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 PIM . 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 😀 . 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 , 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 . 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" Identifier "Configured Video Device" Driver "nvidia" Option "NoLogo" "True" Option "RenderAccel" "true" Option "UseEvents" "false" Option "TripleBuffer" "1" Option "PixmapCacheSize" "70000" EndSection
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 … Dolphin was seeing the mounting points in /media/ , but there were erased from fstab . Same problem I had in 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 beta – 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 😉
- 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 😀
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 🙂