The K Desktop Environment (KDE) is traditionally the default graphical environment on SUSE. At the time of this writing KDE 3.5.8 is the current version of the KDE version 3 series, while

KDE 4 was released in January 2008. KDE provides a very complete desktop environment with many nice features. It offers among other things the following:

■ A consistent look and feel between applications

■ A start button with cascading graphical menus

■ Multiple desktops

■ Drag-and-drop support

■ Copy-and-paste support between applications openSUSE 11.0 for the first time includes both KDE 3 and KDE 4 packages. KDE 4.0

~ ■ was released in January 2008, but in the view of many it will take a while before it gains the maturity and stability of KDE 3. As a result you may wish (like me) to experiment with KDE 4 while using KDE 3 as your main desktop. However, development of KDE 4 is proceeding apace, and it can be expected to replace its predecessor before very long. In this section we look at KDE 3.

Additionally, SUSE has integrated YaST into the KDE menus and integrated the look and feel of OpenOffice into both KDE and GNOME. Figure 8-4 shows a default KDE desktop.

The functionality of an integrated desktop environment comes at a price in terms " ■ v'■ of resources; a considerable amount of infrastructure has to be started before you actually do anything in KDE. For machines with a limited amount of memory, a more minimal X Window system environment, such as a window manager (discussed later in this chapter), may therefore be a better choice.

It is not our intention to document all the features of KDE here. That would be superfluous (because most of the functionality of KDE is indeed as intuitive as it is intended to be) and would also take up far too much space. However, we discuss some particularly useful features that may not be apparent at first glance.

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