KDE

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System
The following guide was first worked out by MX Linux user joany, and includes additional information by Danum and other MX Users.
NOTE: there is a monthly snapshot ISO of MX KDE available in the Remastered repo. While not an official release, this installable ISO image provides a completely up-to-date version of MX OS with a pre-configured KDE desktop.

Introduction

KDE is somewhat unique among the alternate desktops available for MX Linux because it requires a good deal of user knowledge, experience and action to be adequate. It is also much bigger than the other desktops, and thus has its own recommended System Requirements.
Note that 64MB is still very basic for graphic memory. It is recommend that a minimum of 250MB be installed to get reasonable results

Installation

There are two tools for installing KDE: Synaptic and metapackage-installer/MX Package Installer. In both cases, the available installation candidate is KDE SC 4.8.5, originally released July 31, 2012. Note that for MX-14 this version is significantly older than the current stable and last release for Wheezy ( KDE SC 4.14.3), released on November 11, 2014. Various versions are available for installation.
 
Table 12: KDE versions available for antiX/MX Linux
Synaptic
Package Installer
Description
kde-full
N/A
The full standard/upstream Debian release
kde-standard
kde_standard
A Debian selection of common applications
kde-plasma-desktop
kde_lite (=kde-plasma-desktop)
A minimalist plasma desktop install with no end-user applications
kde-plasma-notebook
N/A
A minimalist plasma netbook install with no end-user applications
Note: The kde-plasma-notebook version also makes the Search & Launch desktop available.
 
WARNING: if coming from antiX you must make sure to install KDE's login manager kdm because the antiX manager (Slim) will no longer function. Some MX users have also found it necessary to install when using kde_lite.
 
The basic installation is very simple. Almost all the tweaking will consist of things always done to a new installation anyway, like setting up the panel, installing a different mouse cursor arrow, setting up compositing features and changing window appearances in System Settings. The resulting KDE desktop will be very generic, featuring plain gray KDE wallpaper with stripes running diagonally.
 
 
 

kdedesktop.png

KDE 4.8.4 running on top of MX Linux.

Basic customization

The remainder of this document assumes a kde-standard installation, though additional actions and options are necessary in all Debian KDE4 installations. Actions listed here are done with the widgets unlocked; when you have finished be sure to lock widgets again: right click on the desktop > Lock Widgets. You are strongly urged not to run the system with the Widgets Unlocked.
There are many items provided by a standard KDE installation that have to be done manually.
  • The delete action isn’t enabled automatically in Thunar
  • There is no easy super-user mode for Thunar. But it is easy to create a launcher on the panel or desktop with the command: gksu Thunar
  • There won’t be a trash can on the desktop; you have to add a trash can as a widget.
  • The KDE Menu Editor is not included with the installation of KDE-Standard. You can add it by installing the ’kmenuedit’ package via Synaptic. It can then be run from krunner. A full reload of KDE or reboot may be necessary before it will be available as a right-click option on the Menu.
  • You may be very disappointed in the quality of the fonts OOTB. You may see a noticeable improvement by changing the default anti-aliasing setting in System Settings ≻ Application Appearance ≻ Fonts to slight and by applying a Force Fonts DPI setting to 120. Some users have gotten nice results by using the Ubuntu fonts for all the default fonts and using larger default font sizes.
  • For folks who installed video drivers using nvidia-install: to get the most recent drivers compatible with your Nvidia GPUs, add this to your repository list: deb http://packages-siduction.org/fixes/ unstable non-free
    Apt-notifier will notify you of any updates to the packages installed with nvidia-install.
  • For all users with Nvidia GPUs on MX Linux: When making a snapshot of your system be sure to edit /usr/lib/snapshot-mx/snapshot-excselude.list and enable the following lines by removing the hash sign so the result looks like this:
     etc/X11/xorg.conf
     etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nvidia.conf 
    Unless one of those two files is in your snapshot, you’ll be stuck on the CLI following boot-up and you won’t be able to start X from the CLI.
  • The F12 hotkey for ejecting the CD/DVD may not work OOTB. To fix that go to System Settings ≻ Shortcuts and Gestures ≻ Edit ≻ New ≻ Global Shortcut ≻ Command/URL ≻ Trigger and assign F12 to the command eject -T. You’ll get a complaint that this conflicts with another action, but you can safely ignore that. With this setting F12 will open the CD/DVD tray if it’s closed and close it if it’s open.
  • You may find a bug in Device Notifier that opens the wrong applications when clicking on default actions. Some MX users have found that clicking on the File Manager action after plugging in a USB device opened ShowFoto instead of Thunar. Changing the Device Notifier settings or System Settings did not correct this as long as ShowFoto was installed. You should be able to fix this bug by editing /usr/share/kde4/apps/solid/actions/test-predicate-openwindow.desktop, changing this line:
     Exec=kioclient exec %f

    to this:

     Exec=/usr/bin/Thunar %f

    If you have similar miscues with other device actions, delve into /usr/share/kde4/apps/solid/actions/ folder, look for the controlling file, and change the Exec=xxxx line accordingly.

For more customization tips, consult this Community document and KDE documentation.

Graphics rendering for GTK applications

You may be very disappointed with the graphics rendering OOTB for GTK applications. This may need some work. Not all the gtk packages that are required are installed with the KDE-standard meta package, so you'll have to follow up with installing them yourself. To get GTK-applications to look native in Plasma you need to install these packages using Synaptic.

Dropbox plugin for Dolphin

Dropbox functionality can be integrated into the Dolphin right click menu. Install kdesdk-dolphin-plugins. It is in the standard repositories. To activate it, go to the the Dolphin configuration menu then services and click the Dropbox entry.
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