If you’ve been following the development of KDE 4, then you are likely aware that the most recent release candidate was released a few days ago.
To install on Ubuntu or Kubuntu:
Remove any previous version of KDE 4.
sudo apt-get remove kdelibs5 kde4base-data kde4libs-data
Install KDE 4 RC 2:
sudo apt-get install kdebase-bin kdebase-workspace kdebase-kde4 kdebase-runtime
When originally writing this, packages didn’t seem to be in backports, but you now should be able to get these packages from the gutsy-backports repository – if the last command threw some errors and the packages weren’t found, then add this repository:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-members-kde4/ubuntu gutsy main to /etc/apt/sources.list
I’d use nano, but that’s just me, remember to use sudo to edit it as it’s not writable by any old user!
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
After this, reload your apt data:
sudo apt-get update
Again, you only need to add the repository if it doesn’t download normally.
Log out, then at the login window, choose the KDE 4 session. (If a menu isn’t obvious to you, press F10 when you are typing in your username and choose from the menu that appears.)
You should be greeted with the KDE splash screen, which currently shows the team members who have created KDE 4.
Once you are logged in, you get the same flower background as was in RC 1, but now the taskbar is actually usable. The K menu is docked, as well as the clock but you cannot currently adjust it in anyway, or add new plasmoids to it.
Just a shot showing what it looks like when a few windows are open – there isn’t much contrast between windows, or between widgets and windows – its quite hard to tell the difference between active and inactive anything at the moment. The spanner in the top right will not be in the final release.
A close up of Dolphin, the new file manager. It’s much more streamlined that Konqueror, which is still used as the default web browser. Konqueror does still pop up from time to time when opening things, doesn’t seem that Dolphin has totally replaced it in this version. Dolphin shows previews of files, and has a way to tag and rate files.
Right clicking on the desktop allows you to add widgets – this screenshot shows most of the widgets available. There are lots of icons missing throughout this version of KDE 4.
You can chose to have a single image or a slideshow for your desktop background.
You can add new art using the Add Hot New Stuff interface – guess this gets it from kde-look?
The new run dialog, obtained by pressing alt-f2. It seems much more streamlined than before and autosuggests what you want.
This release is a definite improvement from RC 1, and would now be feasible for day to day use. Although I have concentrated on the visual changes, most of the most important changes from KDE 3 are under the hood. These include moving from Qt 3 to Qt 4 and DCOP to D-Bus, as well as all the new platforms such as Phonon, Solid etc.
Overall, I am looking forward to the final release to see how this all gets pulled together!