Matthias Ettrich

Ettrich ( born June 14, 1972 in Bietigheim, Germany ) is a German computer scientist and the founder of the KDE project. He gave in 1996 in Usenet, encouraging a " consistent, nice and free desktop environment " for Unix, which is based on the Qt GUI toolkit.

Previously programmed Ettrich 1995, the TeX graphical frontend LyX, which he developed as a student for writing his term papers as a semester work. Since LyX was intended primarily for Linux, he tried to simplify the Linux desktop environment for the user. The realization that this was possible only through unification, led to the creation of the KDE project.

Ettrich studied at WSI Institute of computer science at the Eberhard -Karls- University of Tübingen. After graduation, he worked at Trolltech in Oslo on the development of Qt, the toolkit based on KDE. Since 2006, he acts as head of the branch opened in the same year of Trolltech in Berlin, which is part of the Qt Development Frameworks division Digia since 2012.

2009 Matthias Ettrich was awarded the Medal of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for the initiation of open-source software project KDE.


  • Coordination and communication in open source projects. In: Robert A. Gehring, Bernd Lutter Beck ( eds.): Open Source Jahrbuch 2004 Interim software development and social model. . Lehmann Media, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-936427-78- X. (online, PDF, 182 kB)