T H E K D E S K T O P E N V I R O N M E N T
October 20, 1997
An integrated Desktop Environment for the Unix Operating System
We are pleased to announce the availability of the first public beta
"Arnsberg" of the K Desktop Environment.
KDE is a powerful graphical desktop environment for Unix workstations.
The KDE desktop aims to combine ease of use, contemporary functionality
and outstanding graphical design with the technological superiority of the
Unix operating system.
KDE is a completely new desktop, incorporating a large suite of applica-
tions for Unix workstations. While KDE includes a window manager, file
manager, panel, control center and many other components that one would
expect to be part of a contemporary desktop environment, the true strength
of this exceptional environment lies in the interoperability of its compo-
Key KDE features:
o Transparent Network Access:
Most KDE components are inherently Internet aware. KDE's folder
windows are in fact web browsers. You can open URLs and view HTML
pages, download files by dragging them from the folder windows
onto your desktop or even edit remote documents by simply dragging
them from a remote site opened in a folder onto KDE's editor.
o Session management:
KDE supports elaborate session management. You can leave documents
and applications open when you log out and session management
aware applications will be restored to their previous state on
your next log in. KDE offers pseudo session management for legacy
Most, if not all settings are configurable through intuitive GUI
dialogs rather then the traditional cryptic configuration files.
The configuration files are of course human readable.
o Vast pool of KDE applications:
A great number of applications have already been written for the
KDE project. Some are supplied with the base packages available
for download from http://www.kde.org, others can be found in the
'apps' directory on ftp.kde.org and its many mirrors. We proudly
offer applications ranging from a postscript viewer to a CD
player, a calculator to a sound system, and even a finite element
analysis application. We are confident you will be pleasantly sur-
prised by the broad spectrum of applications available today.
Most of KDE's core components and many of the KDE applications are
internationalized. That is, they will operate in many languages.
We consider this a key feature in gaining acceptance among a wide
audience. Please consider helping us translate more of our appli-
cations. Visit http://www.kde.org/i18n.html for more information
on the internationalization project.
Screen shots of a typical K desktop and some of its core compo-
nents can be found at http://www.kde.org/kscreenshots.html We are
certain you will like what you see.
Where to get KDE:
You can download the KDE base packages from
ftp://ftp.kde.org/pub/kde or one of its many mirrors. Please visit
our web site at http://www.kde.org for more info. The precise
locations of the beta 1 packages are:
KDE was primarily developed under the GNU/Linux variant of the Unix
operating system. However it is known to compile without, or with
very few, problems on most Unix variants.
At the moment we explicitely support GNU/Linux (Intel , Alpha, Sparc)
and Solaris (Sparc) and we have success reports for FreeBSD,
IRIX, OSF, SunOS, HP-UX. and others.
KDE was developed by a world-wide network of programmers during
the past 12 months. In fact the release of the first beta coin-
cides roughly with KDE's first birthday, October 16th 1997.
KDE development is open to everyone. Please consider joining the
KDE project. If you are a programmer, consider writing applica-
tions for the KDE project. If you are a graphical design artist
consider creating icon sets, color schemes, sound schemes, logo's
and other supporting art. If you enjoy writing, you are invited to
join our documentation project and help creating help documenta-
tion, tutorials and other supporting documentation in the K docu-
mentation project (KDP). Please visit our web site for further
information on how you can help make KDE an even better environ-
ment than it already is.
To the expert:
KDE's development model differs deliberately from that of other
known desktop projects in that it does not try to follow precon-
ceived handed-down specifications. We have recognized the avail-
ablilty of an existing and usable desktop at all stages of devel-
opment as paramount to the success of the project. Only in this
fashion we are able to attract the large number of developers nec-
essary for a project of this enormous scale. KDE improves on an
almost daily basis in an iterative cycle of design, coding, test-
ing, revision, redesign, leading to constant excitement and con-
crete tangible results at any given time. We are convinced that we
have chosen the right development model prerequisite to running a
successful Internet project, and accommodating the special cir-
cumstances arising from the fact that all development is done on a
strictly volunteer basis. Please give KDE a try, we believe that
the results speak for themselves.
The KDE libraries are licensed under the LGPL, and the applica-
tions are licensed under the GPL. KDE is based on the Qt GUI
library which is free for the X Window System, provided the appli-
cations developed with it are released under a free license such
as the GPL. More information about Qt may be found at
What does the 'K' stand for?
Nothing. It is simply named the "K Desktop Environment".
Lastly: KDE is NOT a Window Manager
KDE is not just another window manager trying to imitate the look
of an existing desktop environment, but rather an integrated envi-
ronment of which the window manager provided with KDE is only a
small part. In fact if you so desire you can continue to use your
favorite window manger, however we strongly encourage you to use
the KDE window manager and enjoy the functionality afforded by the
interoperability of the KDE components. The KDE window manger pro-
vides all the functionality you need and more.
Additionally, KDE is not a CDE, Windows or OS/2 clone. While some
ideas may have originated from these systems, KDE is unique and we
have no intentions of cloning another system.
Please submit your bug reports to firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider sub-
scribing to our mailing lists depending on your interests.
kde (general discussion)
kde-devel (development issues)
kde-look (look and feel issues)
kde-licensing (licensing issues)
kde-user (end user discussion)
kde-patches (daily patches)
To subscribe (unsubscribe), send mail to
subscribe (unsubscribe) [your-email-address]
in the Subject: line of the message. A mailing list archive is
We would like to thank Troll Tech AS http://www.troll.no for cre-
ating Qt and our sponsors for making KDE ONE
http://www.kde.org/kde-one.html in Arnsberg, Germany possible.
We sincerely believe that we have initiated a new era for the Unix
operating system and hope you will share our excitement. We hope
that KDE will allow you to get your work done faster and more
efficiently than ever. Please consider joining and supporting the
The KDE Core Team
We expect ftp.kde.org to be rather busy in the future. Please take
note of the following list of official mirrors of ftp.kde.org.
The packages will also be uploaded to:
Expect the usual delays before all packages are available at all