Getting KDE4 on Windows

By Kshitij Sobti | Published on 15 Oct 2009
Getting KDE4 on Windows

KDE 4 Logo

K Desktop Environment

for Windows

Windows has a somewhat unfair advantage when it comes to running applications. Being so popular means it has a large number of unique and innovative applications which are exclusively bound to it. On the other hand most Linux application are open-source and have a port available for Windows. This essentially leaves Windows with its share of application and those of Linux as well!

With Qt 4, the framework was released under GPL for all platforms, which meant that applications using Qt could now easily be ported to Windows. The result is that now we have a functioning build of KDE for Windows with an easy to use installer which can also manage your package installation.


To a limited extent, this means you can get a KDE experience on your Windows system. Still being primarily a Linux desktop environment, this is only a small taste of what the desktop brings. It is important to note that KDE 4 for Windows is not a complete desktop environment, but rather just the collection of some of the application that are available with the Linux version. While it does come with the KDE shell, its functionality is severely limited, and is not a suitable as a replacement for the Windows environment (As of 4.3). However it is a good demonstration of some of the functionalities of KDE under Windows.


The major latest release of KDE 4 for Windows is in sync with that of Linux, 4.3, and can be downloaded and installed using an installer available from


KDE for Windows is organized like any other Linux software, and for those uninitiated in Linux, it might be a little off-putting. Different applications in KDE are all available in separate packages, which share dependencies. Meaning that since two applications might use some similar functionalities, the common stuff is installed only once. The installer manages all this for you so you needn't worry.


After downloading the installer, you need only to follow the instructions. A step by step walkthrough is given below:

Step 1 KDE4 for Windows Installer Step 1 The "Install from Internet" option is already selected, just click Next
Step 2 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 2 Choose an installation directory, or install in the default location
Step 3 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 3 The "End User" option is already selected, just click Next
Step 4 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 4 Choose a path where the KDE4 installation files will be downloaded. If you want to install KDE4 on multiple computers, you can just copy the downloaded data, and use it to install
Step 5 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 5 Configure how you're connected to the internet, if in doubt use IE or Firefox settings
Step 6 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 6 Select a mirror to download the packages from, don't worry about how near it is to your home, if you're in India, your connection probably sucks too much for it to matter. Note that after this step, it may take quite a while for the next step to appear
Step 7 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 7 Pick the latest release
Step 8 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 8 Select all the applications you wish to install, if you have a fast enough connection, just select all, else go through the description to judge what all you need
Step 9 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 9 This is a listing of all the software which has been automatically selected for install, as it is required by the applications you selected, go through it (or not), and click next
Step 10 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 10 Your part is now done! The installer will now start downloading the packages.
Step 11 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 11 Now the actual installation begins. This might take some quite some time since 
Step 12 KDE 4 for Windows Installer Step 12 Your installation is done! You can now launch KDE4 applications from the Windows start menu.

After installation you will see all KDE application show up in your programs menu, under a "KDE 4.3.x Release" folder. The applications under that are catagorized by function as they are in Linux.

In this series we will take a visual overview of the prominent applications included in KDE4:

 Dolphin Icon


File Manager
 Kate Icon


Advanced Text Editor
Akregator Icon


Feed Reader
Okular Icon


Document Viewer
Akregator Icon


Instatant Messaging


Check back each day as we add more applications.

Kshitij Sobti



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