KDE Project releases KDE 1 !

From the Research deps of KDE Project



The KDE project is proud to announce his first public release,  after 20 years of hard development from a team of multi cultural developers around the world.

Was an amazing effort of the original dinosaurs to make this beautiful piece of software be available on the hands of our beloved supporters

Here’s the screenshots on the current status of the desktop

All teams will celebrate PARTIES all over the world trough this day, and you will be welcome to join any near you.



The KDE Restoration Project was a personal pet project that born around last QtCon and i took as a letter of love for the project that basically formed my professional life.

What you’re seeing here is the last KDE 1 release RUNNING ON A MODERN SYSTEM OF 2016 !!

Let me tell some about the history. Some time ago the Kde eV had a task to have our old desktops, KDE 1, 2, 3, running in some way to show in the anniversary. This was an easy job, anyone could do with an old distro and a virtual machine. And technically boring.

But then, what would be more interesting ?

There we go, how a 20 years ( or more ) code base of C++ would match against a modern, complete bleeding edge environment ?  I started to itch myself and then my first test was Qt 1.45. I showed that in QtCon and some people even blogged about.

This was exactly what my personal satisfaction was requiring. Is part of our history been preserved.

And then i made KDE 1. OH NO, WAIT, THERE’S MORE….



If you look on the screenshots, they are made with spectacle, the new screenshot tool, running inside Fedora beta 25, FROM KDE 1 RUNNING.


  • Minor patches, surprise number one, the code aged well
  • completely revamp of buildsystem, Goodbye auto*hell tools headaches, welcome cmake

But then, something else would be nice, then

  • Imported the ORIGINAL KDE CVS to git up to KDE 1.1.2
  • Rebased the changes on top of that
  • Made it available on KDE git


YES, if you want RIGHT now try and see how was KDE, just jump on ou phabricator.kde.org and you can build it yourself.

The repositories are called qt1 kde1-kdelibs and kde1-kdebase.

I did packages for Fedora on Qt1 and kdelibs, but not ready to deploy

I committed myself in my limited time to finish up to kdebase, and then the objective is around the end.

I will, and anyone can help, convert the other modules, but this will take more time, so for now you can even use it on your machine after compile. Konsole works !!

Don’t be fooled, i took a lot of shortcuts to make it faster, and i know that some part can be improved, but we have time. Just want to keep our memory ( and my history tied too )

If you want details about the port, how i decided to proceed and what can be done, feel free to contact me by email, on helio@kde.org or on irc on freenode, heliocastro. I will be glad to talk about this. And i will be at Qt World Summint next week.


I want to give a special thanks to KDE sysadmins that provided me more than i was expecting, and the support from people that motivated me to make this port, and to my wife, that had a huge patience on my insanity process of execute this.

And all KDE dinosaurs that created this amazing piece of history.





  1. Wow, I think I’ll try running this on my PocketCHIP. I need a low-DPI desktop for the 480×272 and running KDE would be awesome!

    1. As I said, I had time limited constrains. So I focused in finish the port at least on Linux with some hard coded paths, but yes, code is there and maybe if I have a BSD image in hands I can go forward and do it next week.

  2. I wouldn’t have expected that, but it is a really nice feeling to see this desktop again. Well done!

    1. My environment has two, so I don’t see why not, but for sure will be a little weird setup for the original setup.

    1. I did not even thought about this.
      I have the numbers on compile time.

      The reference is an 4 years old X220 with & gb RAM and Fedora 25 beta
      – Qt1: 1.5 minutes
      – kde1-kdelibs: 2.5 minutes
      – kde1-kdebase1 till the part i got ( no kdm, missing some kcontrol modules ): around 3 minutes

  3. A great example of software archaeology with positive lessons for free software. Open source can allow old software to be revived years later, which can be important if very old data needs analysed in the future. Getting old proprietary software to do the same could be a problem.

  4. Now, if someone makes nice “modern” *flat* theme for it…:D
    Btw, great initiative!

  5. Is this something like Mate Desktop (the old shit from gnome?) but for the KDE Fanbois?

    1. No, this is the original KDE 1 software ported to modern compilers and Linux as a restoration and memory conservation project.

    1. Nahh, i want keep the memory, and make as most usable as possible. We are just in the beginning of the software generation, and this will be our legacy to show in the future when people asked how things are in the past.
      The magic of open source allow us to give this heartbreaking moments 😀

  6. > completely revamp of buildsystem, Goodbye auto*hell tools headaches, welcome cmake

    Cmake headaches instead of perfect time-proved Unix-way autotools?

    1. It’s proven to work, not to work painlessly. Stable doesn’t automatically means good.

      Autotools is terrible. CMake is not without its pains either, but they’re nothing compared to autotools.

  7. As i did not made a proper entry fron the current dm, you will need a desktop file on /usr/share/xsessions/

    Call it kde.desktop and made it like this way:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=KDE 1.1
    Comment=KDE 1

    But i still recommend that you do a script that calls startkde and inside this script add the proper LD_LIBRARY_PATH, KDEDIR, etc.. exports

    1. can you explain me how to do that the proper LD_LIBRARY_PATH, KDEDIR, etc.. exports i just installed it and did the kde.desktop and still doesnt start so how to please loll

  8. Ah, what a fantastic idea for a birthday present!

    Thank you KDE community and than you Helio for this effort!

  9. Cool. Rename it as KDE 6 and get rid of the abomination that KDE has become since version 4.

  10. Really cool and nostalgic thing overall.

    It’d be really awesome to have this available as some sort of virtual machine to run into virtualbox or similar tool, for convenience.

  11. Anyone kind enough to port this to Ubuntu, or make a Ubuntu-based distro of this? Would like to see how this works as a lightweight DE on old computers (like LXDE and XFCE). It’s probably more feature rich and suspect it takes up less space.

  12. I have very fond memories of KDE 1, so this is great to see. I even looked into compiling Qt 1.45 before on a modern distro, but I lacked the knowledge to get it to work.

    I couldn’t find anything on Phabricator. What’s going on there and is there anything I could do to bring this further? I’d really like to see this packaged for common distros.

    1. I spent some time looking around Phabricator and couldn’t find anything either. Could you point us to the actual location for the code? I’m anxious to build the packages and spend some time revelling in nostalgia.

      1. phabricator is really not showing the page of the code. I will ask to sysadmins fix that
        You can get here:
        git clone git://anongit.kde.org/qt1
        git clone git://anongit.kde.org/kde1-kdelibs
        git clone git://anongit.kde.org/kde1-kdebase

        Sorry for late answerr

  13. In my Arch Linux desktop I can’t run it. I mean, desktop runs, but KWM can’t. I got error:
    QPixmap: Invalid pixmap parameters
    QPixmap::setMask: The pixmap and the mask must have the same size
    kwm: X_CopyArea(0x0): BadDrawable (invalid Pixmap or Window parameter)

    any ideas?

  14. Any pointer to Fedora 25 packages? I don’t understand this Phabricator thing ….

  15. I’ve commented here otherwise but I just thought I would leave my thoughts here as well.

    The KDE1 desktop harkens back to what drew my interest in Linux…. It’s configurable to ones liking without being overly complex. Modern desktops do not empower their users in the same way anymore. Most so called lightweight desktops don’t even match KDE1 in features will still gobbling more ram that most people could have afforded back in the days of KDE1.

    1. My thoughts exactly, that’s why at some point I started the same stuff as Helio. So I ported KDE1 to modern gcc (Linux only so far) hoping to bring it back to at least myself.

      1. +1

        I felt uncomfortable with KDE 2 after having used KDE 1 for a very long time. I had the same issue the versions that came after KDE 3. (From KDE 2 to 3 was np, although I still missed KDE 1.)

        I’d really like to contribute to an effort to revive KDE 1.

        1. To be honest is unfeasible, there’s several things to be changed, is not a simple port. But look, i said unfeasible, not impossible.
          Open source exists to allow some creative minds do this kind of things.

      2. Very good. It’s a pity you not came forward before. I really not made an idea about that.

    1. Your repository looks nice, but it’s missing all the history. It is possible to do a full export from KDE’s VCS. I had to do the same when I ported Kicker to the modern KDE 4 libs:
      It seems that’s what Helio did as well. Maybe it would be possible to use his repo (still unclear where it is) and add your patches to it.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, but sorry this is not the intention on the project, the project was keep all the original code intact as possible.
      But feel free to fork/or create a branch. It’s all open source anyway

    1. It’s there, not visible.
      You can pull directly on qt1.git, kde1-kdelibs.git, etc…

  16. I remember using this with a cow theme. Cowbells for alerts and other sounds. Awesome!

    I’m been trying to download that Suse Studio image to no avail 🙁

    1. I know it’s not 100% the same, but you can install Trinity desktop and the optional theme and icon files for it to make it look like KDE2. Check out their wiki.

  17. Those were the days. my friend
    We thought K never ends
    We’d sing and dance until another days
    We’d meet the Ubuntus
    We’d fight and never lose
    Those were the days
    Oh yes, those were the days

  18. I’m curious, is Qt1 still proprietary, or has that been re-licensed to GPLv2 and LGPLv3 alongside the Qt Commercial License?

  19. That was the time when KDE was still working and there were no bugs and nothing like that crap called powerdevil and konqi…

  20. The hilarious/sad thing is that that 20-years-old technology is more usable than some recent desktop environments.

  21. So? There are no links to distribution with KDE 1 to try… Just two screenshots and bunch of words. Also which modern software will work with KDE 1? Firefox? Skype? LibreOffice?
    As for me, It is like resurrecting Windows 95! Totally useless waste of time and energy!

    1. Sorry you think was waste of time and energy. I myself thought not.
      The intention was never have it deployed and running, but have a taste for users what was done 20 years ago because was our anniversary.

      My intention is keep the source code as same way a museum take care of their art pieces.
      KDE 1 was our fist code art piece.

      You can even use from here, http://jriddell.org/2016/10/14/kde-1-neon-lts-20-years-of-supporting-freedom/
      I did not made fedora packages yet becuase Qt1 doesn’t have a proper distributable license for Fedora standards, but i hope this will change.

      Again, sorry if you thought this is a waste of time.

      1. I started linux in 1995 as I was involved in an unix work. I remember I baught a book (very expensive) with cd installation of kde1 on redhat, what a hell to success !
        Anyway I am 73 nowadays and still loving linux, I got rid of w10 because to much craps !
        Thank you for the good job did all 🙂
        And today a special remember to my grand father who had to go to “Verdun”… Stupid war… But after being gazed and much more he lived till 94 years, very poorly like most because french government doesn’t do much for them, except celebration !
        But I used to work in germany (70) I was pastry chief and I had a great time.

  22. 1. Are you going to publish PPA for Ubuntu distro?
    2. Are there problems with Unicode? Cyrillic is in working stage in the whole system?

  23. Is there any chance of a Debian package for this? I cannot seem to make it because one little thing is missing. Precompiled binaries would help greatly.

  24. In the beginning, all components were released to the developer community separately without any coordinated timeframe throughout the overall project. First communication of KDE via mailing list, that was called

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