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Preselected desktop on openSUSE and what it means in practice

Thursday, 20 August 2009  |  lubos lunak

The decision on the matter of the (not)preselected desktop in openSUSE has been made. You can read about it in the mail announcing the decision, I would like to just offer a KDE view, from Will and me.

What happens now is that in the desktop selection screen during installation there will be the KDE radio button preselected. That's all, folks. Nothing more, nothing else. It doesn't mean KDE gets better somewhere else, no new KDE developers are going to magically appear on the KDE team, this means nothing for SLED, and it means nothing for other parts of openSUSE. Therefore, in case you feel a strange urge to start publically shouting "Victory!" or saying something about GNOME getting dumped, do yourself a favour and don't bother trying to look like a pyromaniac (besides, I think there still will be enough of those and you'd just get lost in the crowd). The openSUSE distribution wants to be a distribution for all and this means that KDE is one part of openSUSE alongside GNOME, Xfce, Firefox, and others. If KOffice one days gets more popular in openSUSE than, it becomes the default. If GNOME one day becomes more popular in openSUSE than KDE, it becomes the default. As simple as that.

However, I believe that even this small change can achieve a lot for KDE. Some people, when supporting the openFATE feature, expressed their opinion that making openSUSE focus on KDE would make openSUSE the best KDE distribution. But openSUSE is not some magic creature that gestures and makes things happen, it is the community that does that, and there is nothing preventing you from taking a part in making KDE in openSUSE even better. Since that is how you can also look at this whole issue - I hope this is enough to show that openSUSE really wants to be a community distribution open to all. So if you have doubted that for whatever reason, you might try to look again and reconsider. Or, of course, even if you are just looking for a distro with good KDE, you could check out openSUSE too ;).

A few technical details ... er, a shameless plug ... well, simply :), in case you want to give it a try right now, a couple of things that could help you. First of all, the latest openSUSE release is 11.1, which includes KDE 4.1.3, and openSUSE 11.2 with KDE 4.3 is in development. Don't faint, the fix is simple - you can try either installing from a 11.1-based LiveCD with KDE 4.3 created by Stephan Binner, or you can upgrade KDE in 11.1 using either zypper or 1-Click (note you will have to confirm vendor changes because of switching to a different repository). More information about KDE in openSUSE, including the mailing list, IRC channel, build service (you'll hear about that one again) can be found in the openSUSE Wiki. So, all those of you who wanted openSUSE to be the best KDE distribution out there, let's see about it.