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Using KDE 3.5 on a modern distro


Hi there fellow Penguins.

For many different reasons ranging from drivers to my wireless networking card to applications I am now more or less forced to upgrade my Debian Lenny to something slightly more up to date. I am using Lenny on my 8 year old Dell Latitude C600 with an 800mzh processor and 512MB of RAM; a real beast when it was new.

So I am in love with KDE 3.5 that I'm using on it. It simply works and it works exactly as I want it to work, it is my computer. And that is what's causing me to create this post: How can I continue using KDE 3.5 on Debian Sid or Fedora 13, is it at all possible?

The reasons why I'm upgrading is because I need newer KDE libraries and a newer kernel. The newer libraries to run Mumble 1.2 and the newer kernel because it hopefully will contain a working version of the driver for my Texas Instruments ACX100 networking card, it was marked as experimental in 2.6.28.

And just so that everyone knows. I do want to use KDE 3.5, this thread is no place to discuss alternatives. I know that other lightweight DE's exists and I have used them, yet nothing is as fast or as agile as KDE 3.5. And honestly, running something else than a lightweight DE would be a joke. KDE 4.3 consumes as much RAM as the ammount I have installed :P


  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    There are threads in the techpatterns.com forums that explained how to hold kde #.5 in Debian Sid, but even the infamous h2, who is the techadmin of the website finally gave up and upgraded to KDE 4. Fedora 13, which I am using now has no chance of running KDE 3.5, one reason being, that the kdm contained within is built for KDE4.
    You do realize though, that Mepis 8.0, which will be supported for quite a long time yet, still uses KDE 3.5, is Debian based, and has a user community that has backports for all the newest versions of apps. (Well, the newest versions that can be run with KDE 3.5)
    Another choice might be Arch or Chakra (spelling?) that allows installation of KDE 3.5. If your really intent on keeping KDE 3.5, check through Distrowatch, because I'm certain that there are more distros that still offer it.
    As far as using it easily on a modern distro? I switched to Gnome, it would take a lot of work and time to maintain it. Besides, Mepis 8.0 isn't an old version, 8.5 was just released and it was the first Mepis with KDE 4. I just got used to the bleeding edge with Sid, so, for me, Fedora and Gnome just made sense.

    Edit: just found this link on Techpatterns,, might be an interesting read:
  • MikeEnIke
    MikeEnIke Posts: 88
    GoinEasy is spot on on everything, I just want to add a little support for Arch. I have it installed now, and I love it. You are able to install kdemod, which is kde 3.5 for those people that just love the old KDE. It's a rolling release distro so it's always up to date.
  • Rovanion
    Rovanion Posts: 73
    Using MEPIS 8 would be no upgrade since it also uses the 2.6.27 kernel.
    Will look into that techpatterns guide you linked. I'm having my hands full right now trying to learn JavaScript until later this evening :-P

    Do you know if I can filter distributions on distrowatch based on a package? Because looking trough all the distros on Distrowatch, well, such a timekiller.
  • Goineasy9
    Goineasy9 Posts: 1,114
    Hey, I tried kdebase then used version 3.5.10 and it came up with some hits. Here's the link.



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