Interesting KDE Facts and Trivia that You Should Know About


We looked back in time and found out some “Kool” KDE Facts and Trivia. Here it is.

The KDE has a long history. How it was conceptualized, progressed and became a winner as a “go-to” desktop for all user base. In this post, we give you some interesting facts and trivia of KDE that you may be not aware of. And it’s good to know.

KDE Facts and Trivia

The Beginning

KDE was created by Matthias Ettrich 20+ years ago. The main driving force was to create an easy to use desktop alternative to the Common Desktop Environment (CDE). The idea was a simple desktop, fun to use, easy to configure and powerful. And KDE aka Kool Desktop Environment is born. You can notice the pun intended to CDE!. The “Kool” in the name is dropped, and eventually it became the “K Desktop Environment” aka KDE.

First Appearance

The official announcement of KDE Project by Matthias still live in Google Groups today at de.comp.os.linux.misc (Usenet). See below.

KDE Facts and Trivia – The First Announcement

Today, it is surreal to read the above idea and how much vision he had about KDE. And with that, where KDE Plasma is today, penetrating all the devices – Laptops, desktops, Game consoles, mobile phones. It is remarkable, indeed.

First Code

The first code was written by Matthias for the window manager “kwm” and panel “kpanel”. The KConfig class of KDE becomes the first library written of this amazing desktop.

Trouble with Qt License

During that time, in Usenet boards, many opposed the Qt license on which KDE is being developed. Hence, Matthias and team fly to Oslo in February 1997 and a foundation agreement is signed between KDE and Trolltech (then owner of Qt foundation). This guarantees the eternal free availability of Qt.

During the initial days, believe it or not, the money was very much needed to keep the development effort on going. The generous donations received by the team from O’Reilly, SUSE, Trolltech.

KDE 1.0 – The First Release

The first developer conference called “KDE One” organized in August/September 1997 to discuss the vision, future and roadmap of the first KDE release. And that resulted in the first ever release of KDE 1.0 on 12th July 1998.

The KDE 1.0 is built on Qt 1.0 and written mostly in C++. In my opinion, it still looks stunning today. You can imagine, how advanced the vision was in terms of UI, user interaction and most importantly – a perfect Linux desktop for the masses.

K Desktop Environment 1.0

KDE 2.0

On October 23, 2000 – KDE 2.0 is released. It introduced a set of new applications for the first time that included Konqueror web browser, KOffice, Theme support, KParts, etc.

Initial Awards

On August 29, 2001 – KDE Awarded as “Best Open Source Project” at LinuxWorldExpo and receives the “Open Source Product Excellence” award.

The one millionth commit has been made on the source code in the SVN On July 20, 2009. It was indeed a milestone for an open source project, paving the way for a promising future.

Snippet of the Millionth Commit in KDE Source Code

Fast Forward to Plasma 5.0

The KDE Software Compilation was used until KDE 4.0. It is split into three independent projects – KDE Framework, KDE Plasma and KDE Applications in the next Plasma 5.0 release. This helps the KDE Plasma desktop itself independent of the release standpoint with KDE Framework and KDE Applications. This modular approach helped the team to maintain the quality and progress of the entire ecosystem separately.

KDE Woman

The KDE Community’s Woman group “KDE Women” was created in March 2001 with a goal to increase women headcounts in free software communities, specially in KDE – across development, documentation and testing.

KDE Mascots

KDE’s official mascot is Konqi which is a nice little friendly dragon. It means Konqi the Konqueror. Katie is Konqi’s girlfriend and official mascot for KDE Project.

Konqi is the current ambassador of KDEValley. He is good at building things as well as breaking things, and his reptilian brain cannot keep things tracked when they get really complicated. He travels around Flossland to establish connections between dragon colonies. He also brings messages to Userland across the Professional Ocean. He sometimes has these dreams of being a powerful big dragon, too. Was it his past life?

Official description about Konqi
Konqi – The Official KDE Mascot

KDE’s journey to more devices and a promising future

Over the years, KDE Plasma became the choice of preferred desktop for a wide range of hardware. In 2016 KDE partnered with a Spanish laptop company and launched KDE Slimbook. KDE Slimbook is an Ultrabook with KDE Neon Edition featuring KDE Plasma, KDE Application pre-installed. It can be purchased from their website.

Linux mobile pioneer Pine64 launched PinePhone KDE Edition on 2020 which features KDE Plasma Mobile edition.

Valve corporation announced their handheld gaming console Steam Deck with KDE Plasma running on Arch Linux.

Slimbook 1

Wrapping Up

So, that’s about it. Some interesting facts and trivia of KDE which you may be not aware of. From the day of KDE 1.0 to today in a simple yet powerful handheld gaming device that is powered by KDE. A long and eventful journey, indeed. I’m sure, many more such exiting events are bound to happen in coming days with KDE ecosystem.

Do you know any interesting KDE facts that are not listed here? Let me know in the comment box below.