I have installed KDE 3.5.8 on my Ubuntu Server machine. When I say KDE, I am not referring to Kubuntu, but actual KDE, without any Kubuntu packages installed. This installation can be created by typing “sudo apt-get install kde kdm” into the command line in a Ubuntu Server installation.
The applications I have installed are all KDE-based, with the lone exception of Firefox. I have installed Firefox simply because Konqueror just will not do for a web browser. Konqueror does not work well with Google’s services, so obviously I had to find another option. As a side note on Firfox, the default theme is one different from that if you install it on Kubuntu; it is a plain, grey theme, yet it fits in quite well with the KDE default “Plastik” theme.
By installing just KDE, it becomes quickly apparent how powerful KDE really is. There are TONS of applications installed by default. The only applications that do not come installed is an office suite. I have installed KOffice 1.6.3. I hope that KOffice one day becomes good enough to come default with KDE. Perhaps KOffice 2.0 will change things. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but hopefully I will soon, and I will give it a thorough review.
I have also installed KDevelop, another KDE-centric application, which includes many programs for programming KDE applications. Using KDevelop is similar to Eclipse, one of the largest Linux development applications available. Scripting languages are supported, so I found myself right at home using Python 2.5.
Another interesting program is another package manager I did not even know existed. It’s called KPackage. KPackage differs from other package managers like Adept and Synaptic in the way that 1) lists packages in groups, like “Lib,” “GNOME,” etc. and 2) One you click “Install” on a package, another dialog box opens with information on which packages will be installed, as well as other information about the package. Overall, I have to say that it is very nice package manager, and is easy to use as Synaptic or Adept. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so check out the below pictures for a good description of KPackage:
Using the default KDE for the past four days has been a very pleasant experience. Trying KDE without Kubuntu has revealed the true KDE, one that is very customizeable, as well as easy and pleasant to use. I have found KDE to be perfect for power users, and I know there are many better things to come. My only suggestion to the KDE folks is to make Konqeror a better web browser. Hopefully many compatibility issues with sites will be resolved in KDE v4, which will arrive in 12 days according to KDE’s KDE 4 countdown.