Having been as excited about KDE 4.0 as most people, I was keen to try the beta releases, though I didn’t want to compile it myself. Consequently, I waited for packages to become available for Kubuntu 7.10, as this seems the most convenient way to try it out. I followed the instructions detailed on the Kubuntu website, though found that several of these packages are broken and won’t install correctly. These unfortunately include Konqueror and Dolphin amongst others, so the testing I was able to do was limited. (see Edit at bottom – this has been resolved!)
To install on Kubuntu 7.10, add
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/tsimpson/ubuntu gutsy main to your /etc/apt/sources.list then make sure you run
sudo aptitude remove kdebase-workspace kde4base-dev kdelibs5 before running
sudo aptitude install kdebase-dev-kde4 kdebase-workspace-dev kdebase-runtime kdm-kde4for best results. (i.e. fully uninstall any previous betas of KDE 4)
cp usr/lib/kde4/share/kde4/apps/kdm/sessions/kde.desktop /usr/share/xsessions/kde4.desktop Change the Name section in /usr/share/xsessions/kde4.desktop to be called “KDE 4″ by using
nano /usr/share/xsessions/kde4.desktop Then
nano /usr/lib/kde4/bin/startkde and add
to the top of the file. Log out and choose KDE 4 in the session chooser in KDM. (I didn’t bother with the xephyr stuff as suggested on the Kubuntu page, as that’s only if you don’t want to run KDE 4 as it’s own session.)
On boot up, it’s clear that there are numerous bugs in these packages that make it unusable – all the different components or plasmoids open up, but you can’t move them. Also, none are stuck to the panel at the bottom, meaning that there is a free floating KDE menu that can’t be moved. The easiest thing to do is to close them all, then just activate one at a time to see them. If you add plasmoids, they appear behind the add widgets window, so you might want to move it first, otherwise you will end up with loads of them behind it!
Add widgets dialog
Weirdly, if you move the scroll wheel on the desktop, it scrolls up and down – currently this has some weird behaviour as shown below – this does let you move the K menu down though so you can see it all.
Looking at the K menu, it has been nicely redesigned, as in previous releases – there are multiple sections on it, including a favourites section that remembers the most used applications.
The many faces of the new K menu.
As mentioned previously, Konqueror and Dolphin don’t install, so we can only see the old versions. Below are some other screen shots, including those of the icon themes and the widget themes.
Over all, things look good – shame that it’s not really ready to use full time, but I think that it’s worth waiting for!
Having played some more, it turns out you can drag and drop the widgets, but they won’t stick to the panel yet. You can also rotate them and enlarge them however you like.
The ? lets you move them round, the purple circle lets you rotate and scale.
I also managed to get Dolphin et al. installed – here’s a look at that.
Here’s the system monitor with new SVG graphs: