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Running Linux, Fourth Edition by Lar Kaufman, Terry Dawson, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Matt Welsh

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The K Desktop Environment

The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is an open source software project that aims at providing a consistent, user-friendly, contemporary desktop for Unix, and hence, Linux systems. Since its inception in October 1996, it has made great progress. This is partly due to the choice of a very high-quality GUI toolkit, Qt, as well as the consequent choice of using C++ and its object-oriented features for the implementation.

It should be noted up front that KDE is not a window manager like fvwm, but a whole desktop system that can be used with any window manager. However, it also comes with its own window manager called kwin, which will give the best results and is therefore what we will cover here.

The current development version of KDE, as well as the upcoming KDE office suite (see http://koffice.kde.org ), is based heavily on KParts, a component technology which, among other things, enables the embedding of office components, such as embedding the PDF viewer into the web browser for seemless viewing of downloaded PDF files, and so on.

KDE is in continuing development, but every few months the KDE team puts out a so-called official release that is considered very stable and suitable for end users. These releases are made available in both source and binary packages in various formats, often specifically adapted for the most common Linux distributions. If you don’t mind fiddling around with KDE and can stand an occasional bug, you can also live on the bleeding edge ...

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