Tag Archive | KDE

Solus 4.1 — a review

Solus 4.1 was released in January.  Here is the release announcement.

I have experimented with Solus since release 1.0 in 2015.  I like the simple elegance of its desktop.  On the other hand, I would never choose Solus as my main desktop, because it does not seem oriented toward traditional unix/linux users.

I have kept a running copy of Solus around, since 2015.  Up until now, I have used the Budgie desktop.  But what’s new with the latest release, is that they now provide a Plasma desktop.  As a use of KDE Plasma, I just had to give that a try.

Installing

I downloaded from the torrent (using “ktorrent” as a client).  The download was pretty fast.  I have since installed several times, testing different things each time.  Generally, the installs went pretty well.

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Plasma vault

Around two months back, I experimented with kubuntu-19.04.  I’m not intending to post on that.  But, while testing, I noticed a padlock icon in the system tray.  It turned out to be the icon for Plasma Vault.

Checking, I found that Plasma Vault was available for openSUSE.  At that time, I was using Leap 15.0 and testing the pre-release version of Leap 15.1.  So I installed Plasma Vault in both, for testing.  And I also installed in openSUSE Tumbleweed.  As the name suggests, it is part of KDE Plasma 5.

Brief description

In brief, Plasma Vaults allows you to have a directory with encrypted files.  You see the files as plain text (unencrypted).  But what is actually stored on disk is encrypted.

The image above is a screenshot from clicking on that tray padlock.  It shows two vaults (directories).

Installing Plasma Vaults results in a directory “Vaults” under my home directory.  It was initially empty until I created some vaults.  You can see the option there, to create a new vault.

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GeckoLinux – a review

A few days ago, I noticed (at DistroWatch.com) that there was a new release of GeckoLinux.  So I decided to download it and give it trial run.

GeckoLinux is based on openSUSE.  The new release feature openSUSE Leap 15.0, which is the latest stable release from openSUSE.  GeckoLinux also has rolling versions, based on openSUSE Tumbleweed.

The home page of GeckoLinux lists the various versions available.  Since I mainly use KDE, I decided to go with the KDE Plasma 5 version of GeckoLinux.  So I downloaded the image “GeckoLinux_STATIC_Plasma.x86_64-150.180607.0.iso” to use for my test install.  I checked the sha1 checksum, which showed my download to be good.

Booting

In the past, I have usually written the downloaded iso to a USB, and then booted from that USB flash drive.  However, for this version, I decided to test only in a KVM virtual machine.  And, for that, I can use the iso file as a virtual DVD for the virtual machine.

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OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 RC2

Release candidate 2 (or RC2) is now out.  It was announced earlier today:

As you might expect, I downloaded the iso for the DVD installer, and “burned” that to a USB flash drive.  I then did an install using it.

The install went quite well.  I followed the same general method as in my install for RC1.

Nouveau graphics

I noticed one change.  Early in the install, I was told about “Mesa-dri-nouveau”.  This is a new package, broken out from mesa.  The notification asked me whether I wanted to accept this package.  If I did not accept, then 3D would be emulated in software.

I accepted the package.  I cannot test it otherwise.

Unfortunately, it does not work well enough with my nvidia card.

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Kubuntu-16.04 and updates

The quick “tl;dr” version — updates don’t work, but updating is still possible.

Background

I installed kubuntu-16.04 in April.  Although I don’t use it much, I occasionally boot into it to check a few things.  Whenever I booted into Kubuntu, I looked to see if the update applet was notifying me of updates.  I left the system running for an hour or more, to give it plenty of time to find out.

It never showed any updates.

So I clicked on the applet (hidden tray icon) and asked it to check for updates.  It told me that my system was up to date.

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Taming KDEwallet

On opensuse forums, I often see complaints about KDEwallet (or “kwallet” for short).  It can be annoying at times.  In this post, I’ll indicate ways of keeping it under control.

While this is oriented toward opensuse, it should also apply to other distros with one caveat.  In opensuse, some of the applications have their settings and configuration under the directory “$HOME/.kde4”.  For other distros, it is more typical to use “$HOME/.kde” (without that final “4”).  So just adjust my suggestions accordingly.

Starting with Leap 42.1 (and with Tumbleweed), opensuse now supports Plasma 5.  And Plasma 5 keeps its configuration under “$HOME/.config” and under “$HOME/.local”.  But there remain some older applications with configuration in the old location.

To further complicate things, there are now two versions of “kwallet”.  I’ll call them “kwallet4” for the old version still used by some older software, and “kwallet5” for the newer version (for Plasma 5).  That both wallets are there, and that they might independently prompt you to open the wallet, is part of the confusion.

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Notes on kdewallet

Hmm, it’s been a while since I last posted.  I guess I’m playing catchup.

With the relatively new Plasma 5, there are some oddities with “kwallet” (also called “kdewallet”).  I’ll be discussing those in this post.

Two wallets

The first thing to notice is that there are two wallets, which I shall refer to as “kwallet4” and “kwallet5”.  That’s mostly because some of the applications are left over from KDE4.  Presumably, those will eventually be updated to Plasma 5 native versions.  For me, “konqueror” and “akregator” are using “kwallet4”, while some other applications are using “kwallet5”.

As a result, I have to open both versions of kwallet when I start a Plasma 5 session.

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Plasma 5 — a review

[Update: I have added a comment which updates some of what I wrote in this post.  Check the comments below.]

I have been using opensuse Leap 42.1 on my main desktop for a little over a week.  So I now have a better feel for Plasma 5, than I had from periodic testing.  So it’s time for me to give my opinion on Plasma 5.

Overall

My overall summary, is that Plasma 5 is recognizable as a successor to KDE4.  It does not make the radical changes that we saw going from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3.  The changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary.

I won’t go through every change that I see.  That would be tedious to write and boring to read.  So I’ll mainly discuss the changes that are particularly noticeable.  And since we are more likely to notice changes that we don’t like, this may look like a gripe list.

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Opensuse 13.1M2 live USB

I had some interesting results when I tried running 13.1 Milestone 2 from a live USB.  This happened around 10 days ago, and I was busy reporting bugs so I didn’t think to post about it.  I’m correcting that oversight now.

I already had installed 13.1M2 from the DVD image on USB, as mentioned in an earlier post.  There were a couple of things I wanted to check on other machines, so I decided to use the live Gnome iso on a USB.  I installed the iso using the command

# dd_rescue -A openSUSE-Factory-GNOME-Live-Build0504-x86_64.iso /dev/sdf

where “/dev/sdf” is the device for the USB that I was using.  That went smoothly enough.  And then I tried to boot from it. Read More…