27 January 2011

KDE 4.6 Is Out!


KDE 4.6 Is Out. There are lots of new features to play with (although no new PIM software, that should make it out in the first monthly update) and the full release note can be read here.

Arch (as always) have new packages already in extra and the full details can be read here. pacman -Syu now!

23 January 2011

Arch Reinstall Gotchas 101

I have used Arch Linux for some time now (3+ years from memory) coming to it from a Debian/Slackware background. I love it it allows me to run a bang up to date KDE desktop on a rolling release basis. For those that would like a more honest review then Kevin Bush did a great review over at Linux Journal very recently.

In the time I have run it I have only installed it twice before and now I am only installing again because I got a shiny new 500gb laptop drive for Gonzo (my Thinkpad!) at Christmas.

One of Arch's many benefits is the documentation and forums. When you install Arch you only install a base system and can then go and build your system your way. No desktop, not many services and only a terminal to log in with.

People have been known to moan abut this approach but I like it. In one evening I had a full KDE desktop (I use the standard Arch Packages for day to day use) up and running. However, I did hit a couple of gotchas which I thought I would document here in case they help anyone else :

  • NetworkManager has not improved since my last attempt to get networking working with it. I recommend Wicd all the way.
  • KDE would not shut down. I spent some time investigating this but ended up on this thread on the forums which helped me to pin it down to the Phonon backend that was being used (Xine). I updated to use the gstreamer backend and all was well.

  • Getting Dropbox working without installing lots of gnome libraries. For this I found this article which did the job perfectly in about 6 steps. Once done, reboot and on next start up the Dropbox installer will guide you through the rest.

Now I am back up and running I can look forward to a few nights setting all my preferences, data and look and feel up. Then I can forget about installing and get on with using.