[kde] It would be nice to have a KDE Linux 3.2 Distribution

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Tue Dec 9 21:09:25 GMT 2003

Lukas Molzberger wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been using KDE for several years now and I am a big fan of it. So far my 
> favorite distribution has been SuSE, because it's a very nice distro and it  
> supported KDE very well. That's also the reason why I bought almost every 
> Version of SuSE Linux instead of just downloading it from the net. But now, 
> since SuSE has been bought by Novell, I'm not sure if SuSE Linux is still the 
> right choice for me. I don't see much use in buying SuSE Linux, when most of 
> the money will be invested in things like Ximian or Server Software that I 
> will never use. Beside that KDE for me is the only place where I would like 
> to see more improvements. I mean KDE is already very nice and the best Linux 
> Desktop out there, but projects like the Linux kernel or many libraries are 
> finished from the desktop users perpective and don't need much further 
> improvement. 
> What I'm suggesting is to make a KDE Linux 3.2 distribution where I as a KDE 
> user can be sure that the money will be invested the right way. This 
> distribution could be sold through for example book shops the way SuSE Linux 
> is sold today. It could be based on either SuSE Linux the way the Java 
> Desktop is based on SuSE or it could be based on Debian like Knoppix. The 
> distribution should also have the same release cycle as KDE.

You have a valid point.  The 3 major RPM based distros are -- and always will be -- 
somewhat at odds with KDE because they have tried to differentiate themselves from 
"vanilla" linux by providing the same features that are (or should be) provided by KDE. 
The ultimate example of this was/is that RedHat won't ship KPackage because it competes 
with their package manager.  So, you (more and more) have to choose whether to install the 
distro's stuff or install KDE and (more and more) if you install KDE, you don't need the 
distro's stuff.  So, it is not hard to see why disto's don't strongly support KDE.

The question you first have to ask is whether there is something that a KDE disto could 
provide that Debian wouldn't/doesn't provide.  And the answer to start with is that the 
LSB is supposed to be based on RPM packages.  So, that is what it could provide full RPM 
support which is not possible with Debian because Debian does not use the Sys-V startup 
scripts.  There are two questions here: (1) will Debian have full RPM support as some are 
working on? (2) Can symbolic links in the "/etc/" directory tree provide Sys-V 
compatibility to RPM packages.

You suggest a commercial distro.  Unless The Kompany wants to do this, I don't see that 
happening because it might cause conflicts with the commercial distros.  So, I think that 
it is more likely that a KDE distro would be non-commercial.  To do that, we would 
probably need a sponsor and/or help from the FSF.

In case nobody noticed, there already is a "KDE" distro available, it is Linux From 
Scratch.  The only problem is that you have to build it yourself.  However, if it were 
offered as an RPM installed distro, it would provide what we (those that want a KDE) 
distro) want.  Therefore, much of the work of producing a non-commercial distro has 
already been done.

Another alternative is using Fedora as a base.  Only minor changes would need to be made 
to the base packages to eliminate the RedHat-isms (weird directory choices , etc.).

And, lastly, you can (I presume) install Fedora and use the KDE RPMs from here:


in place of the Fedora ones.


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