Starting with KDE 4.6

Hi folks!

It took a while, because I have been fighting with properly packaging the LibreOffice software for so long, and playing with slackware-current to find bugs and areas of improvement.

But I finally found time to work on a set of Slackware packages for the second beta of the KDE 4.6 Software Compilation. The release of version 4.5.85, otherwise known as “4.6-beta2” was a few days ago. I had been following the issues which were reported in the days before making the sources public, so it was not too difficult to prepare the dependencies and update Slackware’s KDE build scripts.

Note #1: running Slackware-current (32-bit or 64-bit) is a requirement! Slackware 13.1 is simply too old for my packages.

Note #2: this is beta software, some things will not work reliable or are broken. Do not use this on machines you depend on for your daily work unless you know what you are doing! Use at your own risk!

Apart from the new KDE packages, there are several Slackware packages that need upgrading if you decide you want to test KDE 4.6-beta2. Also, four new non-KDE packages have entered the arena: these are libatasmart,sg3-utils, udisks and upower. The new packages are required because KDE 4.6 no longer depends on HAL. Instead, it uses udisks and upower (born out of the DeviceKit family). The reason is simple: HAL is no longer developed. The X.Org developers took this step away from HAL earlier during the development of X11R7.6 (the version of X in slackware-current does not use HAL anymore). This happened for the same reasons, however X.Org talks to udev directly and does not need udisks and upower. I wish KDE would have done the same… it seems we are now stuck with these DeviceKit offsprings…

Where are the packages?

Packages are available as usual in my “ktown” repository: http://alien.slackbook.org/ktown/4.5.85/ which is mirrored to http://taper.alienbase.nl/mirrors/alien-kde/ and http://repo.ukdw.ac.id/alien-kde/.

I have added a nice README with instructions on how to install or upgrade to this beta2 of KDE 4.6.

What are my experiences so far with this new software?

  • Of course, the first thing I tried was disabling HAL entirely by running “chmod -x /etc/rc.d/rc.hald” and rebooting.. That went well enough, apart from a piece of audio hardware that was no longer recognized: “HDA Intel (CONEXANT analog)” but I still have proper sound anyway. KDE will complain about hardware that goes missing and will ask you if it should forget about that hardware altogether, or ask again next time.
  • I found that k3b and kaudiocreator no longer worked. I have built new packages for both, with the latest sources checked out from the repositories, and that fixed k3b. Unfortunately, kaudiocreator still crashes on startup, complaining about “QSocketNotifier: Invalid socket 10 and type ‘Read’“. This is caused by the same change in the Solid API which made k3b crash initially, but that team fixed it. If you find a patch for kaudiocreator, tell me!
  • After the upgrade, I had big issues with akonadi. As you may know, akonadi is the storage service for PIM data (kmail wants to store its emails there) and meta data indexed by Strigi and Nepomuk. The upgrade from 4.5.4 to 4.5.85 caused disruption here. On login to KDE, I found that several instances of akonadi_control were being started as well multiple instances of mysqld (akonadi uses MySQL as the database backend) and every time I started KDE, more of these processes would run and all of them would complain about their brethren.  I have not found a decent troubleshooting and repair guide for Akonadi, and out of despair I deleted the akonadi directories “~/.local/share/akonadi” and “~/.config/akonadi” entirely… now that solved the issues!  However, you really do not want to end up with this scenario, especially if all your emails are stored in an akonadi database. Akonadi developers, please provide better documentation on how to fix a broken service!
  • I found that the guidance-power-manager package is no longer needed, because KDE’s own power-devil does a good job of managing the power. I simply removepkg-ed the guidance-power-manager.  There is a widget with a l battery gauge if you need one – it is not added to the system tray by default.
  • I added a package for “kwebkitpart” so that you can now switch konqueror’s rendering engine from KHTML to Webkit (which is a descendant of KHTML).

To sum it all up: if you are adventurous, get my packages and upgrade your Slackware computer with them. It’s a lot of fun trying to find the quirks and bugs in new software, especially if you find fixes for them. And generally, this software works well, even if it is still e beta. But like I said before, you should not use this beta software on a computer that you depend on for your daily business… unless you know what you are doing and are confident that you can overcome any hurdles.

Post your findings in the Slackware forum of linuxquestions.org. Or even better: let me know right here on this blog, and I’ll try to help you out.

Have fun, Eric.

35 thoughts on “Starting with KDE 4.6

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  2. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for bringing this packages up. I have downloaded and tried it on my workstation.

    Somehow, Konqueror is unable to save the proxy changes setting in my system (i started with a new .kde directory). Is it reproducible in your system as well?

    I don’t see major problem so far, but i will post it here if i do find one


  3. I’m not the lucky man… Sound in KDE won’t work if hald not running. It shows that only “HDMI Audio Output” is recognized by phonon and “STAC92xx Analog” is not working. So Amarok won’t output anything when playing audio. sh /etc/rc.d/rc.hald start and restart KDE fixed it.

    Chromium works both with/without hald.


  4. Other issues:
    1, plasma crashes when I logout. Not a big issue and I will try to cleanup the old files and see.

    2, when I plug in a usb key, KDE shows two entry in the notification. It should be only one since there is only one partition in it…


  5. I decided to take the risk and install it to my main computer. And have to report that everything works fine up till now. I cannot comment on akonadi issues, since I use thunderbird for mail. But looks good, I didn’t have to switch anything for desktop effects to work. If will find any issues will try to trace and report. Thank you once again, Eric.




  6. I have just finished upgrading both my laptop & my desktop with no showstoppers. However, since, on my desktop, I got the “Ignore audio hardware” dialog, I opened VLC to check that audio worked. When I clicked “Media->Open File”, it took just over two minutes to open the menu. After that initial delay, the menu opens normally. Oh, audio works fine once I get a file open. It just seems like four forevers before the first menu opens. Also, it acts the same way on my laptop.
    Regards,
    Bill
    (TSquaredF)


  7. Is hal required alongside udisks/upower or the latter is doing fine on its own??
    Does it mean that HAL might be scrapped in next slackware stable ??
    Xfce 4.8, I think, they don’t rely on HAL anymore.


  8. Is hal required alongside udisks/upower or the latter is doing fine on its own??
    Does it mean that HAL might be scrapped in next slackware stable ??
    Xfce 4.8, I think, they don\’t rely on HAL anymore.





  9. sorry for double posting, but I forgot an important thing: before rebuilding all on the virtual machine, I uninstalled hal.
    and I removpkg’d it also from my laptop.
    solid still tries to find hal devices (but seems innocuos).







  10. I think with that applied k3b will stop finding devices: here is complaining that it needs hal for managing devices while it should rely only on solid. 🙁

    also this will obviously expose problems like what I’m having with k3b, kaudiocreator (segf) and k9copy (segf), and maybe other things that need, as you said, full support for the latest version of this kdelibs component…
    but it is surely the better way to spot this need-to-be-updated stuff 🙂

    on a side note, I had also an annoying kresource manager migration tool going on at every login, I silenced it with this

    http://techbase.kde.org/Projects/PIM/Akonadi#How_do_I_disable_automatic_migration_from_KDE.27s_traditional_framework.3F


  11. That’s the only bug I noticed so far: kde(22436): Communication problem with “kmail2” , it probably crashed.
    Error message was: “org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NoReply” : ” “Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.” “


  12. gotta correct myself: tried on another pc and k3b is working fine without hal, so checked better on the lappie and my dvd is broken 🙁
    the message “k3b needs hal” has been a little misleading 😛


  13. I have added a grantlee package to the “deps”, and rebuilt kdelibs and kdepim against that. I also patched the updated kdelibs package so that solid no longer uses HAL.
    Additionally you will find new packages for kdevplatform and kdevelop (this is Kdevelop 4.2-beta1). Kdevelop 4.2 is a required update for users of KDE 4.6.

    If you need another phonon backend than xine (disabling HAL seems to kill the sound for some people if phonon is using this backend): I have packages in my “normal” repository for phonon-mplayer and phonon-vlc (the latter one requires that a vlc package is installed as well).

    Eric



  14. The KDEPIM team just sent an announcement email: they will not have a 4.6 release in time for KDE 4.6. Instead they aim at having a 4.4.x release ready that will work with KDE 4.6 when that is released….

    What a pity.

    Eric


  15. Tonight I tried another update to KDE 4.6-beta2, this time on the 32-bit Slackware-current laptop of my wife.
    Sure enough, I had the same akonadi issues where multiple instances of mysqld were started, causing akonadiserver to fail.

    This time I did not ruthlessly remove the old akonadi configuration, but just ran “mv ~/.config/akonadi ~/.config/akonadi.orig” (after using “kill -KILL” to get rid of akonadi_control, akonadiserver and the mysqld processes).
    Then I started akonadi again, and this time no errors!
    So I ran a diff on the newly created ~/.config/akonadi directory and noticed that akonadi changed the directory where the UNIX sockets are created for the inter-process communication.
    These are the relevant parts:

    diff -r akonadi.orig/akonadiconnectionrc akonadi/akonadiconnectionrc
    3c3
    < UnixPath=/home/alien/.local/share/akonadi/akonadiserver.socket --- > UnixPath=/home/alien/.local/share/akonadi/socket-tee41/akonadiserver.socket

    diff -r akonadi.orig/akonadiserverrc akonadi/akonadiserverrc
    4c7
    < Options="UNIX_SOCKET=/home/alien/.local/share/akonadi/db_misc/mysql.socket" --- > Options=”UNIX_SOCKET=/home/alien/.local/share/akonadi/socket-tee41/mysql.socket”

    The new socket directory is created in /tmp :

    ~/.local/share/akonadi/socket-tee41 -> /tmp/akonadi-alien.Rn59LE

    The “tee41” is the hostname for this laptop.

    Next time I perform an upgrade, I will try just to fix the two socket directories in akonadi’s configuration files, and see if that cures the akonadi misbehaviour.

    Eric



  16. OK, got it working by installing phonon-mplayer and phonon-vlc package from your repository, but i will hear the same tones when i logged in to KDE and when i logged out from KDE.

    I still prefer to use the old guidance package to see my battery monitor as it gives more information than the new KDE dependency


  17. Hi alien,

    everything works fine, except the little “Digital Clock” in the lower right corner. There’s only a red X.





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