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KDE GUI Operating Systems Software Windows

Testing the KDE 4.2 Release Candidate, On Windows 272

Verunks writes "Ars takes the KDE 4.2 release candidate out for a test drive on Windows. The popular open source desktop environment has moved beyond Linux and is becoming increasingly robust on other platforms. Even KDE's Plasma desktop shell is now Windows-compatible."
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Testing the KDE 4.2 Release Candidate, On Windows

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  • Sounds Great! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:15AM (#26621505)
    As long as I can hit F4 and get a Bash terminal window into a Unix-like environment, I'm a happy guy.
    • by InsertWittyNameHere ( 1438813 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:24AM (#26621633)
      Yes! You can hit Alt+F4, shutdown, reboot in a Unix-like OS, then hit F4 again. Easy as pie.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )

      I don't think you can. The "shell" in the summary is what we UNIX folks would call a "window manager". Not that you can't get a somewhat workable shell in windows, it just requires cygwin.

      I would really be interested in hearing how Cygwin plays with KDE4.2. Popping open a konsole to a cygwin bash shell would be really nice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by darkwhite ( 139802 )

      Konsole is not yet ported. Which makes me very sad since I switched to Windows 7 until KDE 4 stops being the trainwreck that it is, but I miss having a terminal emulator that doesn't suck (aka Konsole). Putty is pretty awful in comparison.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MrHanky ( 141717 )

        KDE 4.2.0 is out today, and isn't a trainwreck. There are a few annoyances left, but most of them should be gone by 4.2.2. But then again, 4.2.0 wouldn't be four-two-o if it wasn't a bit four twenty.

      • Konsole is not yet ported. Which makes me very sad since I switched to Windows 7 until KDE 4 stops being the trainwreck that it is, but I miss having a terminal emulator that doesn't suck (aka Konsole). Putty is pretty awful in comparison.

        Agreed on putty, but hey, Windows users (including the leet PowerShell users) are still using cmd.exe, the notepad of terminals, and think it's fine.

        Depending on your needs, Cygwin might suit you. Say what you want about emulation, there's something invaluable about have

      • Re:Sounds Great! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Verunks ( 1000826 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @11:54AM (#26623225)
        unfortunately we don't have an ETA for porting konsole on windows yet, since windows doesn't have pty and we are only a handful of developer that work on the windows porting
        meanwhile you can try console2, it supports tabbing and transparency []
      • Re:Sounds Great! (Score:4, Informative)

        by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @01:11PM (#26624629) Journal

        KDE 4.2 is no trainwreck. Here's my take [] on KDE 4.2. My personal verdict is that KDE 4 has surpassed KDE 3.5 for daily use and is ready for primetime.

      • by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@freds[ ] ['hom' in gap]> on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @05:59PM (#26629557) Homepage

        Konsole is not yet ported. Which makes me very sad since I switched to Windows 7 until KDE 4 stops being the trainwreck that it is, [ ... ]

        This has to be one of the most bizarre comments I've ever read in here (and that's quite something).

    • Re:Sounds Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TinBromide ( 921574 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @11:17AM (#26622581)
      you should try using AndLinux []. It installs a build of linux that runs along side windows (via the colinux kernel). Its really nice to be able to double click a terminal icon and get a command terminal into a fully functional unix like environment in windows (you apt-get from the ubuntu repositories).

      Really, no kidding! Try it.
    • You might want to try MSYS []. It provides a shell, a handful of common Unix commands, and it translates path names so you can type "/c/Program Files/" instead of "C:\Program Files\". It allows me to cry a lot less when I have to use Windows.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tuxgeek ( 872962 )

      Who cares about KDE 4.2 on winblows!
      I want to know if it is ready for Linux/BSD.
      When it has features == to KDE 3.5.10 and is usable, then post some sensational headline to the effect.
      Until then somebody needs to stay in the kitchen and keep cooking

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:20AM (#26621573)

    I installed this in order to use kate on windows. What can I say: I've grown attached to the editor. But I found that it no longer feels so crisp and clean as on linux.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      FTA: The KDE port for Windows is still a work in progress and some aspects are still highly experimental
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fallingcow ( 213461 )

      Notepad++ [].

      The closest thing I've found in Linux is Geany, and it's a pale imitation. God, I wish I could get it to do highlighting on the corresponding open/close (x)html tag to the one the cursor is in--among other things.

      I'm seriously considering running it in Wine; it's actually good enough to be worth that hassle. It's the only non-Adobe, non-game program that I miss from Windows.

      Unless Kate has gotten better about resource usage and start time since I last used it, it's kind of a pig on any platform.

      • by horza ( 87255 )

        I have to admit I do like Geany, but have you tried SciTE [] which shares the same engine as Notepad++? The only thing I can see straight away that it misses is macros.


  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:30AM (#26621721) Journal

    No, really, why? Windows already runs poorly with its default windowing interface. Why would I want to use up even more memory for a second windowing interface? No application is worth this layer of added complexity.

    • kill explorer.exe?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by epr ( 826666 )
      Huh? Can't speak for Vista, but XP normally feels a lot more responsive than my default (GNOME) window manager. But then again, the last time I tried KDE 4.X it ended in disaster and agony, so you might be on to something.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You aren't using a second windowing interface at all. You just use the applications unless you choose to use Plasma.

      I am running the same RC just fine on my Windows partition. The only application I really miss is KMail.

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:56AM (#26622139)

      I suspect the reason you might want to do this is so that you can use Linux tools on a Windows base platform. Kate, for example, is rather a nice editor (although I tend to use Notepad++ under Windows). Don't forget as well that KDE almost certainly has more development than the Windows desktop - although this can be a mixed blessing in my experience due to random breakage.

      As others have suggested just kill explorer.exe to free your machine from the default Windows desktop.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I used to run the kde 3.5 code on Mac OS X sometimes from raccoon fink's blog []. I did this because I liked using the fish protocol in konqueror, it made secure file transfer really easy. OS X has that nice X11 app that does everything an X11 WM does. I don't run it any more though because fuse and sshfs [] pretty much made this unnecessary.

        <rant>P.S. Not to mention that somebody at kde decided that konqueror should be a web browser and not a file manager. I'll never understand this... from my persp
        • <rant>P.S. Not to mention that somebody at kde decided that konqueror should be a web browser and not a file manager. I'll never understand this... from my perspective they had some software that was a very mediocre web browser but what was in my opinion, the best file manager in existence and they threw out the file manager. For one thing, those two functions should never be in the same software, you can thank Microsoft and leveraging its monopoly for that particular monstrosity, but something is obviously wrong with the kde development process if they're making decisions like this. It's no wonder that kde4 turned out so badly.*grumble grumble*</rant>

          konqueror is still a file manager, the only difference is that dolphin is the default one on kde4

          • konqueror is still a file manager, the only difference is that dolphin is the default one on kde4

            Konqueror seems to have lost about half of its functionality in KDE 4 as a file manager. Maybe it will return over time, but I really preferred using Konqueror under KDE 3.5 than Konqueror or Dolphin on KDE 4. I'm currently running the KDE 4.2 nightlies and while it's decent and usable, it's still lacking some of the things I liked about 3.5, like Konqueror having the built in FileSize view.

        • by gnud ( 934243 )
          That's bollocks.

          There is no file manager functionality removed from Konqueror in KDE4 -- Konqueror is still a simple shell that can host most any KDE application - including the file manager. The default toolbars and buttons are more tweaked towards being a browser, and Dolphin is tweaked towards being a file manager. But you can still use Konqueror for your files, if you want to.
      • As others have suggested just kill explorer.exe to free your machine from the default Windows desktop.

        Not familiar with running KDE on Windows, but the "choice" of Windows shell is set in the registry (the default being "explorer.exe"). Killing off the process may work, but generally the approach used by the various shell-replacements (Litestep, etc.) is to reset the registry key instead. Explorer has a nasty tendency to restart itself for inexplicable, just as related programs/features have a tendency to

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @11:09AM (#26622399)

      For example, to run KOffice on Windows. Or Amarok2.

      Also, given that QT is soon going to be LGPL - I feel very interested in contributing to KDE and using parts of KDE in my proprietary programs.

    • by sam0737 ( 648914 )

      I didn't RTFA or tried it out. But does it replace the explorer.exe? If it does, may be it's could replace the one shipped in Vista.

      The next step? EU might force the Redmond OS to allow selection of Windows manager at first boot.

      • Haha! Awaiting an influx of Slashdotters actually agreeing with you... I'm sure they will also demand that Microsoft give you a choice between the Linux kernel and Vista's kernel.

    • So you can have all the fun of running KDE 4 on the amazing stability, security, and versatility of Windows?
    • I do just that with Litestep - much lighter than Windows Shell (explorer) and much lighter than KDE I run explorer rarely when apps insist on it ......

      But I am willing to bet that KDE has the same problems with programs assuming that you have explorer running and failing silently when you don't (those popup bubble messages are done by explorer, not by your app, not by the window manager, not by a notification app, but by explorer....)

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:43AM (#26621931)

    I am quite elated at the fact that this [] GNOME developer says KDE 4.2 rocks []. Now, if the two teams could combine resources to churn out an awesome desktop environment (preferably KDE based), that would make the Linux ecosystem even more relevant in today's environment.

    • by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:54AM (#26622109)

      They wouldn't, because GNOME and KDE have two different design philosophies. Anyway, this argument is kind of similar to the "why waste time making so many distros?" one you see a lot.

      • by wytcld ( 179112 )

        The only design philosophy that should matter is pragmatism. The desktop environment that allows the user to take the best ideas, no matter where they come from, or what their philosophical base, and combine them easily to create a successful environment for the user's own work is what all of the projects should work towards.

        And they are. Xfce for instance can integrate quite a bit of stuff originating from both KDE and Gnome. So parts are already fairly interchangeable between environments (at least if you

    • If KDE 4.2 is already an awesome desktop environment, and you want an awesome desktop environment based on KDE, why are you advocating integrating Gnome?

      If compatibility is your concern, than the projects are already taking care of that, without having to consolidate DEs. If competing widget toolkits is your concern, well, to bad, that's not going to change anytime soon, and its not really a big problem anyway.

      Gnome is already moving common components out of the Gnome libraries and into gtk

    • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @11:46AM (#26623059)

      Now, if the two teams could combine resources to churn out an awesome desktop environment (preferably KDE based), that would make the Linux ecosystem even more relevant in today's environment.

      I apologize ahead of time for my language but speaking as someone who doesn't run kde as their wm (e17 for me), all I have to say to this is:

      FUCK NO!

      From my perspective, if I want to run any application that has to do with kde, and there's a lot of great ones, I have to wait for all the damn dcopservers, kio_slaves, kdeinits, etc. to load and it's a royal pain in the ass. The kde environment is bloated and irritating for anyone who doesn't want to run the kde wm. The gtk and gnome apps have no such irritations. Think about what you're saying, you'd turn kde precisely into what we all hate about windows, a monopoly. A huge bloated mess where somebody up on high says, thou shalt do it this way and no other and the rest of us have to live with it. Frankly, I'm waiting with baited breath for more mainstream qt4 apps to come out that aren't tied to kde. VLC has already done that and it's such an improvement over the wxwidgets interface.

      • Let me remind you that KDE is and will be Open Source! That means you are and will be in position to modify it to your heart's satisfaction. Now your problems with KDE can be solved.

      • by VON-MAN ( 621853 )
        From my perspective, running the whole thing makes that I _don't_ have to wait for all those things to load. Because there already loaded. Your desktop probably is faster to initialize but I really don't care about a lightning fast starting desktop, I want a complete desktop with all the bells and whistles.
      • by mpyne ( 1222984 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @02:38PM (#26626337)

        GNOME uses DBUS as well (and therefore dbus-server). KDE no longer uses DCOP but uses the same thing GNOME uses.

        KIO Slaves are launched on demand as needed, not just because kdeinit loads up.

        On the other hand there is usually at the very least a kbuildsycoca step involved when running your first KDE app in a session. I'm sure GNOME has something similar (gconf?) although it may be faster, no doubt.

        Really a lot of the startup time concern in my experience has been related more towards C++ symbol bloating (which is significantly reduced nowadays between prelinking and symbol visibility support). The kdeinit you talk about was actually a hack designed to work around that problem, by turning KDE applications into shared libraries (that would startup up much faster as a result).

        I will say that I also am cheering on the adoption of more plain Qt apps, for the same reason that I have quite a few GTK+ utilities but no GNOME ones. Less startup time is always a good thing. Unlike the grandparent though I'm not hoping that one DE ends up winning out, I'd actually prefer there be choice available (as long as it interoperates).

  • EU (Score:5, Funny)

    by CSHARP123 ( 904951 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @10:58AM (#26622169)
    Next step for EU to dictate MS to stop integrating Windowing interface with the OS and provide a way for users to choose which Windowing they are going to use. WOW. This is going to be great.
    • Yes, I already have an idea for how this would work.

      First, the computer "starts up" in some kind of new mode that only shows text. Once the new Windows user has entered single user mode and set a password for his account, he can then proceed to select the graphical environment and video driver supplier that he prefers.

      This would probably be best accomplished by editing some sort of very simple text file, perhaps called wingui.conf or something. Some kind of easy to learn text editor would obviously have t

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by linebackn ( 131821 )

      You think that is funny, but back in the Windows 3.x days there was actually a thriving market for alternate Windows desktops. Norton desktop and Central Point desktop come to mind as several popular ones. OEMs regularly bundled alternate startup shells with tutorials and such, because they felt people might want this and in the end could make the OEM more money.

      Then when Windows 95 came along Microsoft completely forbade OEMs from bundling alternative interfaces, or anything that displaced their "desktop".

  • So I can get the stability of windows with the a compatibility an open-source desktop... hey why don't I load it on expensive Apple hardware and go for an all around win!?

    Honestly, it's a little difficult to see the point it seems like you'd getting the worst of two worlds with KDE on windows....

  • by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2009 @11:52AM (#26623191)
    Isn't that a little bit like testing out a corvette in a driveway?
  • Porting unix software to Windows instead of improving Cygwin to run these apps without porting is an awful waste of time. Improving a common support layer that supports Unix APIs instantly allows thousands of Unix apps to work, rather than trying to port thousands of Unix apps to Windows.

    KDE4 is such a disaster on Linux I do not think that porting to Windows should be a higher priority. Fix all of the regressions and feature loss between KDE3 and KDE4. KDE 4 is an embarrassment and a piece of shit. Torvalds

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake