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Old 03-12-2017, 01:05 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: northern michigan usa
Distribution: Debian Squeeze, Whezzy, Jessie
Posts: 882

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very unimpressed with kubuntu

CAUTION Rant follows

Me = long time debian testing user

The machine = kubuntu 16.4 lts

With debian testing you expect some things to break now and then. You would think a stable version would not have that issue. On top of that with a testing version it is expected that some features will not work, but you, or at least I expect most things to work normally in a stable version.

For example this machine, which is a fresh, unhacked install, has a printer issue. Even though the box in the printer settings is "UNCHECKED" for sharing the printers, they are shared on the network anyway. What's up with that?

Another issue. I added some other users to the box so that each person had their own account. But there is no way to switch between one user and another with out logging out. That is of completely no use to me. Reasons to follow later.

Then add that even though the desktop settings are set to automatically lock the screen after a few minuets of inactivity and require a password after a few seconds it does not work. So I have to lock the screen manually if I leave that station.

Then multiple apps crash without warning. Then other useless things like the screen reader can't be disabled.

This machine is updated regularly by me, the systems-admin.

The reason I chose kubuntu in the first place is because it was simple to set up an ad-hoc wifi access point. Where in debian stable the same set of instruction did not work. The ad-hoc ap is needed so that field techs can push photos (1-50) to this server simply with kde-connect when they get back from the job site.

Multiple user accounts are needed so that these same techs can create directories for each job they were on and move the photos to the proper job folder. Supervisors will not know which photo goes with which job and the longer the time span between upload and moving them the harder it is to remember just what job they go with. Oh yea, there is also no way to change the users group settings from the gui, and yes from within the sys-admin account.

These techs do not need admin rights to the server to do what they need, and allowing them to have it is just plain stupid. Google Chrome has already been installed on the machine because of that. The admin user has to be logged in or the ad-hoc wifi ap is not set up and the whole purpose of the machine is gone.

I had to install the synaptic package manager to get one that would actually work as expected.

This machine also has a samba share set up so that the Project Managers can access the photos from their Windows machines. This and the x11vnc server are the only two special setups that seam to work as expected.

END Rant

At this point getting these non-admin accounts to work correctly is the most important thing. Is there some package that needs to be installed? I have not been able to find one in the kubuntu repos that seams to give that functionality.

It would also be nice to have gui access to these users group settings.

I suspect that the printer sharing issue is something that can be fixed in the smb.conf file, but I have not had time to check it out as it is not that important.

But the screen locking is. There again is there a package missing?

My time to actually work on the machine is somewhat limited and I only have access while I am actually at the office with nothing more pressing that needs my attention. So simple and quick is better.

Thanks again to all the ladies & gentlemen that provide useful guidance and insight on this site.

Old 03-13-2017, 03:40 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: northern michigan usa
Distribution: Debian Squeeze, Whezzy, Jessie
Posts: 882

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
So I tried adding the "users" widget to the taskbar and it will allow one to change users but, it does not add that to the shutdown/logout/reboot options and when you actually switch users with it and then try to switch back you loose the taskbar and the minimize/fullscreen/close buttons no longer work.

Then I thought may a different display manager may help so I installed lxdm. Then I was completely unable to log into the gui, in fact the greeter would not even come up and I had to login to ctl+alt+f?. Then I could not switch back to sddm and finally had to install gdm3 to get back into the machine.

Windows are still crashing and half the settings don't actually do anything.

And yes I did a check sum on the install media before install. And the machine has been updated from the repos with no failed authenticity warnings.

I have heard a lot of people claim that ubuntu just works out-of-the-box. Well not for me. Looks like I will be reinstalling this machine to debian stable and cure the problems when I get time.
Old 03-14-2017, 01:49 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
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I can't offer any useful advice on KDE (I can't abide it) but on the subject of Kubuntu, I'd say it will always be a gamble. These community versions of Ubuntu are produced by users, not Canonical, so the versions can vary in quality. I only know Xubuntu (slightly) and it's been vary variable. Also, this is not a "stable version": Ubuntu is based on Debian Unstable.

If you want a KDE distro based on Debian Stable, have a look at SolydXK. If you're not insistent on Debian, why not try the KDE version of CentOS? Now that's stable!
Old 03-14-2017, 02:06 PM   #4
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Registered: Dec 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: Debian Sid AMD64, Raspbian Wheezy, various VMs
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I don't understand the point of this thread. Kubuntu is a derivative of a derivative of Debian testing "made easy" -- how did you expect it to work?
Why not simply install Debian and then work out the issues?
For a "normal" PC user Kubuntu is probably easier and slicker to install and use than Debian itself. Somabody familiar with Linux may well wish to avoid it for that reason.
Old 03-18-2017, 06:32 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2007
Posts: 173

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If you're not insistent on Debian, why not try the KDE version of CentOS? Now that's stable!
I am using the KDE spin of CentOS7 right now. It still uses KDE Plasma 4 instead of 5 which is causing many people problems if you read the forums. I actually prefer the interface of Plasma 4 instead of Plasma 5 which comes with my Fedora 24 installation. Both the OS and the DE are stable.
Old 03-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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Registered: Oct 2003
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For kubuntu, I'd stick with 14.04.5 with Plasma 4 which is very stable. One of the main devs for kubuntu left after that and went to the kde neon project. If you want Plasma 5, I'd go with kde neon:

I think it's one of the better implementations of kde5/plasma5.
Old 03-19-2017, 07:51 AM   #7
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: northern michigan usa
Distribution: Debian Squeeze, Whezzy, Jessie
Posts: 882

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 45
When I get time I will install Debian Stable and cure the kubuntu problem. Not really interested in changing distros, it is hard enough for me to learn new at my age without adding in a different file location/type to the mix.

Thanks to all
Old 03-20-2017, 02:53 PM   #8
Registered: Mar 2008
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Maybe the question should have been before rant?

I haven't had any problem over decades using KDE. I tend to prefer over Gnome a bit.

Since I too didn't get the real meat of the question I'd think that maybe the full KDE wasn't installed or when you want to run some programs not made for KDE won't have depens installed???
Old 03-20-2017, 04:57 PM   #9
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: northern michigan usa
Distribution: Debian Squeeze, Whezzy, Jessie
Posts: 882

Original Poster
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How true jefro on the rant.

Yea, I was mostly just venting about "kubuntu", should have gone to the ductwork isle at the hardware store, a more normal place for venting. I have used kde on debian for 15 years or so, can't remember just when i started. I too prefer it over gnome. I too suspect that it is not a full kde install. But there is so much #$%^& that does not work correctly I am not interested in trying to fix it.

In retrospect I should have just figured out how to solve the wifi access point issues I was having with debian stable/kde, but kubuntu just worked for that, so I went with it figuring a "long term support" release would actually be stable.

So, as I said, I will be reinstalling the host with debian stable and working out the wifi issues and just get rid of the kubuntu and be done with it.

Will probably never install an ubuntu again, at least on something I am going to use.
Old 03-20-2017, 07:05 PM   #10
Registered: Mar 2008
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It is always worth trying a distro. That is why you have a choice.

Thanks for the update and solution. I'll try the ductwork isle too.
Old 03-31-2017, 05:59 PM   #11
Registered: Aug 2016
Location: USA
Distribution: openSUSE, Knoppix, Mageia, Fedora, Debian, more
Posts: 285

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Given you liked KDE for so long, maybe going back to its less blingful state would be your best option. The KDE3 fork called Trinity Desktop Environment is seriously mature and stable on Debian.
Old 04-25-2017, 08:16 PM   #12
Registered: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 419

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When a desktop becomes so feature-replete that it's actually unstable and less productive to work in, it's time to ask yourself just what it has that you really need, or do you need it? I switched to Mint/Cinnamon years ago and have had no regrets. It just works.
I'm curious what the functional difference between logging out/switching users is that makes that ability imperative for you?
Old 05-01-2017, 05:28 AM   #13
Registered: Jun 2011
Location: UK
Distribution: OpenSuse Leap
Posts: 122

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
If you install opensuse leap 42.2 kde you wont have any problems and install is very easy but it's worth noting that you can specify the partitioning that will be used and the software that will be initially installed. I do this from the dvd download. Saves adding lots over the net later. It's also possible to import partitioning. Not sure if that will work if installing over another distro but in principle it should and what it will be doing to the machine is clearly shown anyway.

They did have default and custom installs. Now people need to look at the tabs that are available.

With this install I had one problem. My /home is on a raid and it decided to ignore that when I imported the partitioning. More confusing than anything else really and easily fixed.

Mixing gnome based apps can have a bit of a problem in kde. KDE don't seem to tie the file indexing etc to any applications. I hear Gnome still does on a couple of apps so it's possible to have 2 of them running.

I can't say I have had any problems with leap other than kde/plasma settings. One in particular - preventing bookmark indexing. Turned out to be enabled in plasma. There has been a bit of a mix up in this area but it's mostly gone now. I sometimes have a reboot problem, hangs just before getting to reboot. This is probably down to having usb3 stuff about and the need for a bios upgrade. Also nasty sounds from my near field speakers when phonon came in and out due to it's idle timer. Probably down to the card I'm using. More likely KDE. I've just disabled the timer.

Their forum can come across as being a bit terse and generally any help with problems will result in instructions to run certain things in Konsole and post the output. There desktop system tool YAST can do lots of things but often not mentioned.

If people want cutting edge they offer Tumbleweed. A step nearer that is to add their packman repo to the list on the current stable release and leave it enabled. Personally I only enable that one when I need it. Codec's mainly. Then there is their software search web page, offers one click installs. Also dev versions of newer app releases. I sometimes use that for the latest version of some applications. Again best not to leave the repo they are on enabled.

I saw a comment on the web recently - someone failed to understand why opensuse put so much effort into KDE. Simple really - a lot of people like it. This wont be the first time they have produced easily usable releases well before anybody else. 42.2 isn't a stable release iether. 42.3 will be that.

I can have separate user accounts and a separate root account. Lack of a root account put me off kbuntu and a crap software search at the time. Could still be. The install put me off debian. Update problems several others. I mostly want to use my machine.

I understand mint just works. On the other hand I use my printer which is on another network via a separate wifi interface just connected to that network. Wonder if mint would handle that? It probably would if the printer was connected to my normal network. YAST did most of that.

John KDE since about 2.7 and I still don't know my way around it's inards or make extensive use of a console.

Last edited by ajohn; 05-01-2017 at 05:32 AM.


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