Open Ballot: will you take KDE 4.4 for a spin?


KDE 4.4 is here, bringing with it improved support for social networking and online collaboration, plus thousands of bug fixes. The question is, do you intend to try it out? Post a comment below with your thoughts!

Usually our answers come down to a simple yes or no, but here you're welcome to prevaricate as much as you want - are you going to upgrade to 4.4 simply because your distro will sooner or later? Are you still using 3.5 and are going to stay there until you die? Are you a Gnome user tempted by all the new features, but unsure about switching desktop? Does the sheer number of bugs fixed scare you a little, or is it all progress in the right direction?

As per usual, we'll read out the best comments in our podcast, but please do make sure you leave a name other than Anonymous Penguin!

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Your comments


I have been using KDE since 1999. I happily worked with KDE through all the versions until KDE 4.3.5. Tried Gnome sometimes, but it didn't really work for me. A few days ago I decided to take the jump and installed KDE 4.4.0.

No problems, no glitches, only to find that some keystroke will turn my keyboard to Greek while a little popup in the bottomright corner indicates that this can be fixed there. That is little annoying - I don't speak Greek. Have to find out what keystroke is responsible for this.

Apart from that: no issues. KDE 4.4.0 is a rock solid release. Kudo's for the developers!

Maybe ...

I've never likde KDE in the past, GNOME is perfect for me. Works well and provides stability but since KDE 4.4 seems more stable I'm open to the idea of trying it out in the near future.

KDE 4.4

Just finished installing KDE 4.4 (from 4.3.5) now on Kubuntu 9.10. Very nice, polished graphics. Very happy with the new desktop so far.

Had some issues upgrading from KDE 3.4.5 that would have stumped most beginners. I think my problem was more to do with Kubuntu and APT than with KDE. On the other hand, I have been upgrading this box since Kubuntu 7.10, so I think the Ubuntu/KDE guys deserve some credit :)


Already using it. Been using KDE4 since 4.1. KDE4 just gets better and better, and i love it. It is much better then KDE3.

Of course

I can't live without KDE and all its features - the terminal that follows you around is what does it for me. I don't know where I'd be without that. So of course I'll try KDE4.4, but I think I'll give the PPA a miss this time and wait for Kubuntu 10.04

I'm using it now

I haven't hit a bug since version 4.2 and even then I had no problem. I don't see what everyone's complaining about! It's much better than GNOME (sorry).


Tried before on each hype wave, dissapointing waste of time. Why is now any different?

Yes, I am already.

Ever since day one and it's excellent.
People who say that it's a mess and buggy are beyond lairs.

KDE updating but he apps?

I will try it when time comes. I run my desktop with KDE 3.5 on kubuntu 8.04. I have 9.10 installed but only used Ubuntu and then loaded KDE on top. Why? Because of stability issues.
What bothers me is that some apps like krusader or quanta plus do not get upgraded to the new KDE version.

KDE bloated? Well, yes, but I like a lot of tools although they overdo it a bit. In fact you need to clean up after an install, just like you do with windows . . . . . .


Using it.. LOVE IT!! when I used KDE3, I always had to tweak the desktop to make it look and feel the way I wanted. Every time I've used Gnome, I've had to go to forums to work out how to change and manipulate settings files to get it to work and feel the way I needed or wanted it too.

Gnome is fine if you stay with the basic default settings, but move away from those, and it's just a real pain to deal with.

KDE4, in my opinion, has found a wonderful balance. If you don't like something, it's quick and easy to change. If you don't need to change anything, it looks great in it's default settings, and works well. KDE 4.4.0 is by far the best desktop experience I've used.


i run fedora(gnome) and just got updates to 4.4 yesterday. it's fine. i really like kwin, compiz is still the best wm i've used but it can be flaky. i really wish kde devs would work on fixing their ui...some apps, mostly older ones like konqueror, seem thrown together...whoever created dolphin did a beautiful job...



You should give arch a try. All of the kde packages are modular so you can install a base kde system then pick and choose which other parts of kde you want to install.

No way! I started with KDE

No way! I started with KDE 3.5 (PCLinuxOS), upgraded to 4.3 on openSUSE, and began to feel I had entered an Alice in Wonderland World where I kept falling through rabbit holes. So now I am trying Gnome and xfce with openSUSE to see if I can find a stable, intuitive desktop that doesn't propel me without warning into alternate universes. In a few days we'll be having a SCALE, a Linux conference, here in Southern California. I intend to to go to the KDE 4 lecture to try to answer the question: WHAT ARE THEY THINKING??

I'll pass and wait for KDE 5.1

I was a SuSE + KDE 3.x user since SuSe, was, well, just SuSE, all the buzz was about how soon would we reach the year of the Linux desktop now that Mandrake Linux was going to soon merge with Connectiva, and maybe, just maybe Red Hat would consider a community distro called Fedora something-or-the-other.

Those days of using KDE came to an abrupt end with the 4.x release. I know, I know. It was a release "fit only for developers and alpha tester." To me, not a developer or tester, but someone who used his computer to get things done, that just said "screw you, you're not our demographic any more." I responded in kind and switched to Gnome and lately have been using Windows 7 more and more for work.

I gave openSUSE 11.2 with KDE 4.3.something. In two hours after installation I ran into 9 separate crashes or, in my opinion, show-stopping issues. Three of these were SUSE, and one was the fault of those jerks at the QGIS project (how can you let months pass while your Python plugin-manager crashes with the newest release of Python?). The rest were all KDE. I just loved being greeted by windows announcing Akonadi (whatever the heck that is) crashed and the Neopunk (sp!) service crashed too, and let's not forget the KDE sound system that blasted the opening chimes at full volume over my speakers. Oy. This is "professional" programming in Linuxland? No thanks, I'll take Steve Balmer's sloppy seconds over that any day.

I'll try it... Again... But...

I'm still on KDE 3. I've tried each new release of KDE 4.x and have quickly retreated back to the known and stable. Will that change this time?

I kind of doubt it, as I also need a desktop that will run on older hardware and with what is apparently considered to be "limited" memory these days (a Thinkpad T41 /w 1GB RAM). KDE 3 still works in that environment. KDE 4.x? Not so well - at least not so far.


Go to the back of the class, put on a dunce's cap & write out one hundred times :

Prevaricate means to speak or act evasively, to deceive. Procrastinate means to put something off.

Well maybe not

I've got a choice of both at home, with Gnome predominant. It's nice but not really worth the effort at the moment. It nearly passes the daughter test, if she notices she's not in W, it's good!

My son however seems to prefer Gnome, he's got used to finding his way around, but I'd say KDE4 is more aimed at those who've escaped from clutches of the Empire.


KDE is awful! I see gnome and kde like this; KDE-Glass, but bulletproof ie. not as fragile) and Gnome-Looks like a desktop environment should, but seems fragile (with mint; mint leaf; leaf tears). As solid seeming KDE is, wobbly windows are awful on it, and gnome is just much better.

Re: Prevarication

Thanks for your grammatical feedback. I think you'll find our usage is spot on with your definition: normally our open ballots ask people to answer either "yes" or "no", but in this instance we're happy for people to prevaricate - to answer "yes AND no" for various reasons, ie to beat around the bush a little. The questions we outlined were there to demonstrate the kinds of things people may hedge their bets on.

It's pretty, but does it dance?

In a nutshell, I've tried it so I guess my answer is yes. However, I really don't like it, so I'm going back to Gnome.

I've heard all the hype, and I've seen for myself the beautiful environment. Yes, it puts Micro$oft to shame, and yes, it easy for my wife to navigate given that she's used to Micro$oft. But, how the hell do you configure the thing???

What took me 3 or 4 clicks at the most, now takes me 10 or more just to find the stupid configuration program. Invariably I simply drop to the command line and do it from there rather than search for the right GUI tool that does the same thing. (Yes, I found the terminal and put it on my desktop for easy use.) And good luck finding all the programs you're used too... It takes forever to go through that tiny windowed menu. How very unpractical.

I've also noticed that it takes my computer a full 30 seconds longer to boot.

Now, let's be honest here. Since when is 30 seconds out of my life really going to matter that much?!?!? It won't! But what that does speak to is the amount of resources being loaded into memory that simply don't need to be there!

My desktop doesn't have Bluetooth, nor does it have wireless, but damned if I can turn the freaking thing off because it's needed by other programs... And why is it taking a full meg of memory????? My God, not even OpenOffice takes that much memory when I'm working on my 300 page book!!!!

I'm sorry, but if the trend is growing towards bloated desktops, then I'll stick with Gnome. I can prettify it all I want, and still run half the memory KDE was pushing. The trend should NOT push towards Micro$oft type bloatware. Simple really is better!!! Make the windows in Gnome rounded, and you've got something better than KDE... It's all in the theming!

Guess you didn't want lengthy explanations, but you did open the door by allowing us to prevaricate so of course we'd have to justify our reasons for the flip-flopping.




Definitely as I have been very impressed with KDE 4.3 with Kubuntu 9.10.


I'm useing linux mint 7 KDE and love it. I will upgrade/fresh install with mint 9 LTS.


Don't need a parody of Windows, thanks; any more than I need a parody of MacOS (Gnome)

E17 all the way! ;)

Yes - I have just been waiting for a stable version of KDE4

I used KDE for many years as my primary desktop and have been waiting since April 2008 for a stable version of KDE4 to use with ubuntu (ie kubuntu). I am hoping that KDE4.4 will be it.

I downloaded PPA version of KDE4.1 for Hardy and was greatly impressed with it, however it was too buggy for everyday use. Also the Kontact apps were slow and needed refinement.

I am hoping that with KDE4.4 the Kontact apps will be more stable, faster and will synchronise better with google calender and contacts.


Been using KDE for many years. Updated KDE on the day it was released and loving it. It runs so smooth on my Arch Linux box.


KDE 4 made me a Gnome convert. I have found that Gnome does not get inot one's way unlike KDE4

Love it or hate it I think KDE is needed by the Linux Community.

KDE has a major influence on Linux and pushes development on other desktop environments. Would Gnome 3.0 be the same without KDE 4? There will never be a X.0 major releases without major public communication on what can and cannot be used.

I use KDE because of:

1. I like the KDE applications. Krunner, Amarok, Arora, Konversation, DigiKam, Gwenview, Okular, Dolphin, etc.

2. It is the only "Modern" feeling and looking Desktop. Don't get me wrong Gnome is great and I love my LXDE family Fedora computer. When I use any other Desktop I feel that I am using an old Windows XP era computer. I like the feel and I like the flexibility of KDE. I can configure it my way and I do. I like that.
Modern means different things to different people, but I really do like the eye candy and I have made a few short cut changes and I am working. Now I can hear the KDE haters means modern = unusable and distracting then I will keep my old desktop. To me KDE fits and it might not fit you.

Thank God for choices in Linux.


I desperately want to like

I desperately want to like KDE, but since 4.0, I just can't. 4.0 was functionally useless - too bug ridden and inflexible to do anything of any use. I can forgive that, because it's new and had potential.

In 4.4, it's the complete opposite - solid, helpful, flexible and so vastly messy, it's still near useless. I don't want to have to learn how application or plasmoid Z is configured, because it will be different from application or plasmoid Y, and there's a good chance version +1 of Z will change it too.

I've yet to find a plasmoid that matches the basic unix ideal - does one thing only, but does it well (to be fair, most of them match one criteria or the other, but I don't want to have to install 8 plasmoids with a total of 200 facilities just to get the best of the 8 I need)

I don't believe the complexity is a killer for KDE, and I can tell that there's good stuff happening under the bonnet, but until the basics work *for the average user*, it's quietly killing itself. I do feel that 4.5 has a good chance of being a good release - one where the randomness and inconsistency is reined in, but if it isn't, I'm afraid KDE is going to have to do a lot more to catch up with Gnome.

Let's put it this way - I can install Ubuntu with Gnome on a machine, log in, spend 5 minutes rearranging the defaults to suit me, my girlfriend or even the cat, and we can all get on with life. Or I can install Ubuntu with KDE and spend a week trying to make it do what we want, and probably failing. I shouldn't have to think about that.

It's time KDE faced the reality of the non-geek user - Windows XP and 7, Gnome and KDE 3.5 kind of work - install, adjust some personal settings and get on with it, and they're giving KDE 4.x a kicking, without even trying.

KDE also has increasing competition from maturing Gnome and non-Gnome addons. I'm finding a Gnome system with Conky and Gnome-Do is a lot better than KDE 4.4. And Gnome-screen is next on the list to look at.

All of my whinging aside, I do have high hopes for 4.5, and I really do want it to work - simply because it feels like there is a fantastic desktop in there screaming to get out. I just hope the developers can release it.

KDE > Windows > Gnome

KDE > Windows > Gnome. The last one suffers from usability-madness syndrome that always puts every option (if not removed yet) in a very illogical way, makes my head wants to explode.

Sorry for trolling :-P I couldn't resist this after seeing other people trolling KDE (but my comment is true, I still don't like Gnome after trying it from time to time since Gnome 1.4).

newb town confusion.

Short story encompassing my KDE experience.

Installed Mandriva one recently having never used KDE before. Cool nice, no welcome screen explaining the everything is a widget theme so when I deleted the activity bar I was rightly spooned. Took days to find an answer cos it was so 'obvious' you could delete the activity bar when trying to get rid aof a quick launch icon no one mentioned it!

Kinda cool, Lifes too short.

Spectrum is Green!

Here in the 21st century, security organisations such as Spectrum, who take care of world security, need to rely on the awesomeness of Linux to get us through the day. That's why we use KDE SC 4.4. It's as flexible as we need, and thus can be simplified to get stuff done when required, or tweaked to avoid and deter Mysteron attack. Gnome cannot do this. KDE is indestructible.


Half working bloated unergonomic overkill that complicates trivial operations. A nightmare to use. The command line is much more efficient and versatile. This will for sure kill the Linux desktop. Now Gnome, even using mono, is excusable!
Artwork doesn't matter when the underlying functionality and modes of operation are so clumsy and inelegant. Windows 7 positively shines in comparison. KDE4 structure is wrong. Signed diplomatically.
| RIP |
| KDE |
| |
Bring back KDE3 because I use Gnome but don't like it.

I'm into

I'm running it. I have some ishues with desktop activity and Delphine columns selection but it will be fixed.
Hoping that all of us will switch into soon.

keep it simple, if possible

I have been very interested to read all these comments - amongst the contributors, I recognise many people like me who really really want to like KDE 4 but cannot easily accept it day to day on their desktops.

Also, I think it is undeniable that KDE is now becoming an enthusiast/techie desktop choice, whereas almost anyone could work out their way around KDE 3.5. I could install it for non-technical family members without a thought and leave them to get on with it - nowadays I would give them Gnome or LXDE. Is this a problem or not? I don't know.

Where KDE's real significance lies is under the surface, perhaps. Under the glassiness, glitz and non-intuitiveness that so many of us dislike lies a boldly rebuilt code base which has vast cross-platform potential and could be of real significance in encouraging software development for Linux, including from commercial sources as well as from the FOSS community.

For these reasons alone, I don't think we should give up on KDE 4. However, I'd like it to be made REALLY obvious to users like myself how one sets about simplifying the KDE 4 desktop experience. Many of us would be quite happy running it without (for example) transparency and CPU-hungry desktop effects, and certainly without Nepomuk and the 'semantic desktop'.

What am I saying? Some of us would rather run KDE 4 in a 'back to basics' mode, and have the opportunity to opt into interesting but potentially memory-hungry and buggy new technologies if and when we end up needing them.

Depends on Gnome

Started off with KDE 3.something in PCLinuxOS, but then moved to Ubuntu and found Gnome DT more to my liking. Have been watching the rollout of KDE 4 with some interest, but so far have not really been tempted to return to KDE as my primary DT. This may change when Gnome 3.0 is finally released!

I know you can't stop progress, but it is frustrating when a perfectly good DT (like KDE 3.5) is replaced by an upgrade that may look better but is arguably less efficient.

Wow - Impressed

Just decided to give 4.4 a spin from the OpenSuse Factory build and I can honestly say wow what a major improvement it is over 4.3.5 in terms of responsiveness, had to check my motherboard that nobody had slipped in a couple of extra cores while I wasn't looking.

Good work KDE team !

Still Waiting

I put my notions about KDE4 in the Season2 Episode2 comments; probably should have gone here. Gave 4.4 quick look, disabled all the glitz and plasmoids, and its still counter-intuitive mess. I'm going to submit a bug report to Tim Pearson, and maybe we can get a fork after all.

wats that

i am having issues ith kde4 everytime i upgrade it something seems to go wrong 4.1 worked 4.2 i had issues with the taskbar so i left it used kde3.5 4.3 resolved my taskbar issues until i got 4.3.2 and once again i have taskbar issues and phonon issues and issues with xorg issues with nepomuk which i had never really heard of it really leaves me wondering if i should upgrade to 4.4
i hate how opensuse handles the updates though


I am a confirmed GNOME lover - there is no cure for a desktop built for humans - GNOME. KDE was my initial introduction to Linux and coming from a MAC world, it was repulsive, cranky and reminded me of WINDOZE. The KDE Desktop is still less "friendly" than GNOME.

NO i will not try KDE, unless there's money or ale involved . . .


Still Kan't Do Everything (KDE). Gruyere cheese as mouse hits desktop holes whilst transiting the main menu.

"No Nobody Important (not

Nobody Important (not verified) - February 17, 2010 @ 1:48am

I run a very tight ship on my computer. Minimal, simple, clean. Everything I need and nothing I don't.

KDE 3 was the absolute anti-thesis to my computing philosophy. It had more knobs and widgets and kahoozles than I could count. I tried KDE 4 and was struck by the same objections in a lesser fashion. It's so busy and complicated to do the simplest of tasks. Too many options. So much that I don't need.

I can become accustomed to a desktop over a period of time, but Gnome has been very, very good to me and my productivity. KDE has always been the absolute opposite of what I strive for. It's not that it's wrong or that it's a bad desktop, it's just not what I want."

Amen, expect I use Xfce

People who won't try it are missing out

I've always preferred KDE to Gnome, though for me KDE3 was quite tacky and felt like I was using an DE from the previous century. When KDE4 come up I was distraught but pushed through using it. Each incremental release has had a massive impact on the desktop and ease of use.

I do prefer a full featured system and KDE4.4 fills that nicely for me.

Heck yes I'll be using KDE 4.4

Heck yes I'll be using the latest KDE. I gave up on Gnome years ago because they were headed in the same direction as MS Windows in my view. They got away from trying to support demanding power users like me. I want and use many features, that just aren't available in Gnome. The eye kandy is nice too, but that isn't why I chose KDE; it was the features. Get under it's covers and there is a dearth of hidden treasure to plunder. Contrary to other comments above, I find these features to increase my productivity. I can script all kinds of things, given all the command line options, DBUS access, etc. If I were using Gnome, I'd always have to resort to clicking for every little thing I want to do. That isn't productive to me. KDE rocks in my view.

Using OpenSUSE 11.2 and gave

Using OpenSUSE 11.2 and gave KDE 4.4.2 a spin.

Overall performance has improved without any mayor stability ssues. OpenSUSE still has this in factory so minor issues are to be expected.

Negative things I found was that KGET icon in Konqueror is not showing up and that Amarok does not allow me to manually input / edit a filepath (Basically telling it where to go). I prefer being able to copy the filepath.

Other issues I personally have is that I could not find any way to turn of transparency or change level thereof on desktop panels. It is an absolute must. The problem becomes apparent when you tell KDE to hide panels. Windows then cover the complete desktop instead of only the visible area between the panels. When you move to the screen edge, the hidden panel becomes visible but the transparency can make it very difficult to properly read the pane (The underlying Windows merging into the panel due to transparency). This problem has been around since version 4. Turning of 3D Desktop Effects does solve the issue but I cant see why the KDE team cannot simple implement a transparency option if the panel settings allowing KDE users to change transparency to their desired level.

Also missing is my most favorite feature of Gwenview which was the action which allowed you to jump from one sub-folder to the next. This was last available in KDE3.

The System monitor is still very limited considering what Microsoft has to offer in Windows 7. That said, Linux is not Windows but their is no reason why features can not be similar or better.

Each new version of KDE does bring mayor improvements. By far, I consider the 4.3.5 version to be the most significant in terms of making KDE 4 usable. KDE 4.4 has improved on performance (People were complaining about KDE performance which means KDE 4.4 is in the right direction)

Personally I don't like Gnome but which desktop you use is a matter of choice and what you feel comfortable with. I like to customize things and this is the main goal of KDE. KDE 4.4 is still missing lots of actions as implemented in KDE3. I for once can fully appreciate the time programmers and software developers invest into KDE.

I am a dedicated KDE user and am willing to help where I can. I hope my comments are seen as creative criticism. Every system has its own share of criticism. The question I ask myself is if software has any value and personally I think KDE has proven itself, no matter what the present shortcomings.

Yes, but

Yes. But I'm slightly trepidation about the new core technologies (ie, Akonadi, NEPOMUK, Strigi) and how they'll impose themselves on various types of users. It could be a fit for very *specific* users, but the antithesis to others. I'm 4.3 right now, and it's beginning to feel like Windows, and not in the good ways. I like KDE. It's very configurable. The desktop can be very clean and basic, to very ornate and tooled. It's the user's choice. It is very much appreciated that options are exposed rather than hidden. There is a fork of KDE 3.5. There are also other options than GNOME, and I think the changes in KDE and GNOME will bring great opportunities for other desktops.

kde 4.4.4

Most stable version yet (444) Can't wait till theres a RC for KDE 4.5 looks awesome at this point Kubuntu is my distro of choice for KDE simply because its so close to upstream you always have the latest and greatest from KDE with a simple apt-get

Still unuasable.

It's now version 4.4.4 and it's still an unusable mess. Gone from 3.5 are most of the system administration friendly apps. Kpackage being the one I most use. The menu system is just plain terrible. It used to be easy to assign a hot key to an item in the menu to bring up an app where is that now? Why are there 3 file managers? Konqueror was the best of the best and now it is relegated to almost hidden status.
Why did they remove the save window size check box in the capabilities of file management profile save. There is so much more WRONG with KDE 4 that I just don't feel like taking the time to list them all. Foisting this steaming pile on users is something that gives open source a black eye.


I love the look of the new KDE. Best Desktop Environment I've ever used. I for one love all the power and configuration options provided. I know a lot of people think it's too much (scroll up to see them all) but you only have to learn it once. And from then on you can customize your desktop much more extensively and to your liking. I love KDE so far.

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