linux for blondes

KDE (K desktop environment)

A powerful desktop environment. A tad klunky at times - fine if you have the heavy boots on but not so good if you are looking for a more subtle system. Good for developers (apparently) but not being one of them I don't know what the advantages are. Very bling with lots of bouncing icons and visual effects as standard but it gets much better once you turn all these things off.

The KDE control pannel allows you to set up most of the things you want including pannels, applets, desktops and interactions (and turning off bouncing icons).

The KDE daemon starts up usefully when I plug in my phone/pda/ipod but as yet I am completely at a loss as to how to get it to do things that are more complicated than play a cd when I mount it.

And the best part is the xpenguin sheep


 A few problems I've had with KDE and how to sort them ...

I've got ubuntu edgy efft running on my vaio laptop and had a few issues when I was setting up my KDE system. In retrospect I perhapse would have got on better installing kubuntu as KDE is currently my primary desktop - i'll let you know what I think of it when I try it next time i reinstall. Anyway, I had a few problems setting up KDE ...



Kpowersave is a KDE applet which monitors battery power with a gui in the system tray. Problem is I could not install it because there were conflicting packages installed for the gnome power management system. It seems that you can't have battery monitoring in both KDE and Gnome at the same time. It's annoying for a flighty desk top user like myself. 

The solution 

1. Remove the powernowd and apmd. You can do this using synaptic or other graphical installation system. 

2. Find the kpowersave package on the ubuntu packages site ( )

3. Select the architecture which you are using under the download section and then the mirror which you want to download it from.

4. I then opened up the package with GDebi Package Installer.

5. There were several other packages which I needed to get in a similar fashion from the ubuntu site before kpowersave would install. These "dependencies" needed to be installed first but the GDebi error messages kept me right. 

Once it was installed Kpowersave Battery Monitor could be selected from the KDE applications menu under System.


Font antialiasing doesn't work in Gnome applications including Open Office

I didn't notice this until I tried to write some documents in open office. I went through the open office help on fonts which didn't really help me. HandyAnde fortunately worked out the problem for me. 

The problem ...

KDE was not able to antialiase fonts in gnome applications. These applications were not able to get their own settings without the gnome-settings daemon. The KDE antialiasing driver could not override the gnome one. 

The solution ...

OK this is a bit of a hack - but it worked.  Open office and the other applications were able to get all their settings and antialiase the fonts properly when the gnome-settings-daemon was running in the background. So we added in a line to the end of .bashrc so that the gnome-settings-daemon would start automatically when I logged in. It takes a few minutes cos both KDE and gnome stuff has to start up. But once I'm up and running all my fonts are nicely antialiased again. I'm sure there must be a kde antialiasing driver out there somewhere which over-rulls the gnome one but this will keep me typing merily until I find it (ps please email me if you have a better solution!)

Let me take you through it step by step ...

1. To see if this fix will work for you type gnome-setup-daemon into a terminal and click return.

2.Give it a minute then open up the application your having problems with ie open office.

3. If that fixed your font problem then it's time for a more permanent solution ...

4. Open .bashrc which is located in your home directory using something like vim. i.e. type vim .bashrc into a terminal and press return

5. At the very bottom of this file add the line

      gnome-settings-daemon &

6 . Save the file (hit escape then type :wq) and restart

7. You should have nicely antialiased fonts once more. 

Edge flipping on the KDE desktop

I love being able to swing my mouse to the side and flip onto another desktop. Enlightenment does it with a click of a menue button. Gnome needs brightside to be installed. I can't for the life of me remember how to do it in KDE and it's driving me up the wall. Please help me ...