons (aka “widgets”) on the desktop (what happened to KDE 3’s “Align to grid” option?)

    Any Icons (Applications/Links) should be put in a Folder View widget which will keep them aligned by default. Don’t go crazy, remember the Desktop is to launch your first app/file, keep it simple, minimal, and organized.

    * Inability to add user-defined icons (widgets) to the desktop

    As I think you discoverd, drag and drop works fine. You can even drag and drop right into your Folder View Widget so it’s aligned.

    * Inability to add widgets to the task bar (e.g. “Show desktop” or Konsole), either by using the “Add widgets” function or by dragging them from the desktop

    As I think you discovered, drag and drop works.

    * I had to delete the ~/.kde4/ directory in order for 4.1 to load without crashing

    Problem with your distro/upgrade.

    * Why are my applications’ fonts now so darned ugly?

    As Dulwithe says, no DE is going to default to the perfect fonts, but that’s hardly a usability issue. I changed my fonts to how I liked them in KDE3 and I had to do the same in KDE4, I found that lowering all the font sizes by 1 and changing to DejaVu Sans Serif fonts gave me the most enjoyable settings.

    * Why are the titles below the desktop icons truncated?

    This is legitimate. I don’t like it either, but playing with your font sizes helps. Let’s see if there is a feature request on KDE Bugs and add our votes.

    * Etc….

    Vague, like the other blogs.

    Basically it boils down to you wanting to have your Desktop cluttered with icons, which the KDE Devs have accomadated you (I don’t think they should have). Issues with an upgrade. Issues with what your distro decided to use as default fonts. One legitimate bug, which is hardly a usability deal breaker, and definately not worth a “Huge dissapointment, generously put”

  20. Jack says:


    Is anyone else amazed at the pro-KDE4 responses to this blog?

    I mean, seriously. Here’s a guy having a KDE4.1 install experience similar to many, many people I know who’ve tried KDE4 (usually in its openSUSE or KUBUNTU incarnations). Loss of functionality, odd functionality, misunderstanding widgets, and very much a feeling that what is labeled 4.0 really needs “BETA” stamped *VERY CLEARLY* beside it.

    And what do the KDE4 friendly responses say?

    “How about making sure you install the software properly before telling the world “it’s not ready”.”

    “I agree with many of the posters that reviews like this do not serve the community well. Your mistakes in your initial installation soured the tone of this review from which it could never recover. Worse yet, LXer picked it up and now many casual users are already down on 4.1 based on the 4.0 debacle and some early, misguided, reviews.”

    “Vague, like the other blogs. Basically it boils down to you wanting to have your Desktop cluttered with icons, which the KDE Devs have accomadated you (I don’t think they should have). ”

    Ad nauseum.

    Oh you poor blogger. You obviously only care to use the glory that is KDE for practical, every-day, productive work. You simply don’t understand the grand vision that is KDE4. lol

    How arrogant a responses can you get than listening to “user feedback” and blowing it off as “Oh you just don’t understand it.”

    And as for Aaron Seigo’s claim that the numbers in KDE releases mark “Milestones in the release schedule” — umm… what sort of planet are you living on? Maybe the KDE release schedule doesn’t translate well into American English, but over here across the pond we’ve tended to see release numbering as some sort of sequential increase inferring some improvement from one stable release to another. Unstable releases, alpha or beta releases are labeled as such.

  21. G o t h a m says:

    Aesthetically impressive, but completely unusable in Dell Inspiron 1520 with Nvidia 8600 GT, probably due to Nvidia driver issue.

    Fonts default size (10) is not definitely a smart default, too big, makes the desktop look cheap.

    Lot of visual glitches, distorted images appear in contextual menus just before they show up, window moving, resizing, switching, minimizing and maximizing is terribly slow and buggy. In general terms, UI responsiveness is fucked up (Again, maybe NVidia drivers issue).

    Panel is resizeable but tasks in the panel cant be layed out in multiple rows.

    Amarok is missing…

    Good news is Kopete’s new version is included, bad news is, however, that new version is as bad and buggy as previous one (At leas for MSN accounts). Messages suddenly start to take too much time to send and receive, and file transfer is, as always has been, excessive slow, buggy, works 1 in 10 times, … in a word, a shame!

    Hope all this got fixed soon, looks promising.

  22. fpoole says:

    Hey Jack, your “pond” metaphor is out of place… Seigo’s Canadian. As for “pro-KDE4 responses”, the remark about proper installation is common sense; if you’ve got a garble of KDE3 and KDE4 data mixed up in ~/.kde/ you might expect some problems, so that’s a legitimate comment. Not a fair target for you to tear down in my opinion. Posting a review whose conclusions were based on a botched install of new software on a site where thousands of readers may find it isn’t admirable or advisable, so I don’t know why you’d construe that as “pro-KDE4″. That’s pro-professionalism. A poorly-informed reviewer isn’t doing much of a service to the community, right? The usefulness of feedback is only what the user makes it… a comment along the lines of, “your new desktop ideas suck, I want my old shit,” isn’t going to do much to help KDE devs. Neither are all the cheap shots against Aaron S. which seem to be en vogue these days. If you want to slag off a software project, go talk shit on proprietary stuff.

  23. CeVO says:

    Running KDE 4.1 on Arch, and this is the best KDE 4 experience so far. Though Arch is not my day to day distro (yet… still running MEPIS), the clean approach of Arch really pays of when you move to KDE 4. I share the criticism here that you should not have posted this blog in this form, since your experience is obviously based on non-KDE 4 related issues. Try installing Gnome on MEPIS and then write a review about it. MEPIS is just not Gnome friendly. In this case, your distro did not provide a proper upgrade path either.

    KDE 4 is responsive, stable and the plasma based desktop is starting to pay off. It is too bad that some major apps have not been ported over to 4 yet. My major gripe is that I can no longer use Kioslaves in KDE 3 applications.

    Is KDE 4.1 for the masses? As Aaron Seigo already said, no, not yet. But for early adopters this is an important release, that will build up momentum and confidence. In January 2009 the KDE 4.2 desktop will definitely set the paradigm for all others, I am pretty sure about that.

  24. drz says:

    Hi deviceguru

    I think it would be only fair to correct (update) your main article according to the misconfiguration you have done (copying kde3 stuff etc) rather than correcting something in the comments section. Not everybody reads the comments. (I came here from linuxtoday.com , so your article is being recepted by many people and people who know kde4 know youre wrong in many ways. Did you try to copy your personal settings from windows 98 to windows xp :) Or do you try new devices by applying an old driver and write that this and that feature doesnt work at all? :)).
    If you really want to know how a particular software works and you want to write about it, why dont you make a clean install first? I dont understand this. Is this your “journalistic” care? Anybody seems to try new software(-versions) by treating it like its successors, but havent you heard there was a radical change?
    For someone who calls himself a device”guru” this is no good promotion for your reputation.

    Well, this proves how “media” work, negative news sell, intentionally or not.

    I, personally, totally agree with ceVO, that kde4 has already set the paradigm for all others.

  25. RR says:

    Brilliant, this new KDE release numbering standard. Let us see now, 4.0 means full release until all hell breaks loose, then it means pre-beta? … Uh, and 4.1 means what today? Forecast for tomorrow, anyone?

    This kind of confusion-mongering will probably drive away more people than any number of bad reviews. Please, innovate on the desktop, not in version numbering.

  26. dan says:

    4.1 means July 29, just as 4.2 means Jan 29 2009. The major versions are time corollary-every 6 months. The minor number, 4.1.1 as an example, is a point release. It’s not such a weird concept in open source. The linux kernel is likely to take a similar date based format as just proposed by Linus, ending the 2.6.xx/2.8 that doesn’t correspond to anything really.

  27. roland says:

    I have been running a clean install of 4.1 for the better part of the week on my Arch install and I have been *very* impressed. It took some gettting used to and some of the KDE apps themselves are a little sketchy, but as KDE itself goes it’s been smooth.
    I run Ubuntu on my laptop and tried a clean install there. My experience there was the exact opposite of my Arch install. It was unresponsive, prone to crash. Bug reports were filed and I have decided that I like 4.1 enough to install Arch on the laptop, but I say all this to say that it really does seem like many of the problems people have with 4.1 are Ubuntu users. Nothing against Ubuntu, but it’s focus really is Gnome.

  28. RR says:

    Surely you jest!

  29. RR says:

    Look, KDE guys, we all like KDE, like you, and want to see KDE continue to trailblaze. Only, like Jack (August 1, 8:52pm, whose comments are worth rereading), I too have seen a number of KDE enthusiasts get bowled over by the changes in 4.0, made worse by the fact (yes, fact) that much of it still functions at a beta level at best, and made much worse by the fact that wherever they ask for help (with or without specifics), they get attacked for doing something, or not doing something, or assuming something, or not knowing something, or whatever.

    Deviceguru has done us all a service by posting his experience, and fearlessly responding to suggestions as they come in. While arcane formulas may make KDE 4.0 and 4.1 function under some conditions, it is evident that it is just not working for thousands of us.

    What will help now? Workarounds for common stumbling blocks? Advice on which distros work best at this point, obviously not K/Ubuntu? Explanation of new concepts? Tutorials for new ways of doing things? We like KDE, want to see it continue to succeed, and there are a whole bunch of people here still listening.

  30. Robert says:

    I wish bloggers who play at being journalists had enough pride to actually research something before posting.

  31. eric willemen says:

    if you want to test kde 4.1 maybe next time use a desent distro kubuntu compared to other kde centric distros is a piece of s….. Used it for 9 months and i had nothing but random crashes etc. if you dont like kde 4.1 why dont you try to write a desktop yourself first before bashing ppl whom all volunteered “their own time” to write a piece of software which is completely “free” to use. im not a programmer myself but i ve the uttermost respect for the kde guys who wrote the desktop (3.5.x and 4.x). The ppl who wrote the new desktop have absolutely no acountability to anyone about the state of their software. dont like it may i suggest windows and enjoy you payed for crap since ms wont even acknowledge that there is any problem with their buggy soft.

  32. xvalentinex says:

    @RR. Fair enough, some constructive tips may be helpful. I, like most of the users that are having positive experiences, use Arch Linux. It’s hard to recommend Arch Linux though. Don’t get me wrong it’s the perfect distro, but it’s a different cup of tea for people using Ubuntu.

    As for tutorials, that would be nice for those that are missing the new concepts, but really if one were to use KDE4 for more than a few hours, it’s not that hard to pick up.

    I for one, love KDE. I was excited about 4.0, but knew it was just a development release. Then once the first 4.1 beta was out, I switched, and have never looked back. I still have my old KDE3 on a separate partition, but I only access that from KDE4 to copy files over.

    The problem with all the complaints I see about KDE4 is icons, then a vague “everything else”. People are just having a hard time grasping the idea of Folder View I guess. Maybe, if these people actually used KDE4 as their sole DE for a week, they’re tune would be much different. Actually use the applications, rather than getting stuck on the icons. It’s absurd. It’s like doing a car review by sitting in it, looking at the A/C dial, getting out and saying the car is a failure. Never mind the Aerodynamics, Horse Power, Hydrogen Engine, and Ride Stability. This reviewer doesn’t like that the A/C dial uses green and orange instead of blue and red and that it’s placed in a different position than their competitors. Oh… and everything else.

  33. John Wilson says:


    The version numbering Aaron refers to with the .0 release being a milestone, .1 being another has been around the FOSS world forever. GNOME does it and did it with GNOME 2.0, also next to useless until 2.1 came out. KDE did it going from 2.x to 3.0, a horror show, that wasn’t useful till 3.1 and so on,.

    To be honest I’ve had nothing but trouble with Ubuntu/Kubuntu and KDE 4.1 to the extent that I wiped it and gave up. SuSE 11 works much better. Mandriva 2009 Alpha 2 and Beta 1 are quite stable and usable as a daily desktop with KDE 4.1.

    As for reviews of KDE 4.1 I’d strongly suggest giving up on Ubuntu/Kubuntu till they actually package it correctly and confirm that it’s usable before rushing it out the door. Almost all the horrible things I read and see about KDE 4.1 are on that distro and I’ve experienced them myself. Switching distros has solved 99% of what I experience with Ubuntu.



  34. John Wilson says:

    There seems to be a rush to condemn KDE 4 based on KDE 4.0 which was never intended for the general release it got on a number of distros in spite of being marked experimental in a number of them, including the one I use daily.

    I’m not sure this blog follows in that vein but at the first screen shot I knew there was a borked installation, badly broken. The icon littered desktop gave it away. :-)

    My own experiences, as I noted above, are with SuSE 11 and the late Alpha and early beta releases of the coming release from Mandriva.

    In SuSE’s case there was a crash or two which was disheartening and a couple of updates later it started to work. It still felt rough around the edges and still does.

    Mandriva’s has been much better for both stability and feels more polished. Recoveries from desktop/plasma crashes are better and far more similar to what you experience in KDE 3.5.9. That is to say you get an error message and a trace dump and then it recovers. At least in Mandriva. Serious problems there seem to be more distro specific than anything else. For example the desktop simply doesn’t appear and everything seems odd when you use a free nvidia driver but installing the closed one fixes it all.

    And I know that old habits are hard to change. Perhaps I’m different but I spend a great deal of time cleaning off icon links/shortcuts off Windows desktops I use so that it’s clean enough to actually find something and I don’t allow apps to install desktop links in Linux when I get a choice and they’re gone as quickly as I can get rid of them. That’s what menus are for, dammit!

    FolderView, for me, is a godsend as it means I don’t let the icon litter get in my way nor do I have to to get my work done.

    I’m not all that big on eye candy though it works well enough in KDE 4.1. It’s just not my kettle of fish.

    And, please, everyone remember that KDE 4.1, like GNOME 2.0/2.1 and KDE 3.0/3.1 before it is for early adopters and not for production or general use yet.

    You may or may not like where KDE is going with it’s idea of where the desktop ought to go rather than what’s been with us since XEROX Parc and that’s your right. You can stick to KDE 3.5.x or GNOME or XFCE or whatever.

    Me? I like where it’s going and I do look forward to the first production release in 6 months. Meanwhile, KDE 4.1 has lots of applicatons available and a functional and usable environment if you’re an early adopter. For me it’s fast, clean and mostly works. For an early adopter thing, I can’t ask for much more.



  35. Bodo says:

    Here,on Kubuntu(!),KDE 4.1 installed,working perfectly.No crashes and I have been using it since 30,July.Normal use.I don’t get it.Why the **** do you bash KDE 4.1 + Kubuntu?They both work verry well.KDE 4.1. is a great step from 4.0,that wasn’t usable at all.And I do know that Kubuntu ain’t as good as other KDE-based distros,but it doesn’t deserve all the bashing it gets.

  36. Glock24 says:

    KDE 4.0 was unusable, too many apps and features missing, very unstable. I was very dissapointed and feared I would have to look somewhre else for a good desktop enviroment (been using KDE since it first appeared).

    The KDE 4.1 betas impressed me, and the 4.1 final has come to an usable state, despite some (still) missing apps and features. It is a very step forward, and now I rest assured I can continue using KDE as my desktop enviroment of choice.

    And yes, Kubuntu is not the best KDE distro, but I love apt-get.

  37. AhJay says:

    Could someone post if KDE4.1 will work on Ubuntu 8.4.1 LTS… without damaging its basic functionality?

    Also will it be then two choices to login: “Classic Ubuntu/Gnome” and “Ubuntu-KDE4.1″? (what I would like)


  38. kane says:

    I don’t get it. Why did old’ boy not rewrite this? everyone of the complaints are addressed as a bad install…or a folder view gig.

    * Inability to automatically align icons (aka “widgets”) on the desktop (what happened to KDE 3’s “Align to grid” option?) – Because you’re not using folder view for icons?
    * Inability to add user-defined icons (widgets) to the desktop – Icons…folder view…widgets able to add easily…
    * Inability to add widgets to the task bar (e.g. “Show desktop” or Konsole), either by using the “Add widgets” function or by dragging them from the desktop – botched install, i believe.
    * I had to delete the ~/.kde4/ directory in order for 4.1 to load without crashing- botched install
    * Why are my applications’ fonts now so darned ugly? – I think this was an install issue as well?
    * Why are the titles below the desktop icons truncated?…folder view
    * Etc…. I guess this means there are more problems?

    Maybe you can argue that you don’t like the idea of folder view, which is a different story. The point is that it works well for what its supposed to do. Its really pretty appalling/unethical that you left this review up in its current form….

  39. deviceguru says:

    Just how is folderview supposed to be useful? I can’t figure out a worthwhile way to employ it (other than fixing the broken desktop). Please enlighten me! Thanks :)

  40. simon says:

    What’s the most KDE4.1-centric distro available for a clean fresh install. On a eee pc 1000h.

  41. JMiahMan says:

    There’s a few ways folder view is useful. Not only can you edit folder view to filter certain extensions and files but you can also use KIO_Slaves for example fish or ftp. So let’s say I’m working on a website and I only want to see my .css files. I would simple create a folder view for the folder on the webserver and then the another for the local folder I’m working in only filtering the files with the .css extension. I can then have the folders I’m working with right on my desktop with one less window to have to worry about If I want to just simple see my folder view widgets and not have to minimize anything I can use the view dash board widget. I’m sure there’s multiple uses that’s just one I did today.

    Now it’s your turn..

    Please explain how this article does any good for the community. Thus far all I’ve read is people complaining, with a lot of the same or related complaints that they used in the KDE 2.0 series. History repeats it self I guess but it would seem people would learn change is the only dependable constant. You can fight it and complain or you can learn to work with it and become a better person. Quite frankly posting and article with major inadequacies in testing and highly opinionated doesn’t do justice for the Open Source Community in general and reflects on you as a person. It’s one thing to have an opinion it’s another thing to post falsities as fact and then have no to little remorse. Sad really.

  42. djzn-thelurker says:

    OK, I have tried KDE 4.1 and it sucks big time. It’s so different and ugly that I don’t even know where to start from. The new start menu? Ugly and messy as hell. I think KDE 4.x made a serious wrong step in open source community and this spots a problem for being in a “many-minds” community development group. Every KDE developer wants to put its “great”shit idea inside KDE, and ends up getting it, since a project like this needs to keep everybody happy.

    KDE 4.x has given GNOME all space to push forward and consolidate as the stable desired desktop, it’s better that GNOME takes advantage of this leap backward that KDE has set.

    I don’t want KDE 4.x anytime soon.

    It’s a clear example on how developers in open source do not have a master CEO that will direct how things should be… You end up swallowing everyone’s bad ideas incorporated in the software.

  43. Lord of UI says:

    First of all, Microsoft faces a big failure at Vista to replace XP. Thanks to the manufacturers who have a deal with M$, they are obligated to ship Vista no matter what, this is where Vista is getting ground. One of the reasons Vista didn’t catch up with XP is that it is different. The learning curve is annoying. Very annoying. And people just hate to change. I hate to change. If it’s not a feature that is really worth, I don’t see the point of change. Revolution is not a word for me, in software world. Software should always evolute, not revolute. The KDE folks are like Microsoft followers – whatever the Microsoft people do in their OS, there goes KDE try to implement too.

    Let me take as an example, a tweaked Windows Explorer file manager. 2 panels, list/detailed view, etc. This is the way it should be default, because you can do just about anything with it. Now, because Microsoft changes the entire “paradigm” of a file manager, there goes the KDE team doing the same. Dolphin is a step backward.

    GNOME has some really STUPID devs, trying to make the whole GNOME desktop “stupid” and “dumb”, but nothing got more overkill feature-useless-enhanced than KDE4 did. Congratulations KDE4. You failed.

    We will see more and more distros turning out to XFCE and GNOME. (Hey Oliver, if you change the NAME of that desktop, you will be able to actually compete with GNOME and KDE, all the way to the mainstream).

    KDE4 signed his own death, at least if things stay this way.
    Someone told to port KDE3 to QT4. Great idea. Because this new shitload won’t get any far.

  44. jlinkels says:

    I couldn’t agree more with DeviceGuru. Recently I installed Kubuntu with KDE 4.0. I was horrified by the disappearance of many functions and programs, the limited control panel and the startm menu. In many other forums I already used the statement that KDE had been Gnomanized (hide or take out functionality) and Vistalized (included more graphic effects and graphic sleekness while rigorously changing the paradigm of main items like start menu and file manager. I can not recommend anyone to switch to KDE 4, and I hope it stays away a long time from Debian Lenny which is my primary distro.

    On the positive I have to say I appreciate the approach of the KDE developers. Instead of releasing a buggy program bursting with features, they apparently choose for limited functionality and stability. I hope the Gnomanizing of KDE is just temporary, once KDE catches up with KDE 3.5.9, it might really by a nice and good-looking desktop.


  45. GC says:

    I concur with the op’s general contention that KDE4.1 is mislabeled. At best, this is beta software. I have personally used kde in various distros (starting with redhat, then slackware, debian and then finally kubuntu) over the years. I am no stranger to kde, or linux for that matter. I did a clean install of kde 4 (which was an unmitigated disaster) and then removed it. Then installed kde 4.1 from hardy repos. Seemed to be a vast improvement on kde 4.0. However, functionality is missing :

    1. Right clicking on a zip archive no longer brings up an option to extract the files. Opening with ark reveals an empty space. Good for me that I am savvy with commandline which I use for anything that needs snap in any case, but this would be a showstopper for anyone brought up in GUI land.

    2. KDE 4.1 does not offer to decrypt LUKS encrypted volumes that are connected via USB. I have to use the cryptsetup luksOpen grind which I do not mind, but this is again an area where the project has regressed.

    3. If the computer crashes (and this is probably a bug related to an openafs module I recently built) half of the KDE 4.1 settings are gone. The names and number of the desktops is changed back to default, and the taskbar is resized to fill the entire screen. Whatever happened to the old creed of remembering the settings ?

    4. If I resume after hibernating, the session opens up without any password protection. This is a *serious* security hole.

    5. I have an ATI card (X1300). I did the following : I copied my .kde4 directory to a backup .kde4.backup. Then enabled desktop effects. The entire screen went blank. No issue – this is a known problem with fglrx drivers. What happened next was a shocking and damning indictment of kde 4.1 : I switched virtual terminals, killed kdm, deleted the .kde4 directory (rm -rf), copied it back from the backup I made (cp -pR). Then logged in. Found all, yes, all my customizations to kde4.1 gone. Yes, GONE. I had to redo each one of them. If .kde4 does not store all the settings, then what does, and if something else does, then why did it not restore them (nothing else was deleted).

    There are many other annoyances, but the 5 above are a flavor of what to expect. Its simply not production ready and the developers have pushed it out of the door in a way that would make Microsoft’s Vista developers cringe. Its pretty and I can see myself using it someday. But one would want some honesty in disclosure – this is a beta release and calling it even 4.0 (let alone compounding that mistake with a so-called 4.1 release) is misleading. I have seen kde go from kde 1 to kde 2 to kde 3. Except for episodic dalliances with Gnome, I do not think there is a version of kde that I have not used. Each has been a seamless transition from the previous (yes, even the change from kde2 to kde3 was much much better than this).

    KDE developers need to be congratulated on their hard work, and their attention to aesthetics, but one thing you never regress on is functionality. I do not care what nice shiny new bells and whistles you add, you never lose functions and stability. And getting corporate style creative with the version numbers is a cheap trick that is guaranteed to lose users. I know you are not being paid to do this, but at some level, you must value users. If you do, then please do not pull this stunt again. What is done is done. But do not release a 4.2 release without making sure that it is feature equal of 3.5.9.

  46. Mr Mowgli says:

    I have to agree with DeviceGuru, who I think at least verified for me that the user experience I received from KDE 4 OUT OF A FRESH INSTALLATION on Fedora 9 STABLE. It verified that the very bizarre behavior was in fact related to the KDE release, which until yesterday at noon (September 13th 2008) was still at 4.0.4 and not a very cheerful 4.1.x.

    I had roughly a month on a clean installation with the latest updates and I experienced all of the quirks mentioned by deviceguru as well as quite a few of my own. I’m not sold on all the functionality improvements, but I’m willing to wait it out until everything becomes solid and keep on working with it.

    I think it would be a Really Good Thing if there were some very clear documentation on the paradigm shifts between KDE 3.x and 4.x and that it was in your face as part of your initial user experience.

    Really there are quite a few people adopting linux who are not familiar with differences between distro’s, desktop environments, or tweaking things by hand and there should be a real effort to make it as easy as possible for them to make the change from 3.x to 4.x

    Thanks deviceguru!

  47. Supermarine9 says:

    I for one have truly enjoyed the changes and new life that KDE 4 and subsequently 4.1 has breathed into the Desktop Environment realm. It’s nice to see the new innovative ideas about how a DE should function and redefine the purpose. I’m personally using the Gentoo Distro (have been for years) and like what other’s have said about Arch Linux, it’s a whole different cup of tea for those coming from the K/Ubuntu camp. The same can be said for those coming from practically any of the RPM and DEB camps. However, I digress. I adopted KDE 4.0 from when it was first released and then went to 4.1 when it was released. For one who used both versions on a daily basis, there have been drastic improvements made to the OS, which I feel deserve the 4.1 designation. There has been a lot of work done with the Dock to make it more user friendly, especially being able to reorder/relocate the widgets in the dock, and the SVG resizing of the dock was a nice touch. I like many others have also found Folder View to be a much more thought out approach to organizing Icons/Links, than cluttering the desktop – as is common on so many individual’s systems. For those of you with NVIDIA, I have a Nvidia 8800GTX and my KDE 4.1.2 install works smoothly and fast, not to mention the composting and Compiz-Fusion works beautifully! There is a lot to be said about the various distros and the quality and care taken when producing the KDE Package. I compiled my own KDE 4.1.2 and I haven’t had it crash once. To give a fair review, please always do fresh installs and try it with various distros to weed out what truly is a KDE issue and what’s a Distro/Repackager issue.

  48. Keith says:

    I can’t believe all the people here who seem to be happy with 4.1. Were you all using betas since the early 4.0 test versions so you’re used to it maybe?

    I had a similar experience to the OP, except that you can’t accuse me of screwing up the installation. I installed Kubuntu 8.10 on an empty drive…and things simply did not work. Plasma locked up frequently, both with the free and the proprietary Nvidia drivers. The first couple of older (KDE 3.5) apps I tried installing crashed, and there weren’t KDE 4.1 versions available. When I searched the web/forums for support, I mostly found problems without any posted resolutions. I spent several hours digging for answers, including via irc, without any success at all. Finally, to see if it was just hardware issues, I installed Kubuntu on my laptop, which has practically no hardware in-common…same problems.

    As for all the new features (which I’ve been looking forward to and reading about), well it’s hard to experience those with things crashing every few minutes.

    So, after maybe 5 years of being a loyal KDE user, I’m also on Gnome now. I’ll give KDE another try in a year or two. I don’t have a problem with the KDE team going through a transitional release or two. But I strongly object to the Kubuntu team treating Kubuntu 8.10 like it was a usable release.

  49. michealPW says:

    Hi, everybody!

    Let me begin my introducing myself. I’ve been using Windows NT-based operating systems for the better course of 10 years. I’ve only recently made the switch to GNU/Linux, with the help of Ubuntu.

    Out of curiousity and in the name of science, I’ve tried out Kubuntu a number of times, beginning with 7.10. Shortly thereafter I went back to Ubuntu. I tried again with Kubuntu 8.04, but, again I switched back… Always due to stability and lack of things working out of the box.

    I thought perhaps they’d get it right with 8.10, and whoa! I couldn’t even recognize the system.. Nor could I find a SPECK of documentation, anywhere… Lots of docs on Konqi, nothing on the massive changes to my desktop I was now looking at and trying to understand on my own.

    It didn’t take long, however. After reading lots of information from the KDE website, forums and mailing lists I had a better understanding of my new “desktop” and I honestly liked the direction Kubuntu 8.10 was going…

    I did find myself in the Konsole more often than not, though. This is a blocker for the new users This is why I cannot recommend KDE to the average user as an alternative to GNOME!

    The Problem
    What Ubuntu is doing for the GNU/Linux community as a whole should not be overlooked, regardless of HOW you use GNU/Linux. Fact is, we’re all in this together. You guys in the KDE community should grow up and start acting like it, instead of feeding flame wars.

    I mean, really… What I’ve read here from people who appear to be members of the KDE community is absolutely terrible. Do you even realize the negative impact your retorts have? I, for one, after reading this batch of user comments, cannot find a reason why I’d support the KDE project. It sounds like it’s their way or the high way… The exact reason I left the Microsoft community:)

    The Solution
    1) Listen! Why doesn’t anybody listen? Every single frickin retort I’ve read seems to start with something along the lines of `Because you’re not using it the way the KDE devs intended` or `Because Kubuntu doesn’t properly implement KDE. If you want to use KDE don’t use Ubuntu.`

    The real problem isn’t that he wasn’t using it the way you wanted, but that he didn’t know how you wanted him to use it.

    The other problem is that, if you KDE guys know there’s a flaw in Kubuntu’s implementation, why haven’t you submitted a bug-report –at the very least– or volunteer your knowledge? Better yet, your time? After all, we’re all in this together:)

    2) Instead of flaming people who weren’t let in on the grand plan KDE devs have for the world, why not inform them? Better yet, why doesn’t KDE itself inform them, like Windows XP informed you of it’s new “paradigm” or feature-set. It’s the first thing you see when you boot a newly installed XP, it’s called “Tour Windows XP” and introduces you to your new OS:)

    The Conclusion
    I like KDE. I like GNOME. I like blogs and I like change… I really, really dislike the hostility comming from the KDE community, however.

    You all need to take look at yourselves from a 3rd-person’s perspective, and consider just how many users you’re losing by simply being so rude and hostile:)

    Humurous note
    Ah, I couldn’t help it.. All these responses remind me of the old cry Microsoft made –Until they, too, realized the problem– about device drivers… You see, heh, most of those blue screen-backed stack dumps aren’t Microsoft’s fault, but the fault of poorly implemented device drivers…

    The point? NOBODY CARED! They still raged about their Blue Screens and the more Microsoft denied responsibility THE LONGER THE PROBLEM PERSISTED!

    Until Microsoft couldn’t handle the influx of complaints anymore and decided to go straight to those manufacteres and offer their own engineers to fix the frickin issues, NOTHING changed, except for Microsoft’s own reputation, not the manufacturers… In fact, those shoddy companies are STILL making shoddy drivers… Now they’re just doing it for Linux, too:)

    *cough* ATI, Creative Labs *cough*

  50. AJB says:

    I’m a long time user of KDE. I use it to do work. And, the simple fact is that I am now very, very very hacked off.

    Before I upgraded my Kubuntu, I had a really nice KDE 3.5 desktop which “just worked.

    Now – every blasted thing I do, I hit some new problem.

    In KDE 3.5, I could have a few well chosen Icons which would launch my most common applications with a single “click” – Wherever I was, whatever I was doing.

    As far as I can see – that is now gone. Yes, things have replaced it – BUT they all require more than a single click – and I resent every single one of those extra clicks. They get in the way of me doing work! If there is some way of putting this back – I can’t find it. The user documentation which comes with KDE 4 is so out of date it is simply shameful.

    Where’s the brief, simple “migration guide”. It might be there – but I can’t find it, and I have looked.

    In KDE 3.5, I plug my camera in – and it works. Now broken. Bug reported. No response. No fix.

    In KDE 3.5 opening an archive was easy. Now it is harder. It takes longer and is more tiresome.

    In KDE3.5, creating an archive was beautifully easy and integrated. Also now gone and seemingly replaced by nothing.

    Don’t even mention how long it took to get the graphics working!

    I could keep this list going for a long, long time.

    Sorry – for this person doing “real work” KDE4.1 is slower, more frustrating than KDE 3.5. This user is now so hacked off he is considering looking at Gnome etc – something I NEVER thought I would do.

    The KDE team need to look very hard at themselves – what they are doing, how and why. You are giving an impression here that you have forgotten WHY people use KDE and what actually matters.
    PLEASE try and “get the basics right”. Currently you are failing, as viewed from here.


  51. deviceguru says:


    I think you can install KDE 3.5.x on (K)ubuntu 8.10 by adding the Madscientist159 repository to your sources.list file (you’ll also need the repsitory’s gpg). Check out this ubuntuforums.org post for instructions and issues that may apply:

    HowTo install KDE 3 into Intrepid

  52. Tommy says:

    All that matters in the end of the day is simplicity and usability. KDE4 has succeeded in being more streamlined than KDE3 version but it gives nothing new in the other hand. The same ideas of the desktop that have been true since the first Mac are still there too. I see nothing new or revolutionary in KDE4. It seems to be a nice academic exercise on reinventing the wheel.

  53. will says:

    been a kde user for 8 years. never did kde suck so much. gone are the lightweight desktop manager we love, only to be replaced by something no one wants. why change? you dont need change. everything was fine.

    the guy taking the ultimate decisions in this project is probably running his project off his vista laptop. that is what they are aiming for yeah? well, it sucks. its bad, ugly, buggy and something no-one wants. the boys at gnome are probably laughing their asses off. never had they to do so little to gain so many fans.

    i now hate kde. i couldn’t care less what happens to it. they dont seem to listen to their users. a$$holes.

    from now on, i will seriously start considering other options. kde, may you fail (inevitable) and rot in hell.


  54. Just an Engineer says:

    Mr. Mowgli made a very important comment:

    “I think it would be a Really Good Thing if there were some very clear documentation on the paradigm shifts between KDE 3.x and 4.x and that it was in your face as part of your initial user experience.”

    Perhaps the most annoying thing about KDE 4.1 for me has been the difficulty in finding accurate, up-to-date, and readable documentation.

    I am told that many programmers do not like to write documentation. However, it is unwise to release any software (especially something as new and different as KDE 4.1) without thoroughly documenting everything. Some simple, well-written tutorials would be especially helpful to new users.

  55. APB says:

    Guru – shame :(

    Note: Satisfied Arch/KDE users. I do not use Arch, but I know that EFFICIENCY is a factor for people wanting to use it.
    Therefore, it is illogical that such a user would tolerate KDE4 if it were truly unusable and mainly inefficient!

    So, KDE4 CAN and DOES work for people.

    I suggest that this type of user is one who typically is able to apply a degree of effort for themselves.

  56. InLoveWithLinux says:

    I believe what I’m reading is what I feared: KDE’s dev team built a product without an understanding of their customers, and worse, they continue to defend it by bashing them. Worse still, many distros seem to be blindly using KDE 4 as their default desktop, and as anyone knows who has any experience at all in SDL and quality assurance, KDE 4 is an embarrassment to Linux, at this point. It’s not due to functionality — it really is slick — but for the very weak coding and deviation from their customer base, who seem to be saying: please give us KDE 3.5 with optional slick new features that are well-tested and debugged, which is very obviously not the case, here. Yes, building a desktop is very complicated, and I deeply admire the KDE team for the effort, but this is the Big Time, and we are not back in 1997, when people expected lots of incomplete and unstable code in Linux. If we’re going to be successful, we need to run this as the commercial folks do — and quite frankly, KDE 4 would have put me out of business, if I dared release code in such an ill state, to my customers.

  57. John says:

    I for one did not know about folder view until I saw websites that had icons on the desktop or what I call the desktop. I hated desktop view as I wanted it to take the whole desktop and not just be a floating window. I am using OpenSUSE 11.1 and I like what they have done. Of course they grabbed some of the KDE 4.2 changes and implemented these as well. I do not like the start bar and wish that this would have never been changed but others create versions that can be used instead. When I first read what KDE was going to do I liked it because it seemed to make things easier for developers that they could use the KDE code to make writing their software easier. I guess this never happened as a lot of programs that used to work fine are taking forever to make it over to KDE 4. I will continue to use this for the time being since I do not do much work on my home PC as I just use it basically to surf the internet so for me it is working. If I did more work on it then this then I may use some thing else like lxde.

  58. campamax says:

    Looking at this discussion from a 3rd person point of view (as a Gnome user), I wonder why so many people (zealots?) in so many fields (not only KDE so) in the Linux community do not want to understand that “usable for some experts that can fix things” don’t mean “usable by the masses”? A distro or a DE, is READY when they can be used by most people, are RC when they can be used only after adequate hacking to fix things, and are BETA when so many things are to be fixed yet that they can be used for testing purposes only and still need a lot of work. Then change these three adjectives as you prefer, but the juice is this.
    If so many people on the net say things are not ready on KDE4, I still prefer to think of it to an interesting preview of something very promising that will conquer great attention and use in the (near?) future, but I prefer to stick to something more stable for common use.

    Linux on the desktop shall be a contender for Windows only when all the community zealots (Gnome, KDE, freedom of software and so on) all realize that a thing is philosophy (“users should prefer crappy free tools to working non-free ones”, and similar) and a thing is what the average people expect from a PC. Unless the community accept this, GNU/Linux shall remain something for geeks and almost-geeks, even if it actually deserves *MUCH* more attention. Remember: Linux is presumed to hold a very, very few percentage points of the share over the world PCs and PC users, and this percentage is divided among the hundreds and hundreds of distros listed on Distrowatch. Where do we want to go this way? We are doomed to remain hobbyists with a common interest unless something changes. I do not think M$ really fears Linux.

    My useless 5 cents.

  59. tcoulon says:

    Now is almost one year after the OP, and KDE 4.x (4.2.95 at this point) is still a discovery object for me. OpenSuSE 11.2 is anounced as “KDE 4 only” and it probably means I won’t update.

    I don’t care what the KDE devs’ plans were, or what “the future of the desktop” is supposed to be, for me it won’t be KDE 4. Start the first app and then use the Start Menu? I never used that crap. But that’s not important, it’s my personal point of vue. What’s important is that KDE 4 makes it difficult, when not impossible to work as we are used to. The folder view might be an interresting addition to the desktop. As it is I am forced to use it, and that reminds me of other OS in a way I don’t like.

    The panel is still much less comfortable to setup and use that it is in 3.x – to me the panel is the center of my computer life, so it’s a real annoyance.

    I feel that the devs actually don’t really listen to the users. they are so full of their great design that they rely on time (and the desappearance of KDE 3.x) to kill resistance.

    Reminds you of Vista/Windows 7?

  60. DeviceGuru says:


    …which is why I switched to gnome and haven’t looked back!

  61. SimianWatchWearer says:

    Thanks for being somebody who admits this.

    As a long-time KDE user who switched co-workers to Linux/KDE because it was in every way superior to the competing windows build ( it was shinier, it was more configurable, it was easier for us to automate with dcop and it had built-in ways of solving the most common UI requests at work ) – I found myself with a problem.

    KDE 3 was better than its competing windows desktop – KDE 4 is not even as good as gnome.

    It is a pile of crap, an utter, utter miserable bloody embarrassment, I have my users switched to gnome and KDE 4′s path means that the common distros are enforcing the removal of KDE 3 with NOTHING LEFT TO REPLACE IT. Now people are looking to windows 7 as a favourable upgrade path.

    KDE 4 has *fucked* Linux in businesses that had adopted KDE.