Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fedora 10 First Impression with KDE 4.2

I briefly ran Fedora 9 on my last desktop for three month and it was okay. Then it died and I got the new Acer M1641 desktop and was only running Ubuntu (8.04 and 8.10) along with Windows Vista.

I do not quite like the KDE 4.1 under Ubuntu 8.10 and I saw that Fedora 10 comes with KDE 4.2 now. So I decided to give it a try last week. I happened to find a book in the library with Fedora 10 KDE live CD and DVD inside so this saved me sometime to download the CD or DVD.

The first issue was that the Live CD could not go to X. So I had to use the DVD. It does not boot X either but at least the txt mode worked. This is worse than the Ubuntu 8.10. I had to install the Nvidia driver to get into X. Under Ubuntu 8.10, I can go into X with VESA. Then I just enabled the restricted driver to get me the optimum resolution under Ubuntu.

Once I had the X working I did a full system upgrade using yum.

After that using rpmfusion I installed various program for multimedia. The following guide helps.

Still I find one annoying thing is the new PackageKit. I was hit by the following bug.

After solving the problem following the solution in the thread, I decided to remove PackageKit related things altogether and use yumex instead. Now I need to manage the updates by myself but at least it is better to be constantly annoyed by the background packagekit process (often you are told that the database is locked by another process when you want to use yum or yumex).

Another bug I met is that switching to Chinese and KDE would hang during log-in process. Later it was solved after some updates.

With the initial bumpy process, now I can enjoying learning to use KDE 4.2 under Fedora 10. I admit I have not used KDE for quite some time. And KDE experiences for me under Ubuntu was not that positive.

Under KDE 4.2, I was not even able to move the button on the panel initially. After switching to "Folder View" and traditional menu, now I feel better with KDE 4.2. There are smb network share related problems with media playing using Mplayer or other players (they tend to copy the whole file before playing under KDE, no problem under Gnome). The suggested solution seems to mount the smb share locally but I do not quite like the solution. Finally it seems VLC works fine with KDE.

All in all, Fedora 10 is not as smooth as Ubuntu 8.10 during the initial stage. But passing that stage, now it runs rather well (both Gnome or KDE). I also tried LXDE and XFCE and both run well. KDE 4.2 now looks fine to me. I still need to learn some new tricks though.

One thing I like Fedora than Ubuntu is the updating policy. Fedora gives you major updates (like KDE 4.2 or the kernel) during the support period but Ubuntu will keep the same old version in the life cycle.

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