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Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1: KDE in openSUSE 11.1

December 18th, 2008 by

openSUSE 11.1 continues a long history of shipping a well-polished KDE. This release includes not just one, but two choices of KDE. You can choose from the leading edge of KDE development with KDE 4.1.3, or the classic KDE experience with KDE 3.5.10.

What’s new in KDE 4.1.3?

The KDE Project has included a lot of great improvements in the KDE 4.1 series. This release brings back the much-loved KDE-PIM suite, with KMail, KOrganizer, Akregator, and much more.

The Dolphin file manager has also been revamped for the 4.1 series, and includes support for tabs, and new context actions make using Dolphin even easier! Just right-click on a file and you can select copy and Move actions without having to drag files around.

Old habits die hard, long-time KDE users don’t have to stop using Konqueror for file management if they prefer the Konqueror interface! And, if Konqueror is your choice of Web browser, you’ll be pleased to find one of the improvements is that you can now Undo closed tabs. Didn’t mean to close that Konqueror tab? Just go to Edit -> Undo and you can get back to that Web page with no hassle.

And both Dolphin and Konqueror have “Super User Mode” menu entries, so you can handle file management as root without any hassles.

For browsing the world, you’ve got Marble. Marble is a “desktop globe” application for viewing the world. In 4.1, Marble includes support for OpenStreetMap, so you can browse free (as in speech) maps.

Don’t like a cluttered desktop? Then you’ll love the Folder View plasmoid that confines all those messy files to one organized view. No more disorganized desktop! (On the computer. Your physical desktop is still your problem.)

openSUSE Enhancements

In addition to all the features found in KDE 4.1.3, openSUSE 11.1 includes openSUSE-specific artwork, and a number of features that have been backported from the 4.2 series.

Of particular interest are the KWin improvements in this release. openSUSE users now have a number of backported KWin effects to enjoy, and show off to their friends. If KWin effects aren’t your cup of tea, you can use the new Compiz KDE configuration module to enable and handle Compiz on KDE 4.

The desktop toolbox has been disabled by default due to concerns about its usability. Want to re-enable it? No problem. Just right click on the desktop, select the drop-down box next to Desktop Activity, and enable “Default desktop containment.”

The Plasma desktop shell has several improvements, including the ability to auto-hide the panel, and you can enable overlap between windows and the panel, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

This release also includes Powerdevil, for easier and better power management on your KDE 4 desktop. Just click the battery icon in the system tray.

This release also marks a move to PackageKit for updates. In openSUSE 11.0, GNOME switched to using PackageKit for updates. With 11.1, the KDE Updater Applet has switched from the zypp backed to use PackageKit as well.

(In the spirit of late being better than “never,” this peek is being published after the 11.1 announcement, but we still think it will be useful to users who haven’t tried KDE 4 in 11.1.)

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55 Responses to “Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.1: KDE in openSUSE 11.1”

  1. martian

    1) T H A N K Y O U. T H A N K Y O U. T H A N K Y O U. T H A N K Y O U.
    2) openSUSE is the best KDE distro. It shows.
    3) I’ve held off KDE 4, and this release is absolutely stunning. And the plasma stuff is incredibly useful. Such wonderful integration of everything.
    4) Since you’ve backported a bunch of the features from 4.2, there isn’t any reason why anyone would want to keep using 3.5. All the features are here, it’s stable, and much more useful with all the bells and whistles.

    • oberon

      4) I can assure you, there are good reasons. Please speak for yourself only.

      • jonzn4suse

        I agree. 3.5 just looks clean and sharp to me, but I have to try 4.2. ;-)

        • Bobby

          KDE 4.2 is definitely prettier, much more modern and in some things even more functional but KDE 3.5x is the most mature and stable Linux Desktop around so that’s reason enough to keep it. There is no doubt that KDE 4 will outpace 3.5 in all areas but that will still take some time. Nevertheless KDE 4.2 is a very exciting and beautiful desktop.

        • jonzn4suse

          okay… I just install 11.1 on my laptop. OH MY GOD… I love the new KDE. One thing I don’t like is seeing all the open items from other desktops in my current desktop. A little messy. Also, how do get different background images on the different desktops? It was simple in 10.3.

        • roughL

          jonzn4suse: You can disable the “seeing all open items” options in the contextmenu

    • vasu

      I am tired of hearing this – “openSUSE is the best KDE distro”.

      I have used both mandiva 2009 ( my current work desktop) and 11.1. Mandriva is WAY better with KDE 4.1.3. Not only the KDE apps are all ported to KDE4 ( except k3b and kdevelop, an unstable version of which exists in their repo), the default graphics of powerpack are better and mandriva’s net_applet is better than networkmanager anyday. Networkmanager is awful. It shouldn’t exist.

  2. feron the kde lover

    thnks for this great distro, kde and for everything

  3. Bolick

    KDE4 is extremely exiting: colourful, nice and so on.
    But, as I know (I use KDE4.2Beta2 in SuSE11.1RC1) there’s still no ability to use “external” taskbar on the second monitor (In KDE3.5 you can turn it on by 1 mouse click).
    So, what about external taskbar in KDE4.1 in this particular release of Suse 11.1?

    • Will Stephenson

      With the KDE 4 desktop, “external taskbar” is no longer a separate panel type, it’s just a widget on a new panel.

      The steps to add an “external taskbar” are

      Right click on the desktop on the 2nd monitor.

      Add Panel

      Right click on the new panel

      Add Widgets…

      Choose Task Manager, Add Widget, job done.

      I tested this with my Xinerama desktop. If you have 2 X displays and a problem doing this, open a bug.

  4. The problem stands in downloading ISO

    • Kjetil Kilhavn

      I can second that opinion. Shortly after the release was available I started downloading the torrent version (reduce the load of the main servers) – and now, after 20 hours and nearly 40 minutes of connection time I still have nearly an hour and a half left. My connections have probably not been the fastest, but at times the download speed has been less thank 10 kilobytes/second – and my connection is not *that* slow.

      So perhaps for the next release one should consider if it is possible to do something about this by ensuring there are some torrent seeders available with high capacity both in terms of bandwidth and connections.

      • Robert M

        Ditto.

        On release week add enough seeds to make the Torrent preferred over HTTP/FTP. My download is 42% complete and still 16 hours out.

      • Ex-Expat

        Another factor to consider is that many ISPs have taken to ‘traffic shaping,’ which essentially amounts to throttling speeds on BitTorrent and similar clients in order to limit bandwidth usage by ‘power users.’ If your ISP is doing this you can have all the high-speed seeds in the world and it won’t do you a whit of good. That is what the fight for ‘net neutrality’ is all about… many people (including me) feel they are paying for a certain bandwidth and therefore should not be restricted in their use of certain protocols. IMHO it’s just a way for ISPs to avoid buying enough equipment to support the bandwidths they’re advertising.

        • Ex-Expat

          Oops – (continued) So do some Googling and find out if your ISP does traffic shaping (they’re not likely to admit it to you), this could be the problem… and a switch to another ISP could be the solution.

        • Dirk

          Why bother with torrents? As mentioned, most ISPs traffic shape torrents.

          Download the ISO, you’ll have it in less than an hour with 1Mb link. Most reputable ISPs have a download mirror that doesn’t eat into your quota.

  5. Suresh Menon

    East or West ” Opensuse ” is always best …

  6. Bobby

    Thanks for this wonderful release. I have installed it (Gnome and KDE in 25 minutes) and everything seems to be working fine and even snappier than openSuse 11. The installer is great.
    I am however a bit disappointed with the KDM login theme – it looks too cheap. The GDM theme is so beautiful and the wallpaper used makes me want to like the suse green. Why couldn’t you guys make the KDE login theme just as beautiful?

    I am also having problems installing my Digitrade DVB-T stick, keep getting an error 2 message. The driver worked fine for 11 but won’t install on 11.1. I might file a bug report later.
    Apart from that it’s a great release.

  7. Bolick

    Will, thanks a lot!

    I’ll try to do it later at home.
    Do I understand you correct, that on the second monitor it would be possible to find bars for applications placed on this screen like it is with KDE3.5?

    And what about plasma restart at least every hour?
    I’m happy that only plasma, not xserver session :)

    Well, and traditional nVidia performance issues.
    In KDE3.5 all window movements are quite smooth… and in KDE4.2 it is rather jerky :(

    So, I do like KDE4.2 for its appearance, but I have to chhose 3.5 at the moment just to my tasks.

  8. Kabel

    How about “flash player always on top” bug. If you go on bestbuy or nba, you will see how flash hides the webpage menus. Until now, everybody were waiting on Adobe to fix this bug, and i think they fixed it, (please correct me if i’m wrong). Ubuntu and Fedora implemented this fix, so they do not suffer from this disease anymore. My question is when openSUSE will fix this bug?

  9. Harry

    This is actually the first openSUSE release that disappoints me. Again I’m struggling all day with that *** NetworkManager stuff. It is this (from a user perspective) simple stuff that should work out-of-the-box, and I wish that somewhat non-sexy things would get the attention they deserve.

    • Yuriy

      Agree, this is first openSUSE release that disappoints me too.

      NetworkManager: I have up and running dial-up Internet connection via bluetooth (via wvdial). So, guys, do you means I need to install all KDE stuff to have a dialer application only?

      Brightness control: guys, It would be good do not touch it at all. I have not any broblems on my laptop with openSUSE 11.0. Now, the GDM (who actually choose the horribles theme at all !!! ) launch the maximum brightness level. Repeat, 11.0 works good and correct.

      P.S.
      I have disappointed because a lot of things that had working in 11.0 has broken in 11.1. It’s good to add new features, but don’t brake the old working features.

  10. Xtigyro

    There are several bugs (present also in beta5 and RC1 also) that are VERY annoying.

    First,
    KNetworkManager locks YaST network configuration. So – no use of KNetworkManager. And no network active configuration is being used. That prevents the system from ‘Updating’ during installation process.

    Second,
    EXAVSync can’t be used, when EXA enabled, both with ‘radeon’ and ‘radeonhd’ drivers.

    Third,
    Progress is missing during installation when ‘Network Configuration Saving’ in the second part of the installation after restart.

    Fourth,
    System freezes after trying to use ‘kexec’ instead of full restart.

    Fifth,
    no ‘Sleep/Suspend’ with HP NX9420 Laptops.

    All of these bugs have been filed after Beta5 and RC1 releases. No fixes available yet.

    I’m deeply disappointed with this openSuSE release. This is the worst release I’ve tried so far. I’ve been using openSuSE since version 9.0 !

    Sorry, guys, I’m very critical. But this is my(/the) truth.

  11. Dan

    I absolutely love the SuSE product and have been a heavy SuSE user since the 9.1 distro.
    However, I still can’t believe the TOTAL lack of real wireless networking support in 11.1.
    Particularly support for Atheros chipsets. As we in the Linux community are touting the attributes
    of an operating system that’s not that other “pain in the (gl)ass” OS I would think that the developers
    would want to be able to at least be comparable in the wi-fi arena.

  12. John

    KDE has become such a drain on my systems that I have switched to GNome. The folks who develop KDE need to work on slower systems – 1.7 gHz with 512MB of RAM and 64 MB video. Quad core workstations load with 3GB of RAM can plow their way through bad code (look at Vista), I had hoped the Linux developers had learned that already. No complaints with the release, just KDE.

    • Will Stephenson

      Free Software has become such a drain on my nerves that I have switched to developing for Windows. The folks who use Free Software need to use the existing feedback system – bugzilla.novell.com, bugs.kde.org and opensuse-kde@opensuse.org. Only large proprietary corporations with battalions of QA and software testers can plow their way through bad code without user involvement, I had hoped the Linux users had learned this already. No complaints with the release, just your unhelpful whinging.

      Andrew Wafaa’s netbook tests showed KDE 4 has a minimally smaller footprint than either GNOME or XFCE. Oh, and in case your satire module went the same way as your constructive engagement, the first sentence is not serious, I’m responding to you and then getting on with fixing some openSUSE KDE bugs, on a Saturday morning.

  13. zak89

    “KNetworkManager locks YaST network configuration”

    Actually, that is the way it is supposed to be. Previous versions of openSUSE had a “bug” in that they allowed you to choose to configure your network in KNetworkManager, and still configure it again in Yast. Once your hardware is set up, it’s either yast2/ifup (typical for a desktop) or NetworkManager (for a laptop). It’s one or the other. Having both available makes no sense.

    Also, please don’t use your own bad experience as a final judgment on openSUSE (or any distro). What may not work for you may work excellently for others.

    I am thrilled with the release. My wifi was detected and configured automatically, as were my wireless and networked samba printers. Installation from the DVD was less than 20 minutes (thanks to the image installation)! KDE 4 is looking better every day. And even GNOME isn’t all that bad… :) Just kidding. Congrats and thanks you!

    One thing, anyone know how he gets the systray apps to take up two rows like in the above screenshot? I can’t find an option for that.

  14. Alper

    Hi everybody.I am a Turkish Opensuse user and i love it.But i am beginner in Linux and i dont know English well.Ä° dont know terminals etc.
    My problem:I cant update Opensuse 11.0 to 11.1.Please help me fot this problem i dont know anything.Thanks

    • Xtigyro

      Just add the 11.1 REPOSITORIES in ‘YaST > Software Repositories’, select ‘Add > Specify URL’, add the line:

      http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.1/repo/oss

      Then do absolutely the same but use this line, which is for the NON-OSS software:

      http://download.opensuse.org/distribution/11.1/repo/non-oss

      So, you have added the new repository sources, now just execute the next command in terminal:

      sudo zypper dist-upgrade

    • Lutfi

      In Turkish :)
      Selam Alper,
      Upgrade yapmaktansa en iyisi 0’dan 11.1’i kurman /home dizininie format atmazsan (-ki default seçenek atmaz zaten) bir problem yaÅŸayacağını sanmıyorum

      In English
      Hi Alper,
      It is better to try clean install, if you do not select to format /home folder (it is not selected in default options) you will not have any problem i guess

  15. Xtigyro

    By the way, GNOME is far more stable and less buggy than KDE 4.1 in openSuSE 11.1 !

    • Bobby

      How can you compare Gnome with KDE 4? KDE 4 is a very young DE, Gnome is a mature Desktop. A fairer comparison is KDE 3.5.10 with Gnome but no Gnome user is brave enough for that ;)

  16. Andrew

    Gnome is not a nice desktop environment or can be classed in the same league as KDE plus it to much like a Mac desktop , KDE is new, fresh, fast and the best desktop environment on the market. KDE 4 is still very new and does have a few bugs, its stable and easy to use. KDE 4.2 is out in a month and KDE 4.3 should be released with openSUSE 11.2 which will be another kick a55 operating system.

    • Bobby

      I agree with the most of what you said although I wouldn’t be that hard on Gnome. If I have to choose between Windows and Gnome then give me Gnome all the way. Of course it’s not as good as KDE but it’s good enough I would say. Gnome is however looking old when compared to KDE 4 so I guess the Gnomies will have to start changing gears soon, otherwise they will be left behind.

  17. Alper

    Thanks a lot my friend,i will try these.
    @Lufti Sistem boyutu büyük olduÄŸu için tekrardan indirip Dvd’ye yazmaktan üşeniyorum.Ancak neden sistemi baÅŸtan kurmanın daha iyi olduÄŸunu anlamadım?

  18. Diederik van der Boor

    It could be possible you’re still bitten by the driver issues of ATI / NVidia. It makes KDE 4 look really slow, while the slowless is caused by the painting done by the video driver. For NVidia, you can try to install the latest beta drivers.

    (see: http://userbase.kde.org/GPU-Performance for links to the beta drivers)

  19. riolinuxrio

    I’m deeply disappointed with this openSuSE release.

    • zak89

      Thank you for your constructive input. We will work extra hard next time on the un-disappoint-riolinuxrio library. Please post a bug report with any further details.

      • Xtigyro

        As is said, all of these bugs were filed up after beta5 and rc1.
        And it is said “this is my truth”.

        What’s your problem, man ?!

        I wish everybody a nice day. By the way, here in Sofia is snowing hard at the moment! :D :)

      • kaddy

        BAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAAHAHA.
        That made me laugh my a55 off. LOLLLL

  20. Greg

    Apologies if wrong place but when I go to youtube with either firefox or conqueror in opensuse 11.1 distro, it says “Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.”

    Can you tell me what I need to do to get around this?

    Also why is ” and @ swapped around on the keyboard and a pound sign where the dollar should be? Thanks Greg

  21. zak89

    Greg, please post your questions to the forum. You’ll get your answer much faster, and the thread will help future users with the same issues. But to answer your questions, you’ll want to install Adodbe Flash from the non-oss repository (or disc). The keyboard issue sounds like you don’t have the correct keymap selected. Go to Yast2 –> Hardware –> Keyboard Layout to fix this.

    Have a lot of fun!

  22. GreatEmerald

    “And both Dolphin and Konqueror have “Super User Mode” menu entries, so you can handle file management as root without any hassles.”

    Where are those entries? Somehow I can’t find them…

    • Bolick

      In kicker menu on top type “Konqueror” or “Dolphin” and you’ll see as options “Konqueror” and “Konqueror superuser mode”, the same is for Dolphin.

      But, here we have an issue.
      Dolphin does not run properly in superuser mode.
      I’m not sure about Konqueror. There are chances to find it acts just the same.
      You can easily find this one on this forum.

      • GreatEmerald

        Yeap, I noticed that Dolphin doesn’t work… Strange… However, Konqueror works.
        And yes, you can access them from the menu, but you could that earlier as well… At least in KDE3. Would be nice if it was a toolbar option in the program itself.

      • freedguy

        Launch dolphin with “kdesu dbus-launch dolphin”. Everything wil be fine :)

  23. wouter

    I like it!

    I’ll be honest. I was looking for a KDE 3.5 live CD, but could not find it, so I ended up installing from the KDE 4 live CD. Are KDE 3.5 CD’s in the pipeline? I think I read something about them. As it is, I’m happy to stick with KDE 4.1.3.

    It may be because I switched back from ia64 to i686 when I reinstalled my system with openSUSE 11.1, but the general feeling is that everything that’s there now at least works. I don’t know since which release this is, but I found that Amarok now plays mp3’s out of the box.

    The combination of Xorg and KDE 4 now works much better than when I used 11.0, although this may also be because I switched back from 64 to 32 bits. KDE 4 on 11.0 used to crash with desktop effects enabled.

    I’ve had to add one package from outside of the repositories. That was RealPlayer. I need it, because the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio) checks for it.

    I have another system that’s still running 10.3. I will wait for KDE 4.2 before I upgrade that, because in 4.2 a lot of useful 3.5 features will come back (for one: task bar button grouping). I hope to see the return of the + task list from KDE 3.5.


    regards, wouter…

  24. bloodnok

    Having selected to install online I am now stuck at the final stage!!! The installation has reached 23% ” save configuration”” initialising fonts.Any ideas for waking up the install will be most welcomed. I did try to download the DVD but the download sticks at 251mb each time.
    PS giving the PC a good kick did not work this time.

  25. R.S. Tse

    KDE daemon does not recognize a CD/DVD plugged in.

    My SATA drive is HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH10L.

    Otherwise the improvements in appearance, etc., are relaxing.

    • NtBlstr

      I have the exact same problem from installing from the KDE Live CD, apparently i have no CD/DVD Drive plugged in, mines a IDE CD/DVD Drive: EMPREX DVDRW_IDE1008. Kind of annoying seeing as I installed off that drive.

      Apart from that i’m impressed with my first impressions of KDE 4.1, been using SuSE since 9.2 and i’ve always found myself going back to it.

  26. vasu

    While the suse build service caters to the official KDE release well, other KDE applications are not being ported. This is also true for the factory builds.

    Examples of KDE applications that are still KDE3 based, even thought stable KDE4 versions exist include kdesvn, kdiff3, kvpnc and many others which I use daily.

  27. Pete the heat

    It’s much better than the KDE that is in Suse 11.0.

    However, it still doesn’t have the features I use all the
    time in KDE 3.5.

    I couldn’t figure out how to get a panel to span across
    two monitors.

    I couldn’t figure out how to change the background wallpaper.

    The user interface to panels (and desktop settings) seems to
    be gratuitously different but incomplete.

    I’ll be back to try again in 11.2(?)

    • anon

      Please ask for help in the forums so that users with same problems wil benefit. See you in forums :)

  28. Xtigyro

    In conclusion, according to my opinion openSuSE 11.1 is a nice distribution.
    I don’t think something important has been changed since 11.0 except zypper improvements and several YaST2 changes… it’s the same distro with some upgrades.
    So far, so good.
    However, there are really many bugs, which I personally encounterd. My computer is a HP NX9420 RH450EA Laptop. And a lot of things didn’t go smoothly as it is expected. I have filed up the most annoying bugs. I hope it will be fixed soon.
    Using Debian Lenny. Waiting for the fixes.

    Happy New Year! I wish all of you (the openSuSE developers and openSuSE Community) to be in rude health!

    Cheers,
    Miro

  29. khaleid vharles

    when i enable esktop effects my mouse pointer dissappears and ther are color patches remaing on screen after changing to different windows…When I disable desktop effects everything is good…..help