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A quick review of Slackware 13 and KDE 4.3.1 on my old laptop...

Posted 10-12-2009 at 10:05 AM by Lufbery
Updated 10-16-2009 at 08:21 AM by Lufbery

I posted this as a thread, but it makes a good blog entry:

This past weekend I installed Slackware 13_x86 on my IBM A22m laptop. The laptop is a Pentium III 1 GHz with 512 MB of RAM.

I was running Slackware 12.1 on this computer, so before I started I backed up my /etc, /home, and /root directories onto my desktop computer and then reformatted the hard drive. This gave me a clean slate for the new installation.

For the installation, I selected all of the package groups except KDE and KDEI. Consequently, the installation went reasonably quickly. I logged in as root and verified that X starts well without configuration. XFCE ran like a champ.

Prior to the installation of Slackware 13, I downloaded Vbatts's KDE 4.3.1 packages and copied them to a DVD. (More information on the packages is available in this thread.) While in XFCE, I quickly copied the packages to the laptop's hard drive and then logged out of X back to runlevel 3.

I installed the KDE 4.3.1 packages and I'm very happy with them.

I started on my post installation routine, but had to go to bed. Most importantly, I've created my regular user account and done a little configuration of KDE.

Here are some observations:
  • KDE 4.3.1 is as responsive on this machine as 3.5.10 was. In both cases I'm more than happy with the performance.
  • I always boot to runlevel 3 and the startup time for KDE 4.3 is just a little slower than it was with KDE 3.5 on the same machine.
  • There's not a ton of difference between KDE 4.3 and 3.5 in terms of the user interface. I switched the kicker back to the classic view and the deskotp to folder view and everything feels about the same. I made of folder /home/drew/Desktop and pointed the KDE folder view to it.
  • Konqueror works just fine, Dolphin is okay, and Konsole seems better/cleaner.
  • Xorg set up just fine without any intervention on my part so far. I will probably need to create an xorg.conf file to enable mouse scrolling, however. Sound works perfect.
  • I'm having the same errors with Akonadi errors as others have had. I will probably turn off Korganize and desktop searching. I'm sure the features are valuable, but I'm not using them right now. Perhaps I will in the future.
  • The latest version of Sbopkg installed and works just fine. I ran the SlackBuilds for madwifi so I can get my wireless up and running.
  • Alien Bob's VLC build works well too. DVDs play without any problems.
  • Emacs looks good and runs well. Nothing else matters.
  • KDE 4.3.1 doesn't have the "media" widget that shows what media are inserted (e.g. a DVD icon will show up in the task bar when a DVD is inserted and a USB drive icon will show up next to it when I insert a flash drive).
  • Finally, not installing KDE from the installation DVD and then installing Vbatts's KDE packages results in Koffice not being installed. This is fine with me because I never use it Koffice, I thought I'd point out a consequence of doing things the way I did.

Naturally, I have a few things I need to do yet: switch to the generic kernel and create an initrd, copy my old files back to the laptop, get wireless up and running, install some software, install the latest patches, and play with KDE's settings, but that's just a few more hours of work, and most of that time will be spent waiting for stuff to copy and/or compile.

The bottom line is that this release of Slackware is pretty darned good. I can't wait to upgrade my really fast, modern AMD Athalon 64 desktop with Slackware 13_X86 64!

In the meantime, I'll update this entry or the rest of my blog with info on the additional post installation routine. I'm particularly interested in how well Madwifi and Wicd will work.
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  1. Old Comment
    I'm doing a similar exercise (i.e. dipping my toe in the KDE4 water) with a KDE4 version of SimplyMepis (DanumLinux Canteras 3c) and have come to much the same conclusion. By which I mean I'm looking forward to the day when KDE4 makes an appearance on my main desktop!
    Posted 10-12-2009 at 03:14 PM by rich_c rich_c is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by rich_c View Comment
    I'm doing a similar exercise (i.e. dipping my toe in the KDE4 water) with a KDE4 version of SimplyMepis (DanumLinux Canteras 3c) and have come to much the same conclusion. By which I mean I'm looking forward to the day when KDE4 makes an appearance on my main desktop!
    So far, I'm liking KDE 4. It's not as drastically different from KDE 3.5 as I expected, but it is a little cleaner and faster. I'll probably drop it on my Desktop when I get around to upgrading it, but I want to work out the bugs with it on my laptop first.

    Posted 10-16-2009 at 12:23 PM by Lufbery Lufbery is offline


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