Finally a good KDE4 on Kubuntu

Ubuntu 8.10 is close to offer a stable KDE4 … finally . Even KDE4 is still not covering all the applications are KDE3 was , things are looking good.
So let’s start :
Intrepid Ibex will come with KDE 4.1.2 . For more details about the differences between 4.0 and 4.1 see the official announcement . Major difference is that 4.1 brings back the PIMĀ  . Also this version fix performance problems and I have to say : you feel the difference . I have a 8500GT video card , not sure why , but the firmware driver wasn’t enabled after instalation . KDE4 flies without the visual effects , almost as fast as XFCE šŸ˜€ . At least for me , it seems to be faster than gnome now . After I activated the nvidia driver , I had some problems . It is know that KDE4 , because of a bug in the nvidia drivers ,Ā  it works slow on some videocards . This was back 2 weeks ago when I first installed Intrepid . Now I saw in the latest updates that the situation improved a bit . Basicly you’ll see Xorg consumes 10-14 % (at least for me) from CPU .Ā  But this is on the way to be fixed and also you can do a small tweak . After some googling it seems nvidia-settings can help a bit and also some config entries in Xorg config file .
So , after the changes this is how nvidia section looks in my Xorg.conf :

Section "Device"
             IdentifierĀ Ā Ā Ā Ā  "Configured Video Device"
             DriverĀ  "nvidia"
             OptionĀ  "NoLogo"Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā  "True"
             OptionĀ  "RenderAccel" "true"
             OptionĀ  "UseEvents" "false"
             OptionĀ  "TripleBuffer" "1"
             OptionĀ  "PixmapCacheSize" "70000"

Do those changes on your own risk . Depending on your card , Xorg might crash . On some forums there were more options , but some didn’t worked for me (like setting DamageEvents or BackingStore ).Next is to run :
nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2 -a GlyphCache=1
You can add in your Autostart ( you can use KDE Autostart from System settings) if you feel KDE is working faster after this command .

I had a problem with the NTFS partitions . Not sure that I broke them or …Ā  Dolphin was seeing the mounting points in /media/ , but there were erased from fstab . Same problem I had inĀ  Ubuntu version . For making things easy install MountManager and NTFS-3G config
Ok , so what’s new in Kubuntu 8.10 ?

  • Adept is 3.0 beta – a new and fresh look , but search is a bit stupid ( seems is going to be fixed until the launch)
  • You can install Amarok 2 betaĀ  – it’s pretty stable right now ( crashed rarely for me) . The biggest news is the video support , which works ok , even a fullscreen option is missing .Several plugins are already available . There’s also a plasmoid for am4rok , but currently is broken because of a DBus problem ( actually the error is in the am4rok build ). Drag and drop files into the playlist also works šŸ˜‰
  • Most plasmoids works great , even some OSX widgets works ( at least the HTMLs like the Chuck Norris one )
  • Network manager works better and better , I see it recognize my 3G modem ( the gnome version even ables me to select my operator)
  • a good news for me was that my Xonar DX soundcard was recognized by KMix , so drivers are getting better
  • System Settings has improvments/fixes : the Login manager has all the tabs available ( some were disabled until now ) , Strigi works , you get a Grub editor ( I think it was before too)
  • You might want to check Okular for viewing all kinds of documents files and digiKam . Also digiKam comes with a standalone photo viewer – showPhoto . Didn’t tested yet DigiKam , but I’ll give it a shot these days.
  • Dolpin : there’s more that meets the eye about the file manager . The new selection mode is very cool ( no need to press Ctrl key for multi-selection) . You can also use it as FTP client , you only need to introduce your ftp and use the Split button and voila : you get a 2 pane explorer šŸ˜€

In the end , I think things are looking good for ubuntu users that want KDE as their desktop . But remember : KU 8.10 is still in beta , it’s expected to be released on 30th october , so it’s not recomended to install it on production machines šŸ™‚