What is the KDE Software Compilation?

The KDE Software Compilation grew out of the history of the KDE Project. In its inception, KDE was formed to create a beautiful, functional and free desktop computing environment for Linux and similar operating system. At the time, these systems lacked a graphical user environment that could rival the offerings from the larger proprietary operating system vendors. KDE was created to fill this gap.

Originally, KDE software consisted of a collection of basic utilities that a together where shipped, and branded, simply as the K Desktop Environment. Since it was bundled as a collection of simultaneously released applications and libraries, it was sufficient to release the entire collection as a singly branded block of software.

However, as the KDE team grew, and more applications were created, many of these applications have moved toward using their own release cycles and patterns. While these applications are still developed by the KDE team, they were not part of the main desktop software compilation. In addition, most KDE Applications now run independently of workspace or even operating system requirements, which requires that they now be treated as independent entities, rather than a part of a larger collection of simultaneously developed and released programs.

The KDE Software Compilation is the set of libraries, workspaces, and applications produced by KDE that share this common heritage, and continue to use the synchronized release cycle. Software may move in and out of this semi-formally defined collection depending on the particular needs of the contributors who are working on that software, with exceptions made to ensure that binary compatibility remains at the library level throughout any major release of the compilation.

Benefits of the Software Compilation

For its users the unified Software Compilation brings many immediate benefits:

The current Software Compilation

The current official Software Compilation consists of the following packages, many of which contain multiple applications and/or libraries:

Get KDE Software

Other KDE Software

Several other packages which are not part of the official release are also available. Software in these packages are not usually linked to the release cycle and requirements of the main Software Compilation.

And last but certainly not the least, there are literally thousands of excellent applications not part of KDE releases, yet are designed around KDE technologies. These applications are too numerous to mention individually on the main KDE website, but you can find these using the KDE-apps.org central database.