is it Kubuntu or is it KDE?

Clay Weber claydoh at
Sun Aug 29 21:29:57 UTC 2010

On Sunday, August 29, 2010 04:28:57 pm Luca Ferrari wrote:
> Hi all,
> I don't want to start a flame here, just to discuss and share opinions on
> my favorite (until now) desktop and distribution. At the moment I'm
> running kubuntu 10.04 with kde 4.5.
> I've been running KDE since version 1 and never left it to switch to
> another desktop, even when the "not-so-usable" 4.0 issued. I personally
> believe KDE is the best desktop ever made, with ideas 100 steps behind
> other desktops. Plasma is amazing in concept, QT are wonderful to use and
> develop, the desktop is fully integrated, KMail and Kontact are the best
> mail & pim program I've ever seen.
> However, in the last kubuntu releases I'm having too much problems, and I
> don't understand if it is the distro or the desktop. My audio is not
> working at all, the network applet is unable to connect me to a not
> WPA2-PSK access point, 
Probably a network-manager issue as other distros that use the KDE front end 
seem to have problems . I have good luck with using plasma-widget-
networkmanagement as a replacement for knetworkmanager, tho I cannot remember 
if it is the default in Kubuntu's 4.5 in Lucid - it is in Maverick. I have no 
problems connecting to wpa2 access points -m I have 2 I have access to at home

> my broadband modem is recognized, but does not
> work

not sure as i have no experience with mobile, but it is also a network-manager 
thing, Kubuntu does not develop such tools themselves but the plasma-widget 
network thingy I mentioned above might provide better support for it

> and in general the desktop is too much slow when switching between
> applications.
Probably a kde/video driver conflict - trying to get at which one is the true 
culprit is impossible as no one will 'fess up and take blame. My 7 year old 
laptop and it's measly 32mb ati video chip handle things in this area fine, 
with desktop effects running

> Moreover, konqueror is freezing sometimes and making the
> whole desktop locked for almost a minute

This one could be a packaging thing, as I sometimes see this in Lucid's 
backported 4.5 Konqueror, but not in Maverick at all.

> . Finally, amarok fails to tag my
> mp3s without errors. All the above has been reported to this mailing list.

Would be better to report them to for amarok, and probably the 
Konqueror problems too, the mobile issue probably to Launchpad as well as 
KDE's bug tracker. I am not sure who exactly develops the KDE networkmanager 
front-end, but I don't think it is KDE themselves.

> Now, just to give it a try, I installed the gnome desktop and...everything
> worked fine: the modem, the audio, the network applet and most notably all
> the desktop effects were running smooth.
> This led me to think that the problem is not in the desktop itself, but
> maybe in the distro, that is not giving to the desktop the same care as
> the gnome counterpart. 

They do not have the resources/manpower to do what Ubuntu (or Fedora or Suse, 
et al) does :(

> I personally don't like gnome very much, because I
> believe KDE is too much better. I don't like the file manager, the menu
> without the search (that is an upcoming of gnome 3) and in general the
> look and feel. However, my desktop as it is now is almost unusable for me,
> so I'm considering switching to something that "just works".
> I remember kde 3.5 (the old major release) having all the above problems
> just working, and I guess kde 4.5 should be enough mature to let the users
> experience the desktop, not suffering the desktop.
> I can see a lot of messages of people having troubles with kde (as well as
> with other desktops), and since I don't believe that KDE developers are not
> seeing the above problems, I guess there is something wrong with the
> distribution, but I have not tried another KDE based one.
> So far, I'm considering a concrete desktop switch, and the application I
> will miss the more is KMail (in my opinion even Evolution cannot compete).
> Thoughts?

Stick with KDE 4.4.5 if it was working well for  you?
Use the gnome networkmanager applet - which runs fine in KDE
or try Wicd as many have good luck with it

You could also try out other KDE live-cd's and see how things work for you 
there - you probably would better see what is KDE-specific and what might be 

> Luca


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