Wednesday, May 15, 2013

KDE rocks again!

Many years ago I was a strict KDE fan. I loved how functional it was.
That was in the KDE 2 and 3 days.

Then KDE got more and more buggy and slow, and I moved to Gnome 2 and all it's glory.

As I wrote in the preceding article about K3B, KDE apps in a non KDE environment used to be a very buggy and slow proposition.

When K3B didn't act slow and buggy, I started to wonder if KDE itself had gotten better.

Out of curiosity, I installed the bare minimum KDE package available for Ubuntu (kdebase-workspace) and kmixer (package name kmix) to try the environment out again.

I was pleasantly surprised at a rock solid and fast (in comparison to gnome 3 and unity) desktop environment.

I have to say now that KDE is my number 2 desktop environment choice. I still think nothing holds a candle to XFCE, in my opinion.

The few tweaks I made where setting up nm-applet as a startup app under the system settings, (otherwise I had no network manager visible) and changing the desktop theme to "oxygen" so it was easier to read the kde bottom bar.

I added kmixer (kmix) to the apps I installed because I had no volume control on the desktop without it.

I also could not stand the extra zero in the 12 hour clock, so I changed the format under system settings > locale > country/region & language > date & time tab > time format: pH:MM:SS AMPM.

The small p in pH:MM:SS AMPM does the trick.

This is my result:
Click picture to enlarge
I have no way of demonstrating the speed to you, but the base kde packages needed aren't very big, so if you are feeling adventurous give it a try.

I do want to mention that when installing the kdebase-workspace package, it will ask you if you want to use lightdm (ubuntu's default desktop manager) or the kde alternative. I stayed with lightdm and so far have had no issues.

If your Linux distribution does not have an easy way of installing KDE, or if you would just like more information, you can check out or the #kde irc channel.

If you don't have an IRC client, or you don't know how to use IRC, I have made a special browser link to the channel here: Freenode's KDE IRC Webchat

Monday, May 13, 2013

K3B - The CD Kreator

I was having problems making ISO CD's the other day. After trying Brasero and XFBurn, I researched why I kept on making error CD's.

I hate making "frisbees" as much as the next person. (For those of you that don't know, the term "frisbee" is used to denote a CD or DVD that is useless because of damage or some other error.)

When I saw on the forum to use K3B, I hesitated because I have had problems in the past with KDE apps not running decent in a non KDE environment. (I use XFCE.)

I have to say though that I found K3B to be the ticket. It turns out that my ISO files where damaged, and Brasero and XFBurn had failed to warn me of this.

K3B though immediately pointed out that the MD5 Hash values where off. This means that while the file was reporting to be 733 megabytes, in fact it was only 712 megabytes, meaning the download had failed, and the file was damaged and unusable.

I re-downloaded the file, and K3B handled the burning smoothly and quickly.

I am now a K3B user, and burn all my ISO files to disc with it.

If you give it a try, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at it's functionality and professional design.

You can get K3B on Ubuntu by using the "Ubuntu Software Center" or by typing "sudo apt-get install K3B" in a terminal window.

For more information and other download/installation options, see

*KDE and XFCE are both desktop environments available for use in Linux.