Review: KDE4 – Is it worth upgrading?

KDE4 was released on Jan 11, 2008. I noticed the rpms for Fedora on rpmfind.net on Jan 13. It was a big trouble to get packages one by one keeping in mind the dependencies. I tried Yum with rpmfind repo but it didn’t work out. Then I used the server where my domain is hosted. I have 15GB bandwidth per month and the download speed on the server is awesome (average 400kbps). So, I just ftp to rpmfind.net and downloaded all the rpms on the server hosting my site. And then I downloaded the packages from my domain to my local machine ( No effort for searching now and I can do parallel downloading now). So, lets see how to install KDE4 on Fedora.

Step 1:

Get the KDE4 rpms from rpmfind.net . Here is the list of all the kde4 rpms that you need to download from rpmfind.net.

Step 2:

Enable the fedora development repository. In '/etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-development.repo' file check if enabled is equal to 1 for development repo. If its zero, then change it to 1.

Step 3:

Use yum to install the kde rpms that you have downloaded.

[root@bordeaux KDE4_RPMS]# yum install *.rpm [Enter]  (do as root)

Note: After the KDE4 rpms are up in the fedora repos, then you can skip the step 1 and directly install kde by issuing the command

[root@bordeaux saini]# yum install kde* [Enter] (do as root)

My Experience

I was expecting a lot from KDE4. But a lot of things went wrong. When I logged into KDE4 for the first time, everything was looking awesome and very sharp. But then I faced the first crash while editing the settings for a widget and I realized that its not possible to have a crash free KDE application. After upgrade ( which cost me around 1GB of downloading via yum) and spending a lot of time manually downloading the packages, all I got was a desktop environment which will crash frequently to remind that you just wasted 1GB of bandwidth.

After upgrading, Kopete stopped working due to some conflict in ssl libraries, xchat is also not working due to some other library conflicts, dolphin the new file manager for KDE doesn’t even start and flush all kind of errors and faults when launched from command line. After the first crash the panel disappeared and I couldn’t get it back. Launching kicker returns the kde3 panel.

KDE4 is awesome when you just sit back and look at it. But when you want to work with some apps, its miserable. One of my friend had this status message on gtalk ‘ KDE4 : KDE3.5.8 :: Vista : XP ‘. KDE4 is as good as Vista when it comes to looks but its equally bad as Vista as compared to XP when it comes to work with it.

Conclusion: Don’t upgrade to KDE4 and wait till May, 2008 when KDE4 will be shipped with Fedora 9. I hope that KDE4 will not crash frequently when it’ll be embedded natively.

Here are some screen shots if you wanna have a look :)

KDE4 Desktop KDE4 Menus KDE4 Konqueror KDE4 Logout Screen

 

How To: Configure Kopete Messenger

Kopete is one of the Instant Messengers available for linux and is an alternate for gaim for kde. Though the older versions were not good enough to use but the recent versions are just awesome with a good gui. Its very easy to use and it also goes to the system tray when you close it. You can logon on to yahoo, msn, google talk etc. in just one widnow, minimizing the memory usage bye the application. It asks to view or ignore whenever a new message comes from a user with you were not chatting already.

Installing/Upgrading

1. You have to get the latest kopete package from the sourceforge or kde official site.

Unzip the bz2 package with command…

[saini@localhost]# bunzip2 -d package.bz2

change directory to package and then issue these command

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[saini@localhost]# ./configure
[saini@localhost]# make
[saini@localhost]# make check
[saini@localhost]# make install

These should not give any errors, make and make install normally takes 15-20 minutes on an average machine.

Now you are ready to use kopete if it gives any problem try to have a reboot because I faced some problem which rectified itself after a reboot.

2. Adding accounts

Now go to k-menu -> internet -> kopete and that it.

When kopete opens go to settings -$gt; configure…

Kopete Main

Kopete Accounts

Click new and select new

Kopete Choose IM Server

Select yahoo and add your account…

Kopete Yahoo Username Password
Go to account preferences and browse your photograph

Kopete Yahoo User Preferences
Just click next and finish and you are done with yahoo account.

Similar is for the MSN Messenger, No special settings.

If you want google talk also. Then you have to install some support for tls

Download the source package qca-tls-1.0.tar.bz2 from here.

If it gives no errors and got install without any errors. Then go to add account and select jabber in the add acount wizard menu and do as shown

Kopete Add Gmail User

and in connection tab do

Kopete Gmail Server Preferences

click next and finish and now you can connect to Google as well.

If you have further suggestion, please leave a comment.

 

How To: Yahoo Messenger on Teaching Lab Machines

Though the pcs in the labs are not having any support for applications except terminal or command line, Linux version of yahoo messenger can be opened there. This is a step by step procedure.

Step 1

Open two terminals and through one of them logon on to your mirage server account because that supports the Gaim(Linux version of yahoo messenger).

Step 2

Now I will call the terminal in which you are logged into mirage as remote machine and the terminal of the machine at which you are working as local machine.
At your local machine execute these commands.

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[kulbir@localhost ~] xhost + [Enter]
access control disabled, clients can connect from any host

The messege displayed above should appear otherwise you may have problems.

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[kulbir@localhost ~] /sbin/ifconfig [Enter]
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:11:2F:57:C5:9D
inet addr:372.12.226.25  Bcast:122.12.226.123  Mask:212.223.345.138
UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1520  Metric:1
RX packets:136851 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:82928 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:71106959 (67.8 Mb)  TX bytes:40997603 (39.0 Mb)
Interrupt:10
lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr:122.4.4.1  Mask:252.2.2.1
UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:11436  Metric:1
RX packets:46123 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:46123 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:22001021 (20.9 Mb)  TX bytes:22001021 (20.9 Mb)

The address against inet_addr in 3rd line is the IP address of your local machine.

Step 3

Now switch to your remote machine terminal and issue the following commands…

[kulbir@server ~] export DISPLAY=[IP address]:0.0  [Enter]

e.g.

[kulbirsaini@server ~] export DISPLAY=222.26.36.5:0.0 [Enter]

If no error comes, means things are going fine.

[kulbir@server ~] xterm [Enter]

Now also if no error comes and a new teminal appears then you are ready to open the gaim.
Issue this command on the new appeared terminal

[kulbir@server ~] gaim [Enter]

yahoo messenger will appear and now you are ready to chat.
Add your account to the messenger and chat 😀