The KDE Community is thrilled to announce the immediate availability of KDE 4.0. This significant release marks both the end of the long and intensive development cycle leading up to KDE 4.0 and the beginning of the KDE 4 era.
The KDE 4 Desktop has gained some major new capabilities. The Plasma desktop shell offers a new desktop interface, including panel, menu and widgets on the desktop as well as a dashboard function. KWin, the KDE Window manager, now supports advanced graphical effects to ease interaction with your windows.
Lots of KDE Applications have seen improvements as well. Visual updates through vector-based artwork, changes in the underlying libraries, user interface enhancements, new features, even new applications — you name it, KDE 4.0 has it. Okular, the new document viewer and Dolphin, the new file manager are only two applications that leverage KDE 4.0’s new technologies.
- Plasma is the new desktop shell. Plasma provides a panel, a menu and other intuitive means to interact with the desktop and applications.
- KWin, KDE’s proven window manager, now supports advanced compositing features. Hardware accelerated painting takes care of a smoother and more intuitive interaction with windows.
- Oxygen is the KDE 4.0 artwork. Oxygen provides a consistent, easy on the eye and beautiful artwork concept.
Panel : The Plasma Panel holds the menu, the systray and a list of tasks. The taskbar, located in the panel, can show live thumbnails of windows that are currently hidden, the Taskbar Thumbnails.
Dolphin : is KDE4’s new file manager. You can browse, locate, open, copy and move files with it. Dolphin concentrates on ease of use and replaces Konqueror’s filemanagement component, which was used in KDE 3 and earlier. While Konqueror can still be used as file manager, and in fact shares the fileview functionality with Dolphin, the KDE team has decided to introduce an application that is optimized for file management: Dolphin.
Desktop Switcher : The Panel holds an applet that provides similar functionality and is also available when Desktop Effects have been disabled. Right click on the “Pager”in the panel to configure the number and arrangement of your virtual desktops. Drag the pager applet from the applet browser to the panel or to the desktop.
Taskbar Thumbnail : The effect Taskbar Thumbnails enables live previews of windows when you move the mouse over their entry in the taskbar. This makes for easy monitoring of activity in hidden windows and application activity. Taskbar Thumbnails also provide visual hints to ease locating the application you want to switch to.
Okular and Gwenview: Gwenview is KDE’s image viewer. While it was available in KDE3, the KDE4 version has a simplified user interface, making it more suitable for quickly browsing through your collection of images. Gwenviev is also used to display images. It provides a nice full screen interface that can be used to display your images as a slideshow.
Okular is KDE4’s document viewer. It supports a multitude of formats, ranging from PDF files to OpenDocument files. Okular is not limited to only reading file
Marble Desktop Globe Marble is an application which shows you a three-dimensional map globe which you can rotate and view. Use your mousewheel to zoom in and out. Grab the globe with your mouse to drag it around.
KStars Desktop Planetarium: KStars is an application which you can use to view the nightsky above. It can be used to control digital telescopes, even remotely over the internet. When you start it, you will be presented with a dialog asking you to select the your location.
- An alpha version of KDE4-based Arklinux 2008.1 is expected shortly after this release, with an expected final release within 3 or 4 weeks.
- Debian KDE 4.0 packages are available in the experimental branch. The KDE Development Platform will even make it into Lenny. Watch for announcements by the Debian KDE Team. Rumours are that a Live CD is planned as well.
- Fedora will feature KDE 4.0 in Fedora 9, to be released in April, with Alpha releases being available from 24th of January. KDE 4.0 packages are in the pre-alpha Rawhide repository.
- Gentoo Linux provides KDE 4.0 builds on Gentoo Linux Projects — Gentoo KDE Project.
- Kubuntu packages are included in the upcoming “Hardy Heron” (8.04) and also made available as updates for the stable “Gutsy Gibbon” (7.10). A Live CD is available for trying out KDE 4.0. More details can be found in the announcement on Kubuntu.org.
- Mandriva will provide packages for 2008.0 and aims at producing a Live CD with the latest snapshot of 2008.1.
- openSUSE packages are available for openSUSE 10.3 (one-click install), openSUSE Factory (one-click install) and openSUSE 10.2. A KDE Four Live CD with these packages is also available. KDE 4.0 will be part of the upcoming openSUSE 11.0 release.