Lightweight KDE based desktop

Cornelius Schumacher edited this page Apr 29, 2013 · 35 revisions


Lightweight desktops are cool, right? KDE 3 was great but those pesky KDE 4 hackers kept adding all these doodahs and whatchamacallums that nobody needs, yeah? But when you use XFCE there's always some little bit that you missed from your full fat desktop, and isn't LXDE getting heavier with every release?

This is a project to exploit the modularity of KDE to build a lightweight XFCE-class desktop environment, but that can be expanded as needed with additional features back to full KDE weight.

This should be of use in both server environments needing a minimal desktop for sysadmin; for fixed function users using browser based tools, and for knowledge workers/power users that want their own cocktail of mail client/calendar/productivity tools without having the KDE middleware for this function running in parallel.

The plan is to work on 3 fronts:

  • Reduced footprint of default desktop by splitting packages and making components optional
  • Speed up startup time
  • Simplify configuration by installing a smaller set of configuration modules by default, by installing fewer plugins by default, and by providing simple config UIs for the options used by lightweight desktops.


  • Will Stephenson originated this idea.
  • Klaas Freitag
  • Jos Poortvliet
  • Raymond Wooninck
  • šumski
  • Andres Silva


We made a pretty darn good start.

  • A significant number of packages has been splitted and more work is taking place in the [OBS project] (, an extension of the packages in KDE:Release:410. This is expected to go back to openSUSSE Factory.
  • We've simplified System Settings and produced some configuration profiles that disable optional components when their packages are installed. This has already been discussed with upstream and is expected to be integrated.
  • We've done a proof of concept native systemd user session that reduces login time (independently of packaging changes) by 1/3. Unit files at this github and this was discussed both with systemd maintainers and with the KDE community. The results of this analysis will be used for KDE Frameworks 5.
  • We created a SUSE Studio image which has been shown off in several youtube videos and reviews already
  • We had to deny that we were forking KDE or creating a new distribution, such is the level of public expectation around this project.
  • [Introductory blog entry](]
  • Update blog by Jos

A Trello board shows plans for the project.

Categories: desktop,distribution Tags: kde,helpwanted,enterprise,inprogress


In the news:

Other things to notice:

  • Users from other Linux distributions are asking for Klyde packages for their distro.
  • A distribution derived from openSUSE is considering using Klyde KDE as their standard desktop, switching from GNOME 2.
  • Set up by Muktware, Klyde has its own G+ page now

Related Material

Memory footprint


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