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Konqi by Tyson Tan
Konqi's current design since KDE 5.

Konqi is the mascot of KDE. He is a cheerful green cartoon dragon. He was first introduced In April 1999, as the new animated assistant of KDE Help Center and later became KDE's mascot in version 3.x. Recognized as part of the KDE community's identity, he appears in KDE software's about dialogue, printed materials, conference presentations, as well as on many of KDE's websites. His former version was designed by Stefan Spatz and the current version was designed by Tyson Tan.


Konqi's full name is Konqi Konqueror. The name was chosen after Konqueror, KDE's default web browser, which was also KDE's default file manager at the time. Normally he is often just referred as "Konqi" or "Konqi the green dragon".

Because of typing mistakes and communication errors, he was once incorrectly referred as "Konqui", notably during his redesign contest in late 2012.[1] The mistake was later corrected and "Konqi" has been used since.


Kandalf, the former mascot of KDE.


Kandalf was the mascot of KDE before Konqi. He is a senior wizard with long white beard. He wears a blue pointed hat and a blue robe, a pair of socks with red-white stripes and a pair of brown slippers. He holds a magical wand that creates red stars on its trail. For some reason, there is a fish bone sticking out from the pocket of his robe.

Kandalf has a similar appearance as Merlin from Disney's animated film The Sword in the Stone, as well as Gandalf from J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel Lord of the Rings. Microsoft also had a similar Office Assistant character named Merlin from Microsoft Office 97 to 2003. It was speculated that KDE's decision to replace Kandalf with Konqi was to avoid copyright infringement issues. However, such speculation has never been confirmed by KDE, which stated the replacement was due to Konqi's charming appearance.[2]


Konqi was first introduced In April 1999, as the new animated assistant of KDE Help Center version 2.x. From KDE version 3.x, Konqi became KDE's mascot, replacing the former mascot Kandalf.[2] The first version of Konqi was created by Stefan Spatz. His version of Konqi was used in KDE version 2.x, 3.x and 4.x. The design received a few adjustments and visual improvements over the years.


Tyson Tan's original entry of Konqi redesign contest.

In December 2012, during the development of KDE version 5.x, the community decided to renew Konqi's design for a more modern look. A redesign contest was therefore held on KDE Community Forums. It was also required that the artworks must be done in Krita, KDE's painting application.[3] A total of 19 designs entered the contest and Tyson Tan's design "Konqi, Katie and Friends" was finally chosen.[4]

The artwork from Tyson Tan's contest entry was briefly used in KDE's about dialogue in early builds of KDE Frameworks 5. However, its horizontal composition and large number of characters did not fit comfortably inside the dialogue's small framework. The artwork was then replaced by a vertical version with fewer characters. A more refined design was later created by the artist and a final version showing just Konqi himself was accepted. It has been used since KDE 5.x.


Former version by Stefan Spatz[edit]

Stefan Spatz's design, during the time of KDE 4.

In Stefan Spatz's version, Konqi is a 3D rendered green dragon with yellow-green abdomen. He has 2 floating eyebrows above his eyes, gray-black irises, 2 fangs, 2 small yellow horns on top of his head, a pair of bat wings on his back, and small yellow spikes running all over his spine. He has 3 fingers on each hand and 3 toes on each foot, all with claws. He wears a piece of iconic red scarf with a white letter "K" on it. He was often depicted as casually sitting on top of the KDE logo, looking at the viewers.

Current version by Tyson Tan[edit]

Konqi's redesigned pose collection.

In this version, Konqi is a 2D green dragon of clean, almost vector-like art style. The designer deliberately based his new design on the former design to show the continuity of the spirit.[5] A fictional background story was later added to reflect the facts and relevant events.[6]

The new Konqi has a playful, child-like cartoon appearance. His green color is lighter and his abdomen is an even lighter green. He has big cartoon eyes with large gray-black irises. He has two smaller fangs but only shows one at once. A pair of yellow antlers shaped like the letter "K" replaced the former small horns on his head. His bat wings were removed for a more friendly look and streamlined outline. He only has 3 large triangular-shaped, plate-like yellow spikes on his tail. He has 5 fingers each hand; the toes are not depicted in a separated fashion. He has no claws. He still wears the a red scarf with a white letter "K" on it, but the letter is larger and bolder, with each stroke going all the way to the edge of the scarf. He is often depicted as standing heroically, looking at the viewer with a playful smile on his face, pointing his left index finger towards the sky.

A collection of 24 artworks were created for this version, each depicting Konqi doing a specific task or representing different subjects. The full concept also includes other Konqis of different colors and professions, each with a unique antler design.


Konqi has a series of design variations, including his girlfriend Katie and other KDE dragons of different colors and professions.


Katie's current design.

Katie is a dragon girl. Introduced in 2010, she is also the mascot of the KDE women's project.[7] Like Konqi, she also has two design versions. The former version was created by Agnieszka Czajkowska and the current version was created by Tyson Tan.

In her former version, Katie was Konqi's girl friend.[8] She is a green dragon wearing a white one-piece dress. She has two fangs, two white horns on top of her head, and fish-fin-shaped spikes on the back of her head. Similar to Konqi, she also has three fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot, all with claws. She wears a gear-shaped pendant and a silver bracelet on her right wrist. Unlike Konqi, she did not have back wings.

In her current version, Katie is the girl who lives next door to Konqi. Although they are close friends, whether she is Konqi's girlfriend is unclear.[6] She has a lighter green color than Konqi. She has big cartoon eyes with long eyelashes and large gray-black irises. She has no visible fangs. Like Konqi, she also has two pink antlers shaped like letter K, but there are many subtle differences. Konqi's antlers connect to his head by the root of the first stroke of letter K ( the bottom part of "|") and thus all strokes are pointing outward. In contrast, Katie's antlers connect to her head by the root of the last stroke of letter K (the bottom part of "\") and thus all strokes are pointing inward. The edges of Katie's antlers are also rounder. She has five fingers on each hand and no visible toes on her feet. She does not have claws. The three pink spikes on her tail have round outlines. She wears a white one-piece dress with long sleeves, on top of which she wears a pink sleeve-less one-piece dress with large a pink bow-tie on the back. She wears a pink band around each foot.

Other dragons[edit]

Konqi and his Colorful Friends.
Different antlers representing different Konqi professions.

Other dragons of different colors and professions were added to Konqi's species as part of Tyson Tan's redesign concept. Each dragon has a pair of letter-shaped antlers that reflects their position in KDE community. For example: W for writers; T for translators; S for scientists; E for engineers; A for artists; F for facilitators; U for users. And so on. Each Konqi variation also has different accessories that reflects their identity. Different colors, professions and antlers can be recombined freely to create a unique customized Konqi.[9]


Current design by Tyson Tan[edit]

All Tyson Tan's Konqi artworks are licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA, GFDL and LGPL.

Former Design by Stefan Spatz[edit]

Konqi in KDE dialogues[edit]

Konqi in real world and derivative works[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Konqui Krita Contest!". 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  2. ^ a b "Timeline KDE 20 Years". Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  3. ^ "Konqi Contest". KDE Community Forums. 2012-12-08. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  4. ^ "Krita Konqi Contest: The winner is found!". KDE Community Forums. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  5. ^ "Tyson Tan - Konqi ver.2 Design Collection". Tumblr. 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2017-07-17.
  6. ^ a b "Katie - Konqi". 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  7. ^ "KDE Women". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  8. ^ "KDE Three Beta". Retrieved 2011-02-24.
  9. ^ "Konqi, Katie and Friends". 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2017-07-17.

External links[edit]