5.6. KDE Installation and Configuration

The K Desktop Package (KDE) is another popular window manager that is somewhat more mature than GNOME is at the time of this writing. However, it seems to require a bit more memory resources than GNOME does, so take into consideration the amount of RAM you have available on your system (if you have anything less than 64 Mb of RAM and 128 Mb of swap, you might be better off using GNOME).

The first step for installing KDE is to download the latest RPM distribution of the package. To do so, locate an FTP mirror at http://www.kde.org/mirrors.html. Try to choose a mirror that is close to your geographic location, but make sure whichever one you choose is updated often (which can be determined by looking at the list of mirrors).

When you have found a suitable mirror, download all the RPM files which are applicable to your version of Red Hat and your platform. For example, if you are using Red Hat 5.2 (or above) on an Intel platform, you will likely want to download the package from the ``/pub/mirrors/kde/stable/latest/distribution/rpm/RedHat-5.2/i386/'' directory on the FTP mirror.

After you have all the necessary files, the KDE package can be installed with the following simple commands, typed as "root" (make sure you are in the directory where all your KDE rpm files are):

rpm -Uvh qt*.rpm

The above commands will install the Qt libraries first, and then install the KDE base package. Once this is done, you should log off and log back in (or if you are ``su''ed as root, just exit and ``su'' again) so that your path environment is set appropriately, then type:


The above command will install the applications programs.

This installation procedure is discussed in more detail in the file ``readme-redhat-rpms.txt'' that should have been included with the KDE files you downloaded.

If all goes well, and KDE has been installed without any error messages, you may, if you wish, configure KDE to be the default window manager for any of your users (the one they will see immediately after typing ``startx''), by typing the following, again as "root":

/opt/kde/bin/usekde userid

(Make sure you replace userid with an actual user id!)

More information on the K Desktop Environment can be found on the KDE web page at http://www.kde.org/. Don't forget to check out the screen shots, located at http://www.kde.org/kde2shots.html.