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Mint 16 Best 64 bit KDE Desktop for G945/i915

Posted 02-28-2014 at 10:11 AM by rainbowsally
Updated 04-19-2014 at 12:33 PM by rainbowsally (abandon ship!)

Update: I'm reverting to a 32-bit system. I may install some 64-bit libs but trying to get everything working that I need in a 64-bit system is not worth the time.

I'll leave this post in case it's of any help to anyone, but it turns out that THE solution to the graphics speed provblem here may have only worked by chance. Meanwhile, my 64 bit system still has all the graphical effects working, but everything else slowed down and several apps ported from non-mint distros no longer work. It's just not worth it.


Things are still in a state of flux, but here's the bottom line. If you install linux mint 64 bit version and your effects are too slow, go to the command line and type:

apt search kdeactive
Install all of those and you'll think you're in a whizzing fast 32 bit KDE system again.


The long version:

I'm in the process of retooling so we can do some real 64 bit programming but I use KDE and really do need the plasma AND the animated cube, so I can see where I am easily on my 6 desktops.

I've tried a LOT of distros, even tried recompiling suse 13.1 to include the .../drm/i915/i915.ko kernel driver* with no noticeable improvement and finally, after a second pass with Mint 16, which started out as an Xfce desktop, I did...

apt search kde
and noticed some interesting variations containing the text 'kdeactive', which were meant for the desktop effects.

Hmmm... I thought.

Now as I started out converting from xfce to kde, I first had to install the normal kwin/kdm or whatever. And nothing much changed. (I was actually in a kde desktop running under the xfce DM at the time. Yikes!)

But when I replaced the normal kwin with kwinactive... Hoo boy! (If you know what I mean, you know what I mean.)

Oh baby! Debian, you folks ROCK!

re. suse kernel

If you download the kernel sources and run 'make xconfig' you can scroll down the list and see that in the 64 bit kernel it doesn't load the i915 module. When you look at your hardware in yast you'll see the G945 card but driver = "unknown". (This is only on the 64 bit opensuse, the 32 bit one works.) And if you try to get the mod info in the i915.ko you'll see that its symbols are messed up. That's why I thought recompiling the kernel might help.

But even when you recompile and all the symbols are ok, its still as slow as a sea slug. You'll think you're running a live CD instead of an installed desktop.

In my opinion LinuxMint 16 is the clear winner.

I tried Gentoo, Sabayon, Slackware, Suse (12.3 and 13.1), mint 15 (though I'm not sure -- it might work too), centos, kubuntu (which might also work because these are Debian) and probably a couple of others. Mint was the first to work and it was the easiest to get working because of it's default inclusion of the 'apt' commandline tool, which just combines several other tools to give you a more complete command set.

Thank you, Debian.

Thank you LinuxMint.

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