Initial Impressions of Kubuntu 7.10 beta

By | 2007/10/04

As I mentioned a few days ago I have considered trying to use KDE again. Well yesterday I did a fresh install of Kubuntu 7.10 beta. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

Bugs Reported:

  • netboot installer garbles video output on macbook
  • initial resolution wrong (1024×768) (#147323)
  • brightness hardware keys don’t function in kde (functional in gnome) (#148776)
  • netboot installer fails on selecting “ssh server” (#148577)
  • $HOME/.kde/share/config/kcmshellrc not writable (#148847)
  • hardware mute button does not completely mute audio (#149070)

Impressions:

My initial impressions are that KDE is very clean looking. The display is very crisp on my machine and its easy to navigate. It appears to have most of the applications I need out of the box. As usual the configuration options for KDE are extensive and I’ve customized a look and feel that I’m comfortable with very quickly.

I do have some initial concerns / questions on getting some of the functionality that I’m used to. In making this switch I wanted to give KDE and its default apps priority over the GTK based apps I was used to. I swear I gave Konqueror a good honest try but I just can’t use it for these reasons (if some of you are able to resolve these I’ll give it another go):

  • Unable to use SOCKS tunneling using ssh -D port:host tunneling. In Firefox I can select “proxy -> socks -> localhost:port” and I’m done. I tried a dozen different combinations in Konqueror and I was not able to do ssh tunneling unless I used ssh -L port:host:port options.
  • After getting the tunnel to work once and shutting down no I can get *no* sites through Konqueror. Resolving the same site in FF or even links works but Konqueror is complaining about not being able to reach any domain.
  • Is it just me or is Konqueror slower in loading pages?
  • Poorer compatibility with my wordpress install (yes, I’ll admit this may be a web-standards thing and not directly related to Konqueror).
  • Scrolling seems to be broken in Google Reader with Konqueror. Scrolling with the mouse wheel scrolls the entire window, not just the reader contents.

There are also a few things that I’ve grown very used to in gnome that I’m wondering if KDE has capability for. Even if its not out-of-the-box is fine, I would just like support for the following:

  • The auto-mounting system should be able to recognize luks encrypted removable drives and prompt for the passphrase to mount. Gnome does this and I’ve become used to the convenience.
  • A utility that will initially prompt for and then cache my ssh passphrase. I have been using ssh-askpass-gnome in the past. Is there anything equivalent for KDE? I am aware I could manually use ssh-add but is there another KDE-ish utility for this?

Conclusion:

I will be sticking with KDE for a while to try and help squash some of these bugs. Bug reporting and resolution is very important for all of us and I want to do my part to improve the overall experience. Expect some KDE related tutorials coming soon. I hope it will help expand the breadth of the blog content. I hope this post doesn’t come across as negative. I will be staying with KDE for some time. I want to learn more about it and learn the tools available with it. I also want to be able to expand this blog to reach the KDE crowd. I know KDE vs gnome can very easily pop up in a conversation like this. I’ll say now that any non productive comments will be deleted from the blog. Unless you’re helping to educate, offer suggestions on applications, or otherwise helping to improve the situation we don’t need to hear it.

Category: KDE

16 thoughts on “Initial Impressions of Kubuntu 7.10 beta

  1. Yorokobi

    I use the following script with gtk-led-askpass (add it to ~/.kde/Autostart) to bring up a GUI SSH key password prompt. It isn’t “pretty” but it works.

    #!/bin/bash
    # set ssh-ask program
    export SSH_ASKPASS=/usr/bin/gtk-led-askpass
    # clear any existing keys from ssh-agent
    ssh-add -D &>/dev/null
    # add keys to ssh-agent and ask for passwords #+via GUI
    ssh-add /home/myusername/.ssh/id_rsa

    Reply
  2. Fede

    You could give a spin to KDE SSH-Agent

    http://www.kde-apps.org/content/show.php/KDE+SSH-Agent?content=37287

    Haven’t personally tried it yet, but looks like what you are looking for. Please do report if it’s satisfying :) .

    I’d also like to take the chance to commend you on your willingness to test KDE coming from a GNOME background with an open mind, it’s the kind of attitude that would benefit the FLOSS comunity if it were more widespread. I myself i’m currently a KDE user, but try to test foresight linux vmware releases, and have to say that i’m honestly pleased with the progress GNOME has done since the other times i tried it. As long as both projects keep competing in good terms, and try to learn from the successes of the other whenever it fits their spirit, i think it can only benefit us all.

    I hope you enjoy your KDE experience, wether you stay or not, and help iron those rough edges it currently has. Bear in mind, however, that currently almost all kde development focuses on kde 4.0, so maybe many of your currents nits don’t apply anymore. And again, thanks for your refreshing attitude!

    Reply
  3. nosrednaekim

    The ssh thing is simply done differently. Navigate to remote:/ in konqueror, and set it up from there.

    Reply
  4. me

    For Konqueror, you have to disable IPV6 then its much faster.
    Just add the following to /etc/environment
    KDE_NO_IPV6=true

    Reply
  5. Asraniel

    the ipv6 thing isnt a konqueror bug actualy, but a ubuntu bug. i has been fixed in a ancient ubuntu version, but the bug is back again. for the real fix, search the ubuntu wiki for ipv6

    Reply
  6. Miguel

    I do like konqueror but it’s not completely functional fore some web pages, I better have Firefox as my default web browser.
    Nevertheless I have to access one website of a customer that does not work with Firefox, but works with konqueror, so I really us the both.
    One of the things I appreciated more from konqueror when I was starting with linux is it’s ability to read man pages in a very easy to read format.
    At this moment I’m doing the invere of what you are doing, I’m from KDE now trying GNOME.
    I’m documenting mi experiences, from an unbiased point of view here:
    http://www.bbnuke.com/kdevsgnome/

    Reply
  7. Henrik Pauli

    Yeah, the resolution thing is quite annoying — but I guess that’s a Gutsy issue rather than anything to do with KDE. I also see my screen get randomly turned off, and energy saving has been off, and is now on 5 hours — so it really shouldn’t turn off within reasonable time now :/

    As for Konqueror, it’s blazingly fast for me. I found that the whole “Linux does IPv6 even if you don’t want to” issue affects it quite badly, so you may want to use a DNS which does well support AAAA — try OpenDNS for a moment, 208.67.222.222

    But then, had I read the comments, I wouldn’t have written the above paragraph :P

    Reply
  8. Allen

    Christer,

    I recently tried using Totem to watch DVD movies. It worked but was very glitchy and I am not exactly a linux expert (not yet at least). The player would freeze or lock up at the drop of a hat, especially when I tried to fast forward or skip to the next scene. Also it went straight to playing the movie and did not give the option selecting the deleted scenes and special features. So I looked on the Ubuntu forums and found an alternative – Kaffeine. What a great movie player, it works flawlessly, giving the option of playing the special features and all the controls worked perfectly. What a great example of open source ingenuity. Anyway, for what it is worth, that is the kde killer app I would whole-heartedly recommend (especially for a non-technical user that just wants things to work).

    By the way, I have been following your comments on Ubuntu Planet for the last year or so, and your advice and tutorials have been invaluable to me. Count me as a fan. Keep up the great work.

    Allen

    Reply
  9. lefty.crupps

    In Konqueror, try some of the various supported protocols, such as:

    fish://192.168.1.42 or
    fish://username@192.168.1.42 (or whatever IP)

    ftp://
    sftp://

    The Fish protocol can be used for an SSH connection, similar to SFTP. Both allow you to use GUI apps to open remote files.

    Konqueror has a ton of neat tricks that I just keep learning about. As a web browser, eh I cannot get into it either. Yet.

    Reply
  10. Laurie

    I have been trying Konqueror and I like it, but neither my bank nor gmail work properly with it. For my banking I have to get Konqueror to identify itself as e.g. IE6-Win and my Gmail appears as a garbled mess. Firefox has neither of these issues.

    That said, I like KDE, it is fast and Quanta works much faster on its native desktop but I still mostly use Gnome, no rational reason, I guess I just have it set up and would rather be productive than spend time configuring another desktop.

    Reply
  11. Ubuntu Tutorials

    Allen – I have generally used Xine in gnome to play DVDs. I’ll give Kaffeine a try now that I’m in KDE. Thank You.

    Reply
  12. anonim

    Have you tried “tsocks konqueror”

    I’ve used it with a lot of apps that don’t have socks configuration

    Reply
  13. Henrik Pauli

    Christer: you’ll probably be happy to hear that Kaffeine uses xine as a backend, too :) As an alternative, take a look at kmplayer, it can use mplayer as well as xine.

    Reply
  14. Alexei Znamensky

    Christer,

    Drifting away a little bit, but not too far, instead of the gnome-ask-pass, I installed the this package called “seahorse”. It works as a normal ssh_askpass program, only it easily allows you to store the ssh-agent pw in the gnome keyring. Working with ssh agent AND the gnome keyring may be overkill, but hey, it’s working for me.

    Just my $0.02

    Cheers

    Reply

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