A remix of Karmic Koala has been created with only KDE3.5 installed, for the convenience of users who are not quite ready to take the jump to KDE4.x.

The main focus of this remix is to keep the mature, stable, and familiar KDE3.5 desktop environment available for easy installation and use. Along the way, various bugs have been fixed, and significant enhancements added--see below for more information.

This remix follows Kubuntu's release schedule, slightly delayed. Currently the final Karmic Koala [Kubuntu 9.10] version is available for download from:

New or Improved from Jaunty

This section highlights some of the most useful improvements to the KDE3.5 system.

KDE 3.5.10+ (.11?)

Click image for larger view

Click image for larger view

The Panel has been updated to allow for a custom K Menu icon, optional user-defined text in the K Menu button, and a configurable number of recent documents

Full language support has been made available!

Internally, KDE3.5 has been modified to build with the latest versions of GCC (gcc v4.4 at release time)


KNetworkManager has been significantly rewritten to handle the new NM 0.8 backend, as well as incorporate several UI enhancements and true VPN support
https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Kubuntu/Kde3/Karmic?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=knetworkmanager_tray.png https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Kubuntu/Kde3/Karmic?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=knetworkmanager_vpn.png


KRandrTray now allows switching of the video output device; this is especially useful for business laptops and presentations
The display switch key sequence (Fn+F7 on most laptops) will cycle through available output devices by default; however you can reconfigure the key sequence to use as shown below:

SmartCard Support

KDE3.5 now contains a utility that allows the use of a SmartCard for KDM logon and screensaver lock/unlock. It also provides time-management functions and will even switch to the users existing graphical terminal on multi-user systems on card insertion!

ICC Support

For the Linux graphical artist, or someone with a new LED-based laptop screen, KDE3.5 now contains built-in ICC color profile support. The specified color profile is loaded by KDM on system startup, and is easily changed from the K Control panel.


KRDC finally handles fullscreen RDP connections properly, and includes that option in the connection dialog.

KDE4.x compatibility

KDE3.5 can be installed alongside KDE4.x with no problems. KDE3.5 automatically detects and adjusts for KDE4.x programs, so that users can easily run KDE4 applications from within the KDE3.5 environment.

Assisting the Project

If you are interested in helping out, please contact:

A Bluetooth developer who could re-activate KDE3.5's Bluetooth functions would be greatly appreciated!

Known Issues

  • None at the moment.

Mailing List

  • There is a mailing list for Kubuntu KDE3.5 users available here: http://apt.pearsoncomputing.net/mailinglist.html
    This is a great place for users to share tips and tricks, and you can also sign up to receive announcements related to KDE3.5 under Kubuntu.

Installation of KDE3 in standard Kubuntu/Ubuntu

Long-Term Support

  • I notice that some users are wondering if KDE3.5 will be available for Lucid Lynx [Kubuntu 10.04]. The answer is yes, barring any unforeseen unfixable issues.

  • If you decide to try KDE4, or even move completely away from KDE3, you can do that easily. Simply install the KDE4 kubuntu-desktop package, reboot into your new desktop, and remove the KDE3 packages with your favorite package manager.
    As an aside, KDE4 and KDE3 coexist almost perfectly, so you can even switch back and forth between the two just by selecting the desired environment from the login screen.

Upgrade from 8.04 [Hardy Heron]

  • It is relatively simple to upgrade from Kubuntu 8.04 to Kubuntu 9.10 with KDE3.5, but the process has not been automated.
    You will therefore have to follow these steps to ensure a successful update without losing your KDE settings:

    • 1. Copy your /home/<username>/.kde folder to /home/<username>/.kde3 You will have to do this for all users of the computer that you are upgrading. Make sure that the permissions and ownership of these files are not disturbed in any way. Some KDE settings may still be lost during the transition.

    • 2. Perform the upgrade as you normally would. Eventually, the update utility will inform you that you need to reboot. After doing so, you will have a KDE4 desktop. Don't worry, this is temporary.
    • 3. Using your favorite package manager or a text editor, open your repositories list (/etc/apt/sources.list). Point your browser to http://apt.pearsoncomputing.net/, and add the two lines listed at the top of the page under "Karmic".

    • 4. Below those lines, you will see two more lines for Intrepid, and then two commands regarding the GPG signing key. Ignore the Intrepid lines and run those two commands in a terminal. The computer should respond with "OK" after the second command.
    • 5. Using your package manager or the command line, perform a 'fetch updates' (sudo apt-get update).
    • 6. If you don't already have one open, open a new terminal and install the ' kubuntu-desktop-kde3 ' package.
    • 7. After the install has finished, take a look at the end of the output from the apt-get command. If everything went smoothly, with no errors, reboot your computer. You should now be able to select KDE3 as your window manager at the login screen. You can also remove the KDE4 packages with your favorite package manager if you do not want to have KDE4 installed.
  • Once you have upgraded to Intrepid with KDE3.5, Jaunty with KDE3.5, or Karmic with KDE3.5, you will be able to perform future upgrades without having to follow the above steps.

Note: During the install of the kubuntu-desktop-kde3 package, the computer may complain about packages which conflict, causing the apt-get command to (eventually) end with an error. If so, follow up with 'apt-get -f install' to finish the install process.

Installing KDE3.5 applications

  • To install the KDE3.5 version of a desired application, append a -kde3 suffix onto the package name. For example, to install the KDE3.5 version of Amarok instead of the KDE4 version, install the 'amarok-kde3' package instead of the 'amarok' package. This will be persistent across future upgrades. Also, the KDE3.5 and KDE4 versions of most applications can be installed at the same time with no problems.

Executing KDE3.5 applications from another DE

  • KDE3.5 applications now require a special environment to be set up in order to run properly; this prevents conflicts with any portion of KDE4. If you are using these applications from within KDE3.5, then this is automatic and you do not need to do anything to have them run properly. However, if you are attempting to use KDE3.5 applications from within KDE4, Gnome, or XFCE/Fluxbox, you will need to set the following environment variables before execution:
    • PATH=/opt/kde3/bin:/opt/kde3/games:/opt/kde3/bin:$PATH
    • KDEDIRS=/usr/:/opt/kde3/
    • KDEHOME=$HOME/.kde3
    • XDG_DATA_DIRS=/opt/kde3/share/:/usr/share/
    • MANPATH=/opt/kde3/share/man
  • KDE3.5 applications and libraries now reside in the /opt/kde3 prefix. This means that you must have the kdelibs-data-kde3 package installed, as it creates the correct ldconfig path search file. Without it, none of the KDE3.5 applications will be able to find their library files, and will therefore refuse to run.

  • It is very simple to create a shortcut that can properly run KDE3.5 applications. Simply type the following into the "command to run" textbox when creating a shortcut in your environment (all one line):
    PATH=/opt/kde3/bin:/opt/kde3/games:/opt/kde3/bin:$PATH KDEDIRS=/usr/:/opt/kde3/ KDEHOME=$HOME/.kde3 XDG_DATA_DIRS=/opt/kde3/share/:/usr/share/ MANPATH=/opt/kde3/share/man <original application command, e.g. k3b or amarok>


We want to hear what you think about the current beta release of Kubuntu 9.10, the Karmic Koala, with KDE3.5. We want to know if it Rocks, if it is just OK, or if it is flat out wrong. No matter the feedback, as long as it is in line with the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, we would like to hear it.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Feedback Page and let us know!

Kubuntu/Kde3/Karmic (last edited 2009-12-17 05:18:18 by tokra)