Live upgrade to openSUSE 12.3, finally.

Seeing that there are only two more weeks until openSUSE 12.2 reaches end of life, I’m doing my usual upgrade with zypper.

If you are about to say “didn’t you do that already some months ago“, that was a virtual machine…now it’s my “production” system. Let’s hope all goes as well as it did on the VM.

So far all is looking good, but 4500 packages takes some time, so I can’t really say anything yet. I’m doing 12.2 -> 12.3 and KDE 4.11 -> KDE 4.12 at the same time, so it might get a bit hairy at some point.

The fun part comes next week… if this goes well I’ll do the same to my wife’s laptop, where a failure will be way more painful…

 

Update: finished, all seems to be working fine.

openSUSE bandaid: no gpg agent, no ssh agent after updating from KDE:Release:49

If you notice that your ssh agent and/or gpg agent aren’t running after logging in to KDE4 on openSUSE, and you just upgraded your KDE from the KDE:Release:49 buildservice repository, there is a simple fix.

Run this command as root:

ln -sf /etc/X11/xdm/Xsession /usr/share/kde4/config/kdm/Xsession

That will do it. By the way, the bug report for this bug is here. Please add your 2 cents worth if you are hit by it.

Linux Bandaid: KDE apps can’t open TGA image files

If you are working with TGA images a lot, you might have seen the bug where KDE apps like Gwenview can’t open them and give you a weird message about being unable to read metadata.

This is a bug in qt. KDE4 brings its own image readers for TGA, but only uses them when the qt ones are not available. So let’s delete them (as root, of course):

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rm /usr/lib/debug/usr/lib64/qt4/plugins/imageformats/libqtga.so.debug
rm /usr/lib/qt4/plugins/imageformats/libqtga.so
rm /usr/lib64/qt4/plugins/imageformats/libqtga.so

Some of these commands can fail, depending on whether you have debug information or 64bit versions installed.

Linux Bandaid: GTK apps don’t show icons in the file requester when running within KDE

Ever had this happen?

You open the file requester in a GTK app to open or save a file, but the names don’t come with icons so it’s kind of hard to tell the difference between a folder and a file without extension.

Here’s the reason: your KDE styles have been updated but the gtk icon cache was not refreshed.

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And here is the solution: run the following command as root to refresh all icon caches:

for i in /usr/share/icons/*; do [ -d $i ] && gtk-update-icon-cache $i; done

Survey results are in

Here are the results from the survey:

75% answered “yes” on the question whether they use kontact or not. Those who answered “no” did not get to the rest of the survey. All questions except the last two were multiple choice.

Component usage:

E-Mail 93,42%
Contacts 78,95%
Calendar 77,63%
Feedreader 53,95%
Task list 35,53%
Summary 19,74%
Yellow Notes 17,11%
Journals 10,53%
Time tracking 9,21%
Other 9,21%

Mail protocols:

IMAP 72,6%
POP3 47,9%
Local Maildir 17,8%
Other 11,0%

Calendar sources:

Vcard files 75,0%
Google contacts plugin 29,4%
CardDAV 11,8%
LDAP 10,3%
Kolab etc 10,3%
Other 7,4%
Novell Groupwise 1,5%

Address sources:

iCal file 66,1%
Google calendar plugin 32,3%
CalDAV 21,0%
Kolab etc 14,5%
Other 11,3%

Quality compared to other PIM applications or email clients:

Poor 11,1%
Below average 16,7%
Average 34,7%
Good 33,3%
Excellent 4,2%

Has kontact improved over time:

Improved 23,9%
The same 25,4%
Worse 50,7%

Single sign-on on openSUSE / KDE4, or the three faces of the community

It seems that “the community” consists of three separate groups of people:

  1. the people who loudly demand features
  2. the developers who loudly debate the ethic, moral, technical religious impacts if the features demanded by 1. would be implemented
  3. the small group of developers who watch 1. and 2. and at some point say “Oh for crying out loud. What a noise over 5 lines of code.”

As an example, look at the discussion over the feature request in kmail where someone wants kmail to be able to remove attachments from mails.

As another example, look at this one. Some people would like to see single-sign-on in KDE4. The discussion was long and loud.

And, if you Google a bit, you find that the wallet daemon has had the required dbus call since KDE 4.4.2, for crying out loud!

Just that noone has bothered to point a finger at the required pam modules and helpers.

I’ve packaged them for openSUSE, get them from my OBS project and configure them as described in the readme files included in the packages, and you have single sign on.

Note: single sign on only happens if you actually enter a password on login. The typical suse setup with an user session starting automatically on boot can’t work with this.

Note: this seems to work only for local useraccounts, but not in a NIS environment.

openSUSE 12.1 – coming soon

I’ve been testing openSUSE 12.1 RC2 for a week now, and so far I’m impressed.

Network installation went pretty well (after I had figured out that the reason for the initial woes was the DHCP server here at work, not suse), and so far a lot of stuff that used to need manual intervention “just works” now. For eexample the use of ksshaskpass for ssh-add and other little quirks.

On the other hand there are a few oddities, none of them being the fault of the openSUSE team, as far as I can tell:

  • kopete refuses to “do” MSN – MicroSoft has changed something on their end; kmess needed a patch & rebuild as well
  • no sun java – Oracle has changed the licensing and disallows redistibution now.

Other than that: cool beans.

Especially KDE4 is impressive on this version – KDE 4.7.2 actually works now.

KDE 4.7 – You didn’t think you would get off that easily, would you?

OK, so now I did a clean install on some old work laptop.

openSUSE 11.4, fresh off the DVD, on an empty harddisk.

KDE 4.6 or whichever version comes on the DVD worked fine, using the GSM/UMTS/EDGE card that my company gave me works fine too.

So I’m using that UMTS network to upgrade KDE to 4.7, and after that, plasma crashes every time I try to connect through UMTS… terminating the connection.

So, this time, not even a rollback to 4.6.5.

Yee-haw.

KDE 4.7 – all your emails are belong to us

ok, so KDE 4.7 is out.

Ye-haw.

After updating to 4.7, kmail complains on startup (which takes ages, btw) that “the server does not support TLS”. It sure would help to know which server. It also would help to be able to get at my mails at all; all my folders are completely empty. Oh, and deleting a mail from one of the folders that are not empty doesn’t work either.

rollback time.

 

KDE 4.3.1

Now that KDE 4.3.1 is out, the whole thing becomes actually usable…
… still, I just wish they hadn’t removed so much functionality that I was used to have.
Current list of grievances:

  • Amaroks "smart playlists" are still dumb
  • Amarok has lost all kind of k3b-related features
  • dragon replaced kaffeine… too bad that dragon can’t even do something as simple as a playlist :/
  • No way to find out the filename of the current wallpaper from a shell like you could in KDE3 with dcop
  • ever so often plasma widgets forget their settings
  • kontact/kmail crashes on startup when you had to quit it because it started to ignore your keyboard