Definition of KDE in English

KDE. It is a free software project for the creation of a desktop environment and development infrastructure for various operating systems such as GNU / Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, etc.

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, “KDE is a contemporary desktop environment for Unix workstations. KDE fills the need for a friendly desktop for Unix workstations, similar to Mac OS X or Windows desktops.

KDE applications are translated into more than 88 languages ​​and are built with the principles of ease of use and modern accessibility in mind. KDE 4 applications work completely natively on GNU / Linux, BSD, Solaris, Windows, and Mac OS X.

The ‘K’ originally stood for the word ‘Kool’, but its meaning was later dropped.
The Project Mascot is a small Dragon named Konqi.


Philosophy and usage

KDE is based on the principle of customization; all KDE components can be configured to a greater or lesser extent by the user. The most common options are accessible mostly from menus and configuration dialogs. Advanced users can choose to edit the configuration files manually, in some cases obtaining greater control over the behavior of the system.

The appearance of KDE is configurable on several levels. Both the Window Manager (called KWin) and the controls (buttons, menus, etc.) use interchangeable “styles”, which define every aspect of their appearance. It is for this reason that KDE does not maintain a single appearance between versions, but opts for the one that is more widely accepted at the time of each new release.

The intention of the KDE project is to create a Desktop Environment that does not behave in a predefined way, but allows the user to adapt the system to their liking and comfort. This does not prevent KDE from being easy to use for new users, a detail that is not downplayed.


The project was started in October 1996 by the German programmer Matthias Ettrich, who sought to create a unified graphical interface for Unix systems. In its beginnings it imitated CDE (Common Desktop Environment), a desktop environment used by several Unixes.


KDE 1.0

On July 12 of the 2008 KDE 1.0 it was released. This version contained a panel (task bar and application launcher), a desktop on which to leave icons, a file manager (Kfm) and a large number of utilities. In November 1998, the Qt suite of tools was further licensed under the free Open Source Q Public License (QPL). The same year, the KDE Free Qt foundation was created [7] to guarantee that Qt would enter a variant of the liberal BSD license in case Trolltech ceased to exist or did not release any free or open source version of Qt for 12 months. . The debate continued on compatibility with the GNU General Public License (GPL), so in September 2000, Trolltech released the Unix version of the Qt libraries under the GPL, in addition to the QPL, which removed the concerns of the Free Software Foundation. Trolltech continued to demand licenses for the development of proprietary software with Qt.


KDE 2.0, released on October 23, 2000, was almost completely rewritten, introducing significant technological improvements. Including DCOP (Communication Protocol desktop), KIO a library of I / O, KParts, which is a component object model, allowing an application to integrate another within itself, and KHTML, a motor HTML rendering used by Konqueror, which in addition to being a Web Browser is a File Manager. In addition, in this version, the visual aspect of the Desktop was partially improved.


KDE 3.5

KDE 3.0 was released in November 2002, and is the evolution of KDE 2. The development of this series was much longer than the previous one. The API changes between KDE 2 and KDE 3 minor. The look and feel of the interface didn’t change until KDE 3.1, which featured a major visual theme enhancement: Keramik was included as a new default theme along with the Crystal GT icon set and font anti-aliasing. In KDE 3.2 Crystal GT was replaced by Crystal SVG. In KDE 3.4 Keramik was replaced by Plastik. All versions of KDE 3 are based on Qt 3, which was only released under the GPL for GNU / Linux and Unix – like operating-systems , including Mac OS X.

Except for some third-party applications, development of KDE 3 has ceased and its developers no longer apply any maintenance on it.


KDE 4.0 released in January 2008, it was completely rewritten based on Qt 4.3. KDE 4 includes many new technologies and technical changes. The central element is a new desktop and panel design, collectively called Plasma that replaces Kicker, KDesktop, SuperKaramba and by integrating its functionality into a single piece of technology, being intended to be more configurable for those who want to update the old one. metaphor of the old desk. There are a number of new frameworks, including Phonon, a new KDE multimedia interface independent of any specific backend whatever the OS; Solid, an API for networks and portable devices; and Decibel, a new Framework communication to integrate all communication protocols on the desktop. A search and metadata framework was also presented, such as the addition of Strigi, a file indexing service; and the integration of NEPOMUK with KDE.