KDE 3.0 Review: Bumpy Install, Smooth Run
Introducing KDE 3.0
For once, I wish I could rate the installation process separately from the product itself. The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is a nice, mature Graphical User Interface (GUI). It's been around for years, a lot of people like it, and it's free. Can't ask for much more than that. The huge problem is this, though: getting a new version of KDE installed is a big pain. Once you actually get into the GUI itself it's great and a lot of fun. Personally, I look forward to when KDE 3.0 comes pre-rolled into the newest distributions.
KDE 3.0 runs only on Unix-based operating systems, and I am going to focus on Linux since that's my reader base here. Architecture and other requirements depend on your particular distribution's requirements more than on KDE.
Getting KDE 3.0
To see if there's a binary set of packages available for your particular Linux distribution, FTP go ftp ftp.kde.org and look in the directory /pub/kde/stable/3.0. If there isn't, then you either need to find out if a version is coming for your Linux distribution from that distribution's web site or contact email address, or you'll have to build KDE 3.0 from source (see http://www.kde.org/install-source.html for how to accomplish this task).
In this article, I assume you're using one of the following Linux distributions that already has a binary version of KDE 3.0 available: Connectiva, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, or YellowDog. Since the vendors themselves provide the KDE binaries, be sure to check and see if any more distro versions have been added since this article was written.
There are a lot of packages involved here. Typically, I just grab them all so I don't have to go back and get more, but I've got a high-speed connection. If you don't want to wait there for the whole thing you can either download it in parts as you go through the installation process, or order a CD-ROM from the KDE web site containing all of the KDE code.
If you really hate installing this kind of stuff, you can always wait to get a distribution version that has KDE 3.0 in it by default as well.
K Desktop Environment 3.0