Sunday night I decided I’d try and migrate myself fully to the new version of KDE, KDE 4 (currently at 4.1 RC1 in KUbuntu). There aren’t really any transition/migration tools to help at present, so hopefully these notes will help others trying to be daring.
First off – general impressions. It’s quite stable (for me) on AMD64, I do get the occasional crash but nothing like the playing about with earlier versions (both 4.0 and 4.1) that I was doing in a separate test user. The bling is quite nice, but it will take me a while to get used to the KDE4 way of doing things. Not really bad, just different.
Now for how I attempted the migration – first thing I backed up my existing .kde* directories first, just in case. Then I logged into to KDE4 for the first time, just so it can set things up; then I logged straight out again.
From the command line I rsync’d my .kde/share/config directory in my .kde4/share/config directory. So far so good!
Where I went wrong – I intended to rsync my .kde/share/apps directory over too, but due to a typo I missed the trailing ‘.’ and the command just told me what it was going to do – and I didn’t spot it! 🙁
As a consequence I’ve been wondering about why my bookmarks, Akgregator feeds, kwallet and various other things didn’t come across OK! Not hard to import, but it would have been nice if I’d spotted that earlier and fixed it before I started doing things that meant I’d loose stuff if I just went and rsync’d it like I meant too.
- All 10 desktops, along with all the Konqueror windows I habitually keep open, started up OK.
- I’ve been able to work productively from home today with KDE4.1, doing what I expected to be able to do (with two small caveats below).
- It’s definitely growing on me, I wouldn’t choose to go back now.
- Konqueror works just fine for WordPress so far.
- Bling! Wobbly windows! Shiny! Ahem..
Bad Points & Niggles:
Konqueror locks up when you’re using Request Tracker (RT) and try and either reply or comment on a ticket, which isn’t particularly helpful. Thankfully Firefox is still there to cover that.– fixed in the release version of KDE 4.1!
- There isn’t (yet) a “Meta info” menu item for pictures under properties to let you edit the Exif metadata, unlike KDE3.
- Konqueror’s table rendering seems a little off, the Maia Mailguard web interface seems a little off centre now.
- By default Kopete in KDE4 pops up a notification for every new message that comes in when the chat in question doesn’t have focus. Bad! Especially when you’re chatting to 3 or 4 work colleagues at once, so N-1 windows will cause popups to continually happen.. Thankfully there is an option under Behaviour->Events called “Treat all chats on the current desktop like active chats” to mitigate that. I’d much prefer it to just treat all open chats as active.
- KMail and Agregator as part of Kontact have had occasional glitches. KMails sorting by date got a bit confused at some point and Agregator lost the window that shows the RSS entries which made for a sub-optimal experience until I fired it up outside of Kontact and changed it there (for some reason I couldn’t get to its config from within Kontact).
- When dragging an email to a folder in Kmail the target is no longer highlighted, so it’s hard to tell which one is being selected.
- I miss the fact that the window list on the panel doesn’t collapse duplicate windows into a pop up list like it did in KDE3.
For some reason I don’t seem to be able to drag and drop a lock/logout widget onto the panel, presumably because it’s already full of windows and systray icons.. 🙁– either fixed in the 4.1 release or, more likely, I wasn’t dragging it to the right place!
Don’t take the longer list of problems as meaning I’m unhappy with it, it’s just that (as with so much in life) you tend to take things that work for granted and only notice the things that don’t. I should know, working as a sysadmin you generally only hear from users when things break!