February 19, 2019

KDE 3.0 Review: Bumpy Install, Smooth Run - page 4

Introducing KDE 3.0

  • April 8, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

There is much to the configuration part of the process as far as the basics go. The most important step is typing at the command line: WINDOWMANAGER=kde3. The KDE 3.0 installation doesn't overwrite your KDE 2.2 install, so this action ensures that you'll be opening the right GUI. You have to do this for every account that you want to utilize KDE 3.0 within.

Even better, add this environment variable setting to your .bash_profile or .profile (depending on what distribution you're using) so it will be set properly at boot time. To accomplish this, be sure to add the following line to one of those files:


Then, ensure that you either add WINDOWMANAGER to the end of the export line, or create this line at the end of the file:


After this, type startx or init 5 or whichever your preference is to enter KDE 3.0. When the GUI opens you'll have the opportunity to choose the settings you were using back in KDE 2.2 or to set the GUI up all over again. From here you just make selections in dialog boxes. See Figures 1 and 2 for the differences between the same account in KDE 2.2 and 3.0 with all of the default settings.

These are of course just the basic configuration issues. A trip through the K Control Center will certainly let you change any number of KDE's GUI characteristics, that's half the fun.

Of course, it won't do to just tell you about installing this new GUI. I use Konsole a lot when I'm in KDE since I like to work at the command line, and it's great to have access to History functions right there in the Konsole Edit menu. I could swear the colors are actually brighter in KDE 3.0 than in my KDE 2.2.2 install but maybe it's just a figment of my imagination or difference in settings.

The ability to monitor a Konsole shell for activity reminds me of the days of hanging out in the computer labs at Penn State and playing Nethack (no one ever accused me of being a study fiend) in one window while programming in another. Also fun are the Edutainment packages, especially the planetarium! Definitely check this section out whether you have kids or not.

There are a lot more changes, many of them are subtle such as window movement or specialized such as additional KMail features. Once again, check out the changes list mentioned earlier.

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