User Tools

Site Tools


Definition of KDE

KDE stands for K Desktop Environment. On KDE irc channels or mailing lists, it is also called as Kool Desktop Environment, but this is not the official name.

About KDE

KDE is a free software desktop environment and development platform built with Trolltech's Qt toolkit. KDE was founded in 1996 by Matthias Ettrich, who was then a student at the University of Tübingen. At the time, he was troubled by certain aspects of the UNIX desktop. One of his complaints with desktop applications of the time was that his girlfriend could not use them. That post spurred a lot of interest, and the KDE project was born. Matthias chose to use the Qt toolkit for the KDE project. Other programmers quickly started developing KDE/Qt applications, and by early 1997, large and complex applications were being released. At the time, Qt did not use a free software license and members of the GNU project became concerned about the use of such a toolkit for building a free software desktop and applications. In November 1998, the Qt toolkit was licensed under the open source Q Public License (QPL). This same year the KDE Free Qt foundation was created which guarantees that Qt would fall under a variant of the very liberal BSD license should Trolltech cease to exist or no open source version of Qt be released during 12 months. KDE is now member of, an effort to standardize Unix desktop interoperability, although there is still some friendly competition between them.


KDEBase is the base set of files, libraries and programs that are needed by KDE (a Linux/Unix desktop environment). Specifically, it contains the applications that form the KDE desktop, like Kicker, KDesktop, KControl, Konqueror and Konsole.


contain games written for the K Desktop Environment (or KDE). These packages are kdegames, kdegames-arcade, kdegames-board, kdegames-tactic and kdegames-card.


KDELibs is a collection of libraries that provides frameworks and functionality for developers of KDE-compatible software.


The KDE Edutainment Project develops educational software for the K Desktop Environment (KDE). This software is bundled in the kdeedu package.


KDM stands for KDE Display Manager. Is a graphical login interface for computers using Unix-like operating systems. It is the K Desktop Environment replacement for XDM, the default X display manager. A simple KDM login dialog box has a list of users on the left, stating their username, their “real name” and optionally also containing a small picture that can be chosen by the user or the administrator. Users may also replace this picture with an analog clock. Under the picture/clock are the Username and Password text boxes. KDM has an optional autologin feature; this is insecure, but users used to other operating systems request this sometimes.

handbook/handbook/gui_kde/kde.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/15 21:18 (external edit)