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Updated: 3 hours 21 min ago

Leslie Zhai Talks 20 Years of KDE in China

Thursday 20th of October 2016 11:27:48 AM

Amongst the 20 year of KDE parties around the world one of the busiest was held in Beijing. Dot News interviewed the organiser Leslie Zhai about KDE in China.

KDE China's 20th Anniversary Group Photo

Leslie Zhai

Where are you from and what do you do for a living?

I am from Wuhan, a very beautiful city in China. And I am working as a Linux developer at iSOFT in Beijing.

How did you first start to use KDE software?

In 2002, as a computer science major university student, I went to a Legal Authoried software store in Wuhan, Guangputun, and bought Redhat7 including four install CDs, three src.rpm CDs and a very exquisite user manual for only RMB 50, because other software for Windows 98 was too expensive to a univerty student! It was my first time to use KDE 3. Yes I chose KDE as my default desktop enviroment, but I tried GNOME of course. ;-) Then I tried to migrate my university's course assignment developed in Turbo C to compile with GCC. I used Konsole and VIM to edit my source code, I tried Emacs but I did not know how to make coffee with it, so I switched to VIM ;-) and my teachers switched to use Redhat8 instead of Windows 98 when teaching operating system courses.

What are your activities contributing to KDE?

As a KDE developer I fix bugs, I push to repositories after code is reviewed by other KDE developers, and I am maintaining K3b right now. My sincere thanks go to David Faure; he helped me when I broke the dependency freeze of libkcddb regarding the Applications/16.08 release. I migrated all projects using KF5Cddb, and right now libkcddb is KF5 ready! Also thanks go to Thomas Schmitt, one of the libburnia authors, he taught me a lot about ISO 9660 & MMC patiently and carefully!

Talks at the Party

Looks like you had a successful 20th anniversary party. Who was there and what did you all do?

Yes! We had more people than we expected. We estimated there were only about 20 KDE users, but that day 65 KDE plus GNOME and other desktop enviroments users came! iSOFT KDE helped us so much to make the anniversary party happen. My old friend Conner Mo (the co-founder of and came from Shanghai specially. We took a group photo wearing KDE 20 years T-shirts. The opening was by Cjacker Huang, the deputation of iSOFT sponsored this party, who is also a KDE developer since 2003! Happy birthday for KDE 20 years celebrated by Xiangkai Li, manager of iSOFT. Opening was by Lei Zhang. The deputation of LinuxCN sponsored this party, also shared updates with us. " and Chinese KDE developers" shared by myself. Yunhe Guo (KDE-China l10n zh_CN translator) and csslayer (Fcitx and KDE developer) recorded video for the celebration. "GNOME Desktop and Foundation say happy birthday to KDE" was shared by Tong Hui. A delicious KDE 20 years cake. GNOME Foundation member was cutting cake and laughing happily. Announced Enjoy KDE 20 years cake. So I changed my raffle script MAX to 65 on site. Raffle prizes were CHEERY keyboards, iSOFTLinux V4.0 USB sticks, KDE 20years T-shirts and more.


What is China KUG and what does it plan to do? is the China KDE User Group for contributing to KDE:

  • Fixing bugs and code review
  • Translating l10n zh_CN
  • Akadamy-China ;-)
How popular is Free and Open Source software in China?

Very popular! A lot of internet companies use Open Source software such as Linux kernel, GNU toolchain, Nginx, MySQL, Memcached, Squid, DNF, Apt, Python, Django, reviewboard, PHP, Drupal, phpBB, flyspary, jQuery, Node.js, etc. in China.

How popular is KDE software in China?

Very popular! a lot of ArchLinux and Fedora fans use KDE! iSOFTLinux, MagicLinux, Kubuntu, openSUSE and RedflagLinux distributions choose KDE as their default desktop enviroment in China.

The article on mentions iSOFT has its own operating system using KDE software, can you tell us how this is made and what it's used for?

iSOFTLinux V4.0 x86-64 is Cjacker Core base, default desktop enviroment is KDE (GNOME optional), easy-to-use Linux Desktop for end-users.

How good is KDE software's support for CJK writing systems?

Thanks for Fcitx maintained and developed by csslayer, also his kimpanel work, it all works very good for KDE!

Cutting the Cake

Why do we not hear more from Chinese people on KDE mailing lists, forums and chat channels?

First, language issues. For example I often wrote email in Chinglish just like my answers to this interview ;-) but KDE developers are very clever in understanding what I tried to express. Second, the timezone issue. I would update my patch in the morning, then wait for review, perhaps the next morning I could receive the reply. You can see the waiting time, so it is difficult to chat with each other in IRC. So we prefer to use reviewboard and Bugzilla to communicate with other KDE developers.

Anything else you'd like to say?

I hope more and more Chinese internet companies join the Open Source game, they are using a lot of open source utilities and libraries, but many core and important applicationa are not available for Linux desktop users. Even binary-only just like Skype is OK!

Thanks for your answers!

How KDE Celebrates 20 Years

Friday 14th of October 2016 03:49:11 PM

KDE is 20 years old, a community working on beautiful software to free the world and spread privacy, all while having a lot of fun which we do it.

In cities across the world there are parties being held this weekend to celebrate. As we write the KDE Korea party in Seoul is setting up for some talks and drinks.

Some 20 year parties have already been held such as at FISL in Brazil last month.

Showing the strength of the KDE development community, our flagship product Plasma released its first Long Term Support edition. The Linux Action Show, never ones to shy away from critisism, give it a thorough review and decided it was "light years ahead" and had "more compelling features" than the competition.

And if being 20 years old makes you feel old you can look back at the latest release, KDE 1. Helio has brought the classic version back to life. There are even Docker images you can install yourself from KDE neon.

If you haven't read them already take a look at the 20 Years of KDE timeline and download or buy the 20 Years of KDE book.

Brazilian IT website Vida de Suporte did a special comic for KDE:

Support: Hey, look, KDE is 20 years old!
Intern: Oh, damn it, I tougth it was a pokemon.

Let us know how you celebrate this anniversary how what you think KDE can do in the next 20 years to spread freedom, privacy and community.

Comments welcome here or on Reddit thread.

Happy 20th Birthday, KDE

Friday 14th of October 2016 08:06:26 AM

20 years ago today Matthias Ettrich sent an email that would mark the start of KDE as we know it today - a world-wide community of amazing people creating Free Software for you. In his email he announced the new Kool Desktop Environment and said “Programmers wanted!” In the 20 years since then so much has happened. We released great software, fought for software freedom and empowered people all over the world to take charge of their digital life. In many ways we have achieved what we set out to do 20 years ago - “a consistant, nice looking free desktop-environment” and more. Millions of people use KDE’s software every single day to do their work, have fun and connect to the most important people in their life. And yet we still have a long way ahead of us. Our job is far from done.

Today Free Software and KDE matters more than ever before. Only through Free Software can people truly break out of the walled gardens technology is so often building these days and stand up to surveillance. But Free Software communities like KDE also matter because they bring the world closer together. Our community is a truly global one. It is one that strives on mentoring people and letting them reach their true potential - be it as a programmer, artist, translator, community organizer, system administrator, tester or any of the hundreds of roles that make a community like KDE work.

No matter if you’ve been around KDE since the very beginning or if you just joined us for a short while: Thank you for being a part of our journey so far. And if you’ve not contributed yet, today is the best day to start.

I am looking forward to many more years in this great community building Free Software for and with you.

Here’s to many more years of KDE! Come celebrate with us.

KDE Student Programs announces Season of KDE 2016-2017

Thursday 6th of October 2016 03:00:29 AM

KDE Student Programs announces the 2016-2017 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects which enhance KDE in some way. Projects from past Seasons of KDE include new application features, the KDE Continuous Integration system, new reporting for developers, as well as a web framework, porting and a plethora of other work.

Successful mentees earn a certificate of completion along with  a very cool t-shirt and other goodies. Any person who wants to complete a project is eligible to enter.

Those who want to mentor are asked to add ideas here:

Students are asked to begin discussion about their ideas or those on the various KDE mail lists and IRC channels even before applications open.

The schedule this year will be:

  • 7 October to 31 October: Student and mentor applications
  • 1 November: Official coding period begins. Students can start work once mentor and student agree on the project and the timeline
  • 28 February : End of coding period

To apply as a mentor or student, please visit

KDE at 20: Plasma 5.8 LTS Out Now with Comprehensive Features

Tuesday 4th of October 2016 11:42:12 AM

Linux Action Show's Chris Fisher takes us through the existing and new features

KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS

Tuesday, 4 October 2016. Today KDE releases its first Long Term Support edition of its flagship desktop software, Plasma. This marks the point where the developers and designers are happy to recommend Plasma for the widest possible audience be they enterprise or non-techy home users. If you tried a KDE desktop previously and have moved away, now is the time to re-assess, Plasma is simple by default, powerful when needed.

Plasma's Comprehensive Features

Take a look at what Plasma offers, a comprehensive selection of features unparalleled in any desktop software.

Desktop Widgets

Desktop Widgets

Cover your desktop in useful widgets to keep you up to date with weather, amused with comics or helping with calculations.

Get Hot New Stuff

Get Hot New Stuff

Download wallpapers, window style, widgets, desktop effects and dozens of other resources straight to your desktop. We work with the new KDE Store to bring you a wide selection of addons for you to install.

Desktop Search

Desktop Search

Plasma will let you easily search your desktop for applications, folders, music, video, files... everything you have.

Unified Look

Unified Look

Plasma's default Breeze theme has a unified look across all the common programmer toolkits - Qt 4 & 5, GTK 2 & 3, even LibreOffice.

Phone Integration

Phone Integration

Using KDE Connect you'll be notified on your desktop of text message, can easily transfer files, have your music silenced during calls and even use your phone as a remote control.

Infinitely Customisable

Infinitely Customisable

Plasma is simple by default but you can customise it however you like with new widgets, panels, screens and styles.

New in Plasma 5.8 Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork

Unified Boot to Shutdown Artwork

This release brings an all-new login screen design giving you a complete Breeze startup to shutdown experience. The layout has been tidied up and is more suitable for workstations that are part of a domain or company network. While it is much more streamlined, it also allows for greater customizability: for instance, all Plasma wallpaper plugins, such as slideshows and animated wallpapers, can now be used on the lock screen.

Right-to-Left Language Support

Right-to-Left Language Support

Support for Semitic right-to-left written languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic, has been greatly improved. Contents of panels, the desktop, and configuration dialogs are mirrored in this configuration. Plasma’s sidebars, such as widget explorer, window switcher, activity manager, show up on the right side of the screen.

Improved Applets

Context Menu Media Controls

The virtual desktop switcher (“Pager”) and window list applets have been rewritten, using the new task manager back-end we introduced in Plasma 5.7. This allows them to use the same dataset as the task manager and improves their performance while reducing memory consumption. The virtual desktop switcher also acquired an option to show only the current screen in multi-screen setups and now shares most of its code with the activity switcher applet.

Task manager gained further productivity features in this release. Media controls that were previously available in task manager tooltips only are now accessible in the context menus as well. In addition to bringing windows to the front during a drag and drop operation, dropping files onto task manager entries themselves will now open them in the associated application. Lastly, the popup for grouped windows can now be navigated using the keyboard and text rendering of its labels has been improved.

Simplified Global Shortcuts

Global Shortcuts Setup

Global shortcuts configuration has been simplified to focus on the most common task, that is launching applications. Building upon the jump list functionality added in previous releases, global shortcuts can now be configured to jump to specific tasks within an application.

Thanks to our Wayland effort, we can finally offer so-called “modifier-only shortcuts”, enabling you to open the application menu by just pressing the Meta key. Due to popular demand, this feature also got backported to the X11 session.

Other improvements

Plasma Discover's new UI

This release sees many bugfixes in multi-screen support and, together with Qt 5.6.1, should significantly improve your experience with docking stations and projectors.

KWin, Plasma’s window manager, now allows compositing through llvmpipe, easing the deployment on exotic hardware and embedded devices. Now that there is a standardized and widely-used interface for applications to request turning off compositing, the “Unredirect Fullscreen” option has been removed. It often lead to stability issues and because of that was already disabled for many drivers.

Now that Kirigami, our set of versatile cross-platform UI components, has been released, we’re pleased to bring you a revamped version of Plasma Discover based on Kirigami.

We have new default fonts, the Noto font from Google covers all scripts available in the Unicode standard while our new monospace font Hack is perfect for coders and terminal users.

We’re in Wayland!

Plasma on Wayland Now with GTK+ support

Plasma on Wayland has come a long way in the past months. While our long term support promise does not apply to the fast-evolving Wayland stack, we think it is ready to be tested by a broader audience. There will still be minor glitches and missing features, but we are now at a point where we can ask you to give it a try and report bugs. Notable improvements in this release include:

  • Support for xdg-shell, i.e. GTK+ applications are now supported
  • Much improved touch screen support
  • Support for touchpad gestures – the infrastructure is there, there aren't any gestures by default yet
  • The “Sliding Popups” effect is now supported
  • Clipboard contents are synced between X11 and Wayland applications

Full Plasma 5.8.0 LTS changelog

Live Images

The easiest way to try it out is with a live image booted off a USB disk. You can find a list of Live Images with Plasma 5 on the KDE Community Wiki.

Package Downloads

Distributions have created, or are in the process of creating, packages listed on our wiki page.

Source Downloads

You can install Plasma 5 directly from source. KDE's community wiki has instructions to compile it. Note that Plasma 5 does not co-install with Plasma 4, you will need to uninstall older versions or install into a separate prefix.


You can give us feedback and get updates on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

Discuss Plasma 5 on the KDE Forums Plasma 5 board.

You can provide feedback direct to the developers via the #Plasma IRC channel, Plasma-devel mailing list or report issues via bugzilla. If you like what the team is doing, please let them know!

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Announcing the KDE Advisory Board

Monday 26th of September 2016 04:00:10 PM

With KDE having grown to a large and central Free Software community over the last 20 years, our interactions with other organizations have become increasingly important for us. KDE software is available on several platforms, is shipped by numerous distributions large and small, and KDE has become the go-to Free Software community when it comes to Qt. In addition to those who cooperate with KDE on a technical level, organizations which fight for the same vision as ours are our natural allies as well.

To put these alliances on a more formal level, the KDE e.V. hereby introduces the KDE e.V. Advisory Board as a means to offer a space for communication between organizations which are allied with KDE, from both the corporate and the non-profit worlds.

One of the core goals of the Advisory Board is to provide KDE with insights into the needs of the various organizations that surround us. We are very aware that we need the ability to combine our efforts for greater impact and the only way we can do that is by adopting a more diverse view from outside of our organization on topics that are relevant to us. This will allow all of us to benefit from one another's experience.

"KDE's vision of a world in which everyone has control over their digital life and enjoys freedom and privacy cannot be realized by KDE alone. We need strong allies. I am therefore excited that we are formalizing our relationship with a number of these strong allies with the Advisory Board and what that will bring for them, for KDE, our users and Free Software as a whole." says Lydia Pintscher, President of KDE e.V.

We are proud to already announce the first members of the Advisory Board:

  • From its very beginning Canonical has been a major investor in the Free Software desktop. They work with PC manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo to ship the best Free Software to millions of desktop users worldwide.

    Canonical will be working with the KDE community to keep making the latest KDE technology available to Ubuntu and Kubuntu users, and expanding that into making Snap packages of KDE frameworks and applications that are easily installable by users of any Linux desktop.

  • SUSE, a pioneer in open source software, provides reliable, interoperable Linux, cloud infrastructure and storage solutions that give enterprises greater control and flexibility. More than 20 years of engineering excellence, exceptional service and an unrivaled partner ecosystem provide the basis for SUSE Linux Enterprise products as well as supporting the openSUSE community which produces the Tumbleweed and Leap community-driven distributions.
    It was natural for SUSE & openSUSE, being long standing joint KDE patrons, to join the KDE Advisory Board. This new channel will foster the already good communications between the KDE community and SUSE/openSUSE, which will bring mutual benefits for all.

  • Following its motto "Liberating Technology", Blue Systems not only produces the two Linux distributions Maui and Netrunner, but also invests directly in several KDE projects, such as Plasma (Desktop and Mobile) or KDE neon. Being part of the Advisory Board further enhances the collaboration between Blue Systems and KDE on all levels


  • Founded in 1998, the Open Source Initiative protects and promotes open source by providing a foundation for community success. It champions open source in society through education, infrastructure and collaboration. The OSI is a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

    Free and Open Source software projects are developed by diverse and dynamic groups that not only share common goals in the development of technologies, but share common values in the creation of communities. The OSI is joining KDE's advisory board to fulfill their mission of building bridges among different constituencies in the open source community, a critical factor to ensure the ongoing success of both Free and Open Source projects and contributors that support them.

  • FOSS Nigeria is a non-profit organization with the aim of educating Nigerians on KDE and other FOSS applications.

    The first contact between FOSS Nigeria was In 2009 when Adrian de Groot and Jonathan Riddell had a talk about KDE and Qt projects before more than 300 participants during the first Nigerian international conference on free and open source software, and Frederik Gladhorn joined Adrian de Groot in the following year's conference.

    KDE e.V helped in making FOSSng and the KDE Nigeria user group what it is today. Participation of people like Adrian de Groot, Jonathan Riddell and Fredrick Gladhorn plays a vital role for the major breakthrough behind the spread of KDE in Nigeria from 2009 to date.

    Every two months the KDE Nigeria user group meets and discusses the future of KDE in Nigeria. The organisers of FOSS Nigeria 2017 are proposing that 55% of the conference papers will focus on KDE and Qt.

  • The Free Software Foundation Europe's aim is to help people control technology instead of the other way around. KDE is an associated organisation of the FSFE since 2006.

    Since 2009, KDE and the FSFE share rooms for their offices in Berlin, and regularly exchange ideas how to improve the work for software freedom. "It just felt natural and the right thing to do for the FSFE to join the advisory board after we have been asked if we would be interested.", says Matthias Kirschner, President of the FSFE.

  • April is the main French advocacy association which has been promoting and defending Free Software in France and Europe since 1996. April brings together several thousand individual members and a few hundred organisations (businesses, nonprofits, local governments, educational institutions).

    Through the work of its volunteers and permanent staff, April is able to carry out a number of different campaigns to defend the freedoms of computer users. You can join April, or support it, by making a donation.

  • The Document Foundation is the home of LibreOffice, the world's most widely-used free office suite, and the Document Liberation Project, a community of developers focused on providing powerful tools for the conversion of proprietary documents into ODF files. It was created in the belief that the culture born of an independent foundation brings out the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for users.

    "We share with KDE the same commitment to Free Software and open standards, and we have both invested a significant amount of time for the development and the growth of the Open Document Format", says Thorsten Behrens, Director at The Document Foundation. "By joining KDE Advisory Board, we want to underline potential synergies between large free software projects, to grow the ecosystem and improve the quality of end user solutions".

  • In 2003 the city administration of Munich, one of the largest cities in Germany, evaluated the migration to Open-Source desktop software. Within the LiMux project from 2005 until 2013 around 18,000 desktop computers were migrated from Microsoft Windows to a Linux-based desktop with KDE and Remaining Windows-based desktop computers for special use cases and applications are equipped as much as possible with Open-Source applications like Firefox and Thunderbird. In the beginning of the project, KDE 3.x was chosen as the desktop environment for the LiMux client to ensure a smooth transition in handling of graphical user interfaces for the users who were used to the, at that time, established Windows 2000 desktop. Current LiMux client versions ship with KDE Plasma 4.x desktop.

    The desktop environment and its applications play a major role in the user experience of the desktop system. Many of the around 44,000 employees of the city administration use KDE applications for their work on a daily basis. Some of them are more and some are less computer-oriented and therefore the preconfiguration of the desktop is rather conservative and geared towards continuity.

    The city of Munich has often the need to customize the system-wide standard configuration of the desktop environment and its applications. In order to communicate and discuss such issues and with the KDE community and to find solutions, developers from Munich regularly attend Akademy. Our goal is to make, together with the KDE community, the Plasma Desktop suitable for a large enterprise environment.

  • The Free Software Foundation is a 30-year-old nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. They defend the rights of all software users. KDE has an important part to play in achieving that mission, because of its excellent work creating a free and user-friendly application environment. KDE's free, powerful, and exceptionally usable software both demonstrates that a future world of everyday computer users using entirely free software is entirely possible, and helps us get there. We're looking forward to closer collaboration and are honored to be part of the advisory board.

If you would like an organization you're with to be part of the KDE e.V. Advisory Board, you can read more about the program here:

For more information, don't hesitate to send an e-mail to

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