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June 24, 2008

openSUSE 11.0 KDE4 inclusion

There seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding the inclusion of KDE4 in openSUSE 11.0 that are leading to a great deal of anger on the mailing list.

KDE4.0 is the default in openSUSE 11.0. It is being forced upon users.

Not true. Both KDE3.5 and KDE4.0 (and GNOME) are offered when installing from the DVD or netinstall. There is no default. The KDE4.0 description is

KDE 4.0 is the most recent evolution of KDE. It comes with many new KDE technologies, but is less mature than the other desktops.

While KDE3 is described as

KDE 3.5 is the previous generation of the K Desktop Environment. It is mature and stable.

which I personally think is a fairly good description. This is only shown on new installs, if a user is upgrading an existing installation then he or she will remain with his or her existing desktop. Users are not forced or even suggested to change from KDE3 to KDE4.

Novell forced the inclusion of KDE4.0 was forced upon the openSUSE community for [insert conspiracy reason here]

There have been dozens of “Novell did not listen to the users” comments which are wrong for several reasons.

The topic was discussed at length in various media which are all open to everyone.

The result of these discussions is what we have in openSUSE 11.0. They were not ignored, in fact they led to the inclusion of the KDE3 option clearly in the installer.

The second problem with these statements is they assume that everything that happens in openSUSE is a direct result of Novell policy. The openSUSE community is made up of many people including many who work for Novell. The decision to include KDE4.0 was made by the community and particularly the KDE team. There is no evidence that there was a Novell policy that KDE4.0 must be included in openSUSE 11.0. In fact, the descision was delayed until as late as possible when it could be made on technical merit.

KDE4 should not be included until it is ready.

How do you define ready? KDE4.0 is already ready for some users. Whether it is ready for you depends upon what featureset you use. I will not be switching myself until certain features are implemented.

There are good reasons to begin the move to KDE4.0 early.

  • People can move over when KDE4 is ready for them.
  • openSUSE specific tools and integrations can be ported to KDE4 gradually.

So far this process is something like this.

  • openSUSE 10.3 : KDE3 the only prominent option in the installer. KDE4 was available for testing. The openSUSE tools are KDE3 based.
  • openSUSE 11.0 : KDE3 and KDE4 are both prominent options in the installer, with a warning that 4.0 is not mature. Updater applet has been ported to KDE4. YaST has a Qt4 UI.
  • Future : KDE3 may be dropped when KDE4 is good enough to replace KDE3 for the vast majority of users.

The current state of KDE4 migration is available on the wiki

There is no point filing bug reports against KDE4 because the developers know what is wrong with it.

  • Few people will have exactly the same configuration as you, or use the same featureset, so will not run into the same bugs/missing features.
  • Both upstream bug tracker, and the openSUSE bug tracker allow you to search for duplicate bug/enhancement reports before you file. You can find out for yourself whether anyone else has reported your issue.

This argument just seems to be “I’m too lazy to report issues, but quite willing to rant about them instead.”

Including KDE4.0 will lead to bad reviews.

This might happen. However, so far reviewer’s quibbles have been with entirely different issues. In fact there have been several positive reviews of the openSUSE shipped KDE 4.0.

There should be a KDE3.5 installable livecd.

This was not produced as there were insufficient resources to produce and test three installable livecds. Someone can always step up and help produce one.


  • openSUSE is not forcing people to switch to KDE4. Users can switch to KDE4 when they wish. Both are included on openSUSE 11.0.
  • If you find bugs in or are missing functionality in KDE4 please file bug reports so it can be fixed.
  • If you have an opinion regarding when the timescale for moving to KDE4 you are free to get involved and influence the decisions. You do not have to resort to insulting developers on the mailing lists to be heard, in fact insulting developers so is a good way to ensure that people disregard your opinion.

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  • Hey skx, how do you do that ? I run into the fu….. problem, that curl terminate with unspec. error… by David on this entry
  • With some minor changes this will also work for updating from 11.0 to 11.1. by skx on this entry
  • You are the man!!! Great work and good documentation! It worked without any problem for me. Thanks a… by Vany on this entry
  • didn't work for me. In fact killed the system. Have to download 11.0 and burn to dvd to fix it. by maybe windows on this entry
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