Three kwestions about KDE.

Sorry, I know. Bad joke. Here’s one more:

So a konfluence of three things has brought me to this point.

See, if you didn’t know, there are a lot of apps that start with a ‘k’ in Linux distributions running the KDE desktop environment. Well, technically the K Desktop Environment.

Look, just read this bit on Wikipedia, okay?

All done? Good. Let’s kontinue…

(Ok, that was the last time. Srsly.)

So a confluence of three things has brought me to this point.

1. Helpful commenters on this blog have repeatedly suggested KDE apps to me — that is, apps that make use of the Qt libraries built in to KDE. One of these apps, Kdenlive, is indeed very good. And not only that, but it looks very good as well — thanks (I think) in part to this Qt stuff.

2. Qt is now owned and operated by Nokia. I’ve used Nokia smartphones since 2007, and I’m pretty stoked about the company’s first MeeGo handset due later this year. I’m thinking there might be some complementary Qt apps for both MeeGo devices and KDE desktops.

3. This Ubootnu user is feeling the need to stretch his wings a bit. Nothing too crazy, just some baby steps out into the wider world of Linuxdom.

To that last point, instead of taking the easy route and installing the KDE version of Linux Mint (or even Ubuntu) I’d like to go with a more “pure” KDE experience.

From reading things here and there I gather that OpenSUSE is currently the best showcase for KDE — but I want to be sure, so:

I. Is OpenSUSE my best bet for a distro running the latest and greatest KDE?

I know Mandriva is fairly popular as well, but unless I’m mistaken there’s no live CD available for me to test.

Question two:

II. The K-apps — Kmail, Kontact, Kalendar… How good are they?

My email sits on IMAP servers so migration is no big deal. Likewise my address book are hosted remotely on, which supposedly works with KDE’s PIM apps.

Is it true that Koffice really won’t export to Microsoft Office-readable files? I’ve also heard that installing Skype on OpenSUSE is a bit of a pain, which leads me to my final question:

III. Are there any other “gotchas” with KDE that I should know about?

I’ve played around with the 4.5 live CD and was prety darn impressed, but there are obviously limits to what I can do with it in that environment.

If you can answer any or all of the above questions I’d be much obliged.

Just no distro or KDE-bashing, k?


  1. Ah, ok. I had read somewhere that there were sometimes dependency issues with software not in the official SUSE repos. Thanks for setting me straight!

  2. I used to use a ton of KDE apps: Amarok, k3b, KTorrent, SMPlayer to name a few. I have decided that as a Gnome user I’m better off with native GTK apps such as Rhythmbox, Brasero, and Deluge. They stay matched with my theme and I don’t have to load any KDE libs which slow down the performance of my laptop.

    If you enjoy bloated apps though and have fast hardware KDE is the way to go.

  3. I’ll certainly keep the “bloat” in mind, but for what it’s worth I didn’t notice any lag with apps running on the live CD. I didn’t push anything too hard, though, obviously.

    And by the way can I say how awesome it is that you link to your Pirate Bay profile when commenting here?

  4. 1. Lots of people like OpenSuse. I always get an iso that is crashier than the one everyone else gets, but if I look past that it is a fantastic build. Both OpenSuse and Mandriva have live CDs. Fedora’s KDE is also popular in some circles. It is pretty vanilla (not changed much from the official KDE), which some people like.

    2. Koffice doesn’t export to .doc files, and it does tend to clobble them up when it imports them. For this reason Opensuse ships with mild KDE integration. All the other Kapps are just dandy in my opinion.

  5. “Mandriva is fairly popular as well, but unless I’m mistaken there’s no live CD available for me to test.”

    You are indeed mistaken. Mandriva has a Live CD, which they call their One Edition. Its 32-bit only, and unlike the installable DVD (aka Free Edition), it includes proprietary codecs, video drivers, etc.

  6. I love KDE and its apps! Kate is a fantastic little editor; KDEnlive is a great NL video editor; KMail and Kontact is great (except that KMail isn’t perfect with Google’s IMAP, it gets hung sometimes with gmail’s imap, but the Calendar aspect works very well and the IMAP problem is known); k9copy for disk backups; k3b for CD and DVD burning; Konversation for IRC; Kopete for IM chatting… yeah the Ks get a bit tiring when I start to list the apps, but overall, the apps and the default settings are fantastic. And unlike GNOME apps, you can actually, and easily, change settings if you dislike them!

    I really like Debian’s* KDE, because it is pretty much what the KDE devs made KDE to be. There could be better integration with Firefox but overall, it is nice and can easily be configured. I like Mint’s KDE; I don’t like Kubuntu’s at all, as they strip out the powerful options in apps (in my experience). I’ve not tried SuSE since I stopped with the RPM-based distros on the desktop, but I hear its grand. sidux is Debian Sid with KDE and, while I run it, I’d prefer to replace that with Debian Sid when I have the time…

    *if using Debian, make sure to add the multimedia repo! 🙂

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