Cornelius Schumacher ( club president )

KDE is a project to develop free software. The main product is the KDE Software Compilation 4 (formerly K Desktop Environment, abbreviated KDE).

The KDE project consists of two pillars: Once a relatively loose association of programmers, artists and other developers. The second pillar is quite clearly limited registered association KDE eV to take care of as a legal entity for financial and legal aspects of the project.


The project was launched by Ettrich under the name Kool Desktop Environment on 14 October 1996. The programmers were based first prepared at the time already available but proprietary Unix CDE desktop, both from a functional as well as by name. But you put from the beginning on an object-oriented programming language ( C ) and an extensive, existing wrapper library called Qt, which had been developed by Trolltech. During the development of the name Kool was abandoned, the K remained so without further significance in the name.

On 12 July 1998, the final version 1.0 of the K Desktop Environment has been published. This early version was recorded by the Unix community with mixed feelings: Many criticized the use of unfree surface Qt library. Due to pressure that was exerted on Trolltech and by the persuasion of the KDE developers to Trolltech decided in April 1999 to provide that met the needs of the community as far as possible for Qt in a special, more liberal version. The final breakthrough came then with version 2.0 of 23 October 2000.

Version 3.0 April 3, 2002 was primarily a port to the new major version of the underlying frameworks Qt 3.0. KDE released the latest version, 3.5.10, on 26 August 2008.

On 18 August 2006, the KDE team released the first preview release of the new KDE Software Compilation 4 named Krash under the version number 3.80.1. On January 11, 2008, incorporating the final version 4.0 has been released.

On 6 November 2009, the project founder Ettrich was honored for KDE with the Federal Cross of Merit.

2009, the formulation of the K Desktop Environment has been dropped. From now on referred to KDE development community and the program package is referred to as Software Compilation (KDE SC). The new brand strategy has been in force since 24 November 2009. The first published version after the change in strategy was formally 4.3.4, but only contributes version 4.4 Beta 1 and in the software that designation.

Organization of the KDE project

The representation of the project outside the train by the non-profit, registered in Germany club KDE eV, who is also the right to the trademark KDE and was founded in 1997. He represents the members in all financial and legal matters and assists in the alignment of the conferences and meetings of the project members. The KDE eV has a five -member board, whose members are elected for a maximum period of three years by a General Meeting. He currently consists of Cornelius Schumacher (President ), Sebastian Kugler (Vice President), Agustin Benito Bethencourt (Vice President and Treasurer), and Lydia Pintscher Pradeepto Bhattacharya.

In some countries, KDE has its own organizations. These are either free- organized (KDE India) or have, as well as the KDE eV, given a legal form (KDE España). Others cooperate with existing legal bodies.

Marketing was founded in November 2005 Working Group has set itself the goal of helping to better coordinate existing public work projects and to add more. You currently consists of Carl Symons, Inge Walling and Jos Poortvliet.

In February 2006, the first time a seven-member Technical Working Group e of the members of the KDE V. was elected. This group is to coordinate and plan the publication of new versions of KDE. Furthermore, it should decide which software is added or removed in KDE, how different programs are to be combined into modules and the dependencies between modules and external software should be allowed. In addition, they should technical decisions that affect the entire KDE project, guide and ensure that such decisions are well documented. A further object is to be a contact point for general technical questions related to KDE and establish contacts between different developers of the project. The Technical Working Group was initially elected for six months. After this time, their work was evaluated. The Technical Working Group has been replaced independent institution after one year by the Release Team, a e V. KDE.

Furthermore, there is a Community Working Group, a System Administration Working Group, a Financial Working Group and a User Working Group.


KDE holds conferences and participates in other conferences around free software. The two main self- organized by KDE Akademy conferences and Camp KDE. Both are thematically and geographically widely -scale events.


The Academy will be held every year since 2003 in the summer at different locations in Europe:

  • 2003 Novohradský
  • 2004 Ludwigsburg
  • 2005 Málaga
  • 2006 Dublin
  • 2007 Glasgow
  • 2008 Sainte-Catherine -Waver
  • 2009 Gran Canaria for the first time together with the GUADEC, the annual conference of the Gnome project
  • 2010 Tampere
  • 2011 Berlin ( again with GUADEC )
  • 2012 Tallinn
  • 2013 Bilbao

Camp KDE

Camp KDE is the counterpart to the Academy for the Americas. It takes place annually since 2009 in January.

  • 2009 Jamaica
  • 2010 San Diego
  • 2011 San Francisco (outside of the rhythm in April )

Other conferences

In addition to Academy and Camp KDE, there are other conferences that are created close:

  • Akademy -ES is aimed at the Spanish Community
  • Conf.kde.in aimed at the Indian Community
  • Akademy - BR has so far only taken place once and that in 2010. Addressed to you Brazilian KDE contributors.
  • Tokamak focuses on joint meeting of the designer and developer of Plasma, KWin and Oxygen KDE artwork.

Cooperation with other organizations


Freedesktop.org is a collaboration platform with the aim to improve the interoperability of work environments on the X Window System. The KDE project is within freedesktop.org active to develop common standards with the Gnome project and numerous others.

Free Software Foundation Europe

In May 2006, KDE eV Associate Member of the Free Software Foundation Europe was (FSFE ).

22 August 2008 announced KDE eV and FSFE that the KDE project will take after one and a half years working with FSFE's Freedom Task Force, the Fiduciary Licence Agreement of the FSFE. In order to assign its rights to use the KDE eV in order to engage more easily with other rights violations KDE developers on a voluntary basis.

In September 2009, based KDE eV and FSFE common offices in Berlin.


Since 2009, the collaboration between KDE and Gnome project also goes beyond freedesktop.org by both organizations decided, every two years, their annual conferences Akademy and GUADEC hold together. The first joint conference was the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit from 3 to 11 July 2009. Was followed by another Desktop Summit in Berlin, 2011.

Commercial operating companies

Through the use of Qt as the basis for KDE software quickly formed relationships with the now acquired by Nokia Trolltech. In June 1998, KDE eV and Trolltech jointly founded the KDE Free Qt Foundation, to ensure the continued existence of Qt as Free Software. Trolltech also was starting to set as sponsoring measure some KDE developers.

The software development and consulting company Intevation from Germany and the Swedish Klarälvdalens Datakonsult AB ( KDAB ) use Qt and KDE software - especially Kontact and Akonadi for Kolab - for their services and products, why employ both KDE developers.


Many distributions of Linux and other open source operating systems are involved in the development of the software that they sell and are therefore active in the KDE project. This includes commercial distributors such as Novell / SUSE, Mandriva, Red Hat or Canonical, but also state-funded non-commercial organizations such as the Science and Research Council of Turkey with its Linux distribution Pardus.

Programs of the KDE project

The KDE project is among the largest and most active producers of Free Software and published a variety of programs. These can be divided into three categories:

  • The software compilation, the working environment and various application programs such as Kontact combines in a coordinated package developed.
  • Calligra suite, another coordinated developed program package with an emphasis on office software. This combines word processing, presentation software, etc.
  • Extragear. In Extragear all those programs that participate in any cross-border coordinated development and instead pursue their own release cycles, but use KDE's infrastructure lie. Prominent representatives are Amarok and K3b.

Furthermore, there are many application programs such as the video editor Kdenlive which, although developed for the KDE platform, but otherwise have no official relationship to the KDE project.