The Next Big Thing for Desktop Environments: KDE 4.1

In January, the much-anticipated KDE 4 burst onto the scene to a fanfare of excited reviews — and a few disappointments. Now comes the next generation of KDE 4, and from what we hear, it's definitely something to see.

The 4.1 release, the second feature release for KDE 4, contains a whole host of new features, as well as a continued commitment to improving the libraries and framework on which the desktop is built. Among the improvements is the return of the Personal Information Manager, KDE-PIM, which includes the KMail email client, the planner KOrganizer, the much-beloved Akregator RSS reader and KNode newsgroup reader. Since the 4.0 release, 166 new developers have gained SVN access for the KDE server, demonstrating the level of interest in the latest release series. Among the new additions are Okteta hexeditor, Dragon Player video player, new games including Kollision, KbreakOut, Kdiamond, and Kubrick, the return of the KSCD player, and Lokalize, which helps to translate the desktop to languages not already among the 50+ currently supported by KDE. There are also improvements to the Dolphin filemanager, KsysGuard, the KWin compositing manager, Konqueror, Gwenview, and the KRDC remote desktop client.

Those ready to dive in can pick up the release from the KDE 4.1 information page on, while those with questions can search for answers in the FAQ. This release also provides good news for users of non-Linux systems, as OpenSolaris support is now "straightened out," though some bugs remain, while Windows support has reached a preview stage and OSX support is making strong progress. In the words of Linux Journal's own Marcel Gagne: "It is totally amazing, wonderful, incredible, and I like it. A lot."

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