KDE 4.6 Released

February 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

KDE 4.6 Announcement

I’ve been taking a look at KDE 4.6 on Kubuntu 10.10. I have to say even though I’m a big Gnome fan, KDE 4.6 is very nice. It runs pretty well and looks great, you may have to adjust the level of effects depending on your computer but it’s not too bad on performance. I do find it a bit clunky compared to Gnome but that’s mostly due to the fact that I ‘m not used to using it.

Plasma Desktop at a glance

Plasma Desktop at a glance

The Plasma desktop offers you a familiar and attractive looking desktop environment and is equipment with everything you’ll need to get working straight out of the box.

Installing new widgets from the Internet

Desktop widgets are a big part of KDE 4.6 and you have plenty to choose from, everything from Facebook and social networking to comic strips to a red ball that bounces around your desktop. You also have a huge choice of widgets to download if you choose too.

Visual effects

Multiple workspaces or desktops are a big part of the Linux desktop and KDE 4.6 is no different. A simple click of ctrl+F8 will show you all your workspaces. You can add and remove these as needed.

Screenshot

Amarok is the default music player on KDE and it’s not bad, personally I prefer Rhythmbox or Banshee but that’s just me. With Amarok you can listen to and organize all your favorite tunes and podcasts with ease.

Features

  • Dynamic playlists matching different criteria
  • Collection managing with rating support
  • Support for basic iPod, MTP and UMS music player devices
  • Integrated Internet services: last.fm, Magnatune, Jamendo, Ampache, mp3tunes and more.
  • Scripting support
  • Cover manager
  • Replay gain support
  • (more at http://amarok.kde.org/en/features)

Screenshot

DigiKam is your photo management software, you can quickly plug in and import your photos.

Features

  • Organization of photos in albums and sub-albums (with tags and comments support)
  • Support for Exif, Iptc, Xmp, Makernotes
  • SQLite powered storage for the albums and its metadata
  • Support for filtering and sorting albums
  • Import from more than 1100 digital camera devices
  • Support for 300 RAW format pictures
  • Light Table feature
  • Plugins architectures: using Kipi-plugins
  • Share your photos using HTML or publishing them to social web sites
  • Image editor included with advanced features
  • (more at digikam.org)

Screenshot

Dragon Player is a multimedia player where the focus is on simplicity, instead of features. Dragon Player does one thing, and only one thing, which is playing multimedia files. It’s simple interface is designed not to get in your way and instead empower you to simply play multimedia files.

Features

  • Simple Interface
  • Resuming videos: Starts playing a video where you were watching it last time
  • Support for subtitles: Automatically loads subtitles with the matching name
  • Video display settings (brightness, contrast)
  • Due to using Solid and Phonon DragonPlayer is independent of any multimedia framework or hardware abstraction layer.
  • Supports playing CDs and DVDs

Screenshot

KAddressBook stores all the personal details of your family, friends and other contacts.

Features

  • Imports and exports to nearly every address book standard
  • Reads .vcf format files, and can import and export vCards and csv format files
  • Can use multiple LDAPservers
  • Configurable filters and powerful search capabilities
  • Integrates with other Kontact components, e.g. exporting Birthday reminders to KOrganizer
  • Capable of groupware integration
  • Powered by Akonadi

Screenshot

KSpread is a fully-featured calculation and spreadsheet tool.

Features

  • Use shapes to take notes or mind maps
  • Large range of pre-defined templates
  • Comprehensive formula list

Screenshot

KWord is an intuitive word processor and desktop publisher application.

Note: You can also install Openoffice or LibreOffice

Features

  • Frame-based editing
  • Allows embedding of Documents
  • Customization of user interface
  • Includes all features expected from a modern word processor
  • ODT (Open Document Text) support

Screenshot

Kontact is the integrated solution to your personal information management (PIM) needs. It combines well-known KDE applications like KMail, KOrganizer and KAddressBook into a single interface to provide easy access to mail, scheduling, address book and other PIM functionality.

Screenshot

Konqueror is KDE’s Webbrowse

Note: You can also install Firefox, Chromium, Chrome etc etc…

Features

  • Webbrowsing using KHTML or KDEWebKit as rendering engines
  • File management using most of Dolphin’s features (including version-control, service menus and the basic UI)
  • File management on ftp and sftp servers
  • Full featured FTP-client (you can split views to display local and remote folders and previews in the same window)
  • Embedded applications to preview and edit files (e.g. Okular and KOffice for documents, Gwenview for pictures, KTextEditor for text-files)
  • Different kinds of plugins: Service-menus, KParts (embedded applications), KIO (accessing files using special protocols like http or ftp) and KPart-plugins (like AdBlocker…)

Screenshot

KMail is the email component of Kontact, the integrated personal information manager from KDE.

Features

  • Supports the standard mail protocols IMAP, POP3 and SMTP.
  • Supports authentication via NTLM (Microsoft Windows) and GSSAPI (Kerberos)
  • Supports plain text and secure logins, using SSL and TLS.
  • Integration of international character sets and spell-checking (as-you-type and on demand)
  • Native support for inline OpenPGP, PGP/MIME, and S/MIME.
  • Reading and writing of HTML mail.
  • Ability to display plain text only from an HTML mail.
  • Allows you to receive and accept invitations.
  • Integration with popular spam checkers, e.g. SpamAssassin, Bogofilter, etc.
  • An optional spam probability meter can be displayed
  • Powerful search and filter abilities
  • Can import mail from many other clients
  • Searching in IMAP folders fully supported
  • Highly integrated with other Kontact components
  • Encrypted password saving in KWallet
  • Flagging and tagging of messages to aid sorting and recovery of information
  • Supports mailing list management features
  • Can replace text smilies with emoticons
  • Displays the sender’s picture or avatar if present in the address book
  • Supports X-Face (b/w pictures in messages)
  • Compression of attachments
  • KMail supports Groupware functionality.

Screenshot

Akregator is a news feed reader for the KDE desktop. It enables you to follow news sites, blogs and other RSS/Atom-enabled websites without the need to manually check for updates using a web browser. Akregator is designed to be both easy to use and to be powerful enough to read hundreds of news sources conveniently. It comes with Konqueror integration for adding news feeds and with an internal browser for easy news reading.

Screenshot

Dolphin is a lightweight file manager. It has been designed with ease of use and simplicity in mind, while still allowing flexibility and customisation. This means that you can do your file management exactly the way you want to do it.

Features

  • Navigation (or breadcrumb) bar for URLs, allowing you to quickly navigate through the hierarchy of files and folders.
  • Supports several different kinds of view styles and properties and allows you to configure the view exactly how you want it.
  • Split view, allowing you to easily copy or move files between locations.
  • Additional information and shortcuts are available as dock-able panels, allowing you to move them around freely and display exactly what you want.
  • Multiple tab support
  • Informational dialogues are displayed in an unobtrusive way.
  • Undo/redo support
  • Transparent network access through the KIO system.

Screenshot

Printer Applet is a system tray utility that shows current print jobs, printer warnings and errors and displays when newly plugged in printers has been auto-configured.

Screenshot

KWalletManager is a tool to manage the passwords on your system. By using the KDE wallet subsystem it not only allows you to keep your own secrets but also to access and manage the passwords of every application that integrates with the wallet.

More information is available form the KDE site here: http://www.kde.org

If you would like to try out KDE 4.6 the packages are available in the backports PPA, so it has to be added first to upgrade. Open the Konsole and execute these commands:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

$ sudo apt-get update

KDE 4.6 is well worth taking a look at, not sure if it would pry me away from Gnome just yet but with all the changes coming in Gnome 3.0 and Unity, who knows. I do find myself switching over to it more and more as I learn about it and get used to using it, so that is a good sign in my book.

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