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Being a Windows user doesn’t mean that you have to stick to Windows-based applications all the time. Previously, we have covered several Virtualization-Free In-Windows Linux Installation Virtualization-Free In-Windows Linux Installation Read More ways 3 Ways to Install Linux on Windows or Mac 3 Ways to Install Linux on Windows or Mac Read More to install Linux in Windows without having to reformat your computer.

With the release of KDE 4.2, you can now install and use all the KDE applications natively on your Windows without having to install any Linux operating system on your computer.

For those who have not tried or used KDE before, it is one of the most popular and commonly used Windows managers for various Linux distributions. Apart from the attractive Windows-like user interface, it also comes with a complete suite of desktop applications, ranging from file manager, browser, media player to office suite.

As Windows comes with its own Windows manager, when installing KDE for Windows, only the applications are installed. If you want to get the full KDE experience, it is best to try out a KDE based Linux distro, such as Kubuntu.

To install KDE for Windows, first download the installer (download link here) from the KDE website.

First run the installer. It will ask you several questions and walk you through the installation.

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kde-installer1

During the installation, you have a chance to choose between End User or Package Manager mode. The Package Manager mode allows you to install many more different types of packages, but it is more complicated to use and configure. If you are not geeky enough, you might want to select the End User mode instead.

kde-usermode

You will also get to choose between the different versions of KDE to install. I would strongly recommend installing the latest version (4.2.1 as of this post)

kde-version

Lastly, before the whole installation starts, you can select the applications that you want to install on your Windows. For most of you, the package name will not make any sense to you. You have to read the package notes to get an idea what a particular package does.

kde-package

Once you have got everything configured, the installer will start downloading all the necessary files. This might take a long time depending on the number of applications you have selected and your Internet connection. For me, it took me about half an hour to finish downloading 500MB of files.

Once the installation is completed, you will be able to access the KDE applications from the Start menu.

kde-startmenu

Here are some of the screenshots:

Konqueror

Konqueror is a two-in-one file manager and Internet browser. When I use it in Windows, it can be rather memory intensive and some of the site rendering can be a bit off.

kde-konqueror

Dolphin

This popular and versatile file manager works well in Windows, though the initial startup could be a bit laggy. Once it has finished loading, its performance is as good as in a native Linux KDE environment.

kde-dolphin

KWrite

Serves as a good alternative for Wordpad and notepad

kde-kwrite

At this moment, not all the applications are stable for daily usage. For me, I am not able to load the media player – Amarok at well as it crashed everytime I opened it. One thing for sure, all the games work pretty well and they are very addictive.

Currently, Windows 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista are supported. I have not tried it on Windows 7 yet. If you have tried it, do let me know if it works. In addition, there is also a Mac version that you can download. Mac users who are interested can check it out here.

  1. Mackenzie
    March 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Dolphin is a really nice filemanager. The split pane view is vastly superior to having two browsers open and switching back and forth between them.

    • Damien Oh
      March 31, 2009 at 12:42 am

      I agree. It is also one of my favorite file manager.

      • mozzie_sg
        March 31, 2009 at 8:26 am

        Try Xplorer2, a free windows application which also provides split pane browsing. No need to install KDE to get it working :)

        • Mackenzie
          April 1, 2009 at 4:24 pm

          I consider KDE for Windows to be "no need to install Linux." Note that I don't consider that a good thing.

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