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Linux on the desktop? Try KDE 3

New version contains improvements galore.

KDE 3 is now out, and available for downloading by the brave.

The 3 release includes improved printing set-up (one of the banes of using Linux), an improved Web browser called Konqueror, an updated office suite called KOffice, and a whole lot more. You can see the official KDE 3 release announcement online.

KDE (the K Desktop Environment) is available translated into 50 languages and remains free. KDE has been providing quality Linux applications for years. KDE provides the primary desktop environment for virtually all Linux distributions, except for Red Hat, the most popular distribution in the United States. Even so, Red Hat Linux includes KDE as well as GNOME, the main competitor to KDE and the default desktop on Red Hat systems.

In addition to using KDE as a unified desktop environment, you can also run KDE applications from other desktop environments, such as GNOME. You can also run GNOME applications under KDE. This allows you to run the applications you want on the desktop environment you want.

You’ll find hundreds of available KDE applications, many distributed as part of the desktop and many more available separately. Another site provides a huge list of KDE applications. For each application, you’ll see links to home pages, screen shots, and downloads.

With KDE 3, Linux on the desktop is even closer. I find that each desktop release, be it from the KDE or GNOME efforts, improves the overall ability of Linux to compete on the desktop.

The KDE base packages can be downloaded from KDE’s main site, which includes sites for the following versions of Linux:

Connectiva Linux 7 FreeBSD 4.5 stable Mandrake 8, 8.1, 8.2 Red Hat (just a README pointer) Slackware 8 SuSE for various chip architectures Tru64 UNIX YellowDog 2.2

This is quite a lot of support out of the box. But with anything this large (and KDE is huge) and integrated, depending on specific versions of many system libraries, I have always found it best to let your Linux vendor perform the hard work of getting all the right versions of all the libraries. Unless you need a KDE 3 feature right now, it is better to wait for the next versions of your Linux distribution and get the latest KDE that way.

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