Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4

Earlier, the KDE team had announced the availability of version 4.4 of the popular desktop environment, KDE. I’m a big KDE fan, and have been a KDE user since KDE 3.5. Despite the criticism faced by KDE4 for its initial release, I’ve always been impressed by KDE. I’d been running the RC2 version of KDE 4.4 since it was made available. And today I’ve upgraded to the release version.

Here are some screenshots of the DE:

KDE 4.4 in its barebones view

KDE 4.4 in its default avatar
KDE 4.4 in its default avatar

The folder view plasmoid in KDE 4.4 – indeed I’m hovering my mouse pointer over the folder, not clicking on it!

Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4
Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4

Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known
Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known

Multiple windows can now be grouped into one, providing a tabbed interface across windows. Individual windows can be further split and remote protocols do work

Multiple windows grouped into a single window
Multiple windows grouped into a single window

KWin’s composition engine is now a lot smoother, faster and my preferred composition engine

CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin
CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin

KDE 4.4 comes with Amarok 2.2.2 as the music player. Amarok can make use of KNotify for displaying Now Playing information, instead of its OSD feature.

Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4
Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4

KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

KRunner functions well as an application launcher
KRunner functions well as an application launcher

Konqueror is a fine browser, based on KHTML – the foundation for WebKit. However Gmail is not fully supported under Konqueror

Konqueror
Konqueror

So, what’re your thoughts about KDE 4.4 ? Or are you still hanging onto KDE 3.5 ? Post a comment and do let us know!

12 thoughts on “Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4”

    1. Indeed. The search feature in the Kickstart menu for instance is very similar to that present in Windows Vista / 7, and one of the best features. While I won't comment on who got to it, it was first seen in a Linux distro in openSUSE 10.2 and submitted and accepted upstream into KDE. Infact, before Windows 7 was launched ZDnet took to the streets of Sydney demonstrating KDE 4 and lots of people thought it was Windows 7 http://www.zdnet.com.au/insight/software/soa/Is-i

      1. Kickoff and many other menus had search even in KDE 3.x. Kickoff's search in 4.4 is *much* more powerful than any other menu outside of KDE.

        Ivan

        p.s. It is Kickoff, not Kickstart :)

        @OP

        Yes, a thumbnail of an empty desktop with a task-bar can remind you of whatever you're used to… Icewm, some Gnome anx XFCE setups, Enlightenment…

  1. i've tried and tried and tried and i cannot find one thing to like about KDE4. it astounds me how buggy it is and how it works against me. absolutely everything is the complete opposite of what i want and how i use my computer. i hate widgets and javascript mouse-over behavior. all the childish special effects do is irritate me. i get the feeling that there is some kind of microsoft conspiracy to destroy the kde project. i seriously believe that. i'm still using KDE 3510 and would rather throw my computer in the trash before switching to KDE4. i'm sorry, i've tried but i can't stand using KDE4.

  2. KDE 4.0 and 4.1 got a massive amount of negative criticism, and for good reason, it stunk. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or in denial. Since 4.2-4.4 however, KDE has made incredible improvements. Its still definitely not perfect, tho neither was 3.5, but it is a solid and absolutely beautiful environment.

    I'm curious to know which plasma theme you are using. The NIGHTFear/Pico do Breu is one of my absolute favorite wallpapers. Despite its endless controversy at kde/gnome-look.org.

    1. The theme is actually Air openSUSE, the default Air theme custom branded for openSUSE. The wallpaper is NightFear 4.0, I was unaware of the controversy till you mentioned it, I generally use the "Get new wallpapers" interface to update them!

  3. Good post. But i'd like to point out certain things

    Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

    this feature has always been there. the change in 4.4 is that it is now presented as a ribbon.

    KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

    again KRunner has always been this. the change in 4.4 is the positioning.
    It would have been better if you had touched the more important changes like the improvement with nepomuk.
    And Amarok is not part of the KDE Project. It is a seperate project although it is tied very closely with KDE.
    Lastly, being involved with the KDE Project, I cannot help but notice that you wrote "KDE 4.4 SC". It should be "KDE SC 4.4". Yes the placement of "SC" does matter.
    It is always good to see an article on KDE and I hope you take my comment positively. :)

    1. Ricky,
      Thanks for dropping by. On the points that you mention:
      On Plasmoids:
      – My emphasis was on the (IMO) much better ribbon interface.

      On KRunner:
      -True, I should have made this more clear.

      On nepomuk:
      – I did intend to feature nepomuk but I've been unable to get it working, I keep getting "unable to find redland backend" error message and consequently I haven't tried it yet – I do not wish to comment or feature something that I haven't tried out myself, for it is not correct – I do intend to flesh out more details on nepomuk ( and Strigi as well, I've been fascinated about it but unable to try) as and when I get it working.

      On: Placement of "SC"
      – I apologize for this, I have corrected this in the title.

      Thanks for your insight into these, we appreciate it :)

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