Factory notes — Gnome classic and kdewallet

I am continuing to use opensuse factory.  Today, it updated to the 20140805 snapshot.  Factory continues to be mostly working as it should.  Here I’ll post a few notes about how it looks.

Gnome Classic

The Gnome Classic extension was introduced for opensuse 13.1.  However, it never quite worked.  I was able to get it working by switching to “gdm” as login manager.  But I don’t much care for “gdm”, so I soon switched back.

Both “kdm” and “lightdm” have menu selections to login to Gnome.  However, they didn’t work.  With either of those as login manager, selecting “Gnome Classic” resulted in a login to Gnome.  The Classic extension was not activated.

There is a way to manually load Classic once you are in Gnome.  I’ve tried that, but I don’t remember the details (it did work).

Recently I decided to test this in factory.  And it turns out that Gnome Classic starts up properly with either “kdm” or “lightdm”.  I am currently preferring “lightdm”.


If you upgrade to factory but continue using your old settings for KDE, you will not notice any change.  However, if you delete your settings by removing or renaming “$HOME/.kde4” and starting afresh, you will notice a change.

Traditionally, the first time that “kwallet” is needed, a screen pops up asking if you want to use KDEwallet.  With factory (currently running KDE 4.13.80, which is a beta for 4.14), the initial setup screen gives you a choice of ways to use kwallet.  One choice is to use blowfish encryption.  That’s the traditional method of protecting kwallet.  The other alternative is to use “gpg” encryption.  The default is to use “gpg”.  If you don’t want that, you will need to select blowfish at the opening screen.

If you go with “gpg”, then it will ask which of your “gpg” keys to use.  If you don’t have one, then it probably prompts to create one — I have not tested that.

Once setup for “gpg”, a first attempt to access kwallet brings up the pinentry-qt screen to enter my gpg passphrase.

On my main desktop, I am continuing with earlier settings.  So I see the usual prompt for a password (i.e. the blowfish method).  There does not appear to be a way to change to using “gpg”.  If I click “Change password” in the kdewallet manager, it just prompts for a new password.

On a test machine, where I am using “gpg” encryption for “kwallet”, there does not appear to be a way to switch back to blowfish encryption.  If I click “Change password”, it tells me to use a tool such as “kleopatra” to change the “gpg” passphrase.  There appears to be no option to switch to a different “gpg” key, nor to switch to blowfish encryption.

Presumably, I could export the content of kwallet to a file.  I could then delete kwallet (maybe delete the settings file and data while not running KDE).  And then I would have a fresh chance to set the options in my next KDE session.  I could then reimport the saved content.

As an experiment, I did export kwallet content on my main desktop (using blowfish encryption), and then import that into my test system.  And that seems to have worked.  I’m a tad surprised that it did not require any additional passwords for this.  It appears that the exported content of kwallet is not encrypted.  I’m not particularly troubled because the disk is encrypted and I copied it to the test system via an encrypted ssh session.  The test system disk is also encrypted.  Still, with all of the fuss about gpg encryption being recommended, it is a surprise that I could export without the exported data being encrypted.

Other issues

Akregator crashes when I tell it to quit.  This is probably harmless (there’s no sign of data loss), but still a bug.

Konqueror and rekonq are crashing more often, usually when loading a page from the Patheos blog.  I’m guessing that the crash is triggered by some javascript.  Also a video at the Vimeo site does not seem to play in konqueror or rekonq.  Instead, I’m told that my system is unable to play it.  Firefox still plays that with flash.

Firefox 31 is giving problems, though it might not be factory related.  For copy/paste, I typically select with the mouse.  Then I middle-click to paste.  But that no longer works for pasting into firefox.  I find I have to go to Klipper and reselect the text, then use CTRL-V to paste.



About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

One response to “Factory notes — Gnome classic and kdewallet”

  1. Neil Rickert says :

    I decided to check what happens with KDEwallet, if you do not have any “gpg” keys. And what happens, is that it does not even offer the “gpg” choice.

    This is perhaps because gpg-agent is not started unless you have a gnupg keyring. And KDEwallet needs gpg-agent to support gpg encryption.


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