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Old 05-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
ten0rman
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Cumbria, UK
Distribution: Suse9.1
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opesSUSE 12.2/12.3 - KDE4.8.4 (or later), or Trinity 3.5.13.1, or KDE3.5


Some time ago, I did post about transferring to Linux, but despite the advice posted herein, I went away as frankly I didn't have time to spend trying to sort it all out.

I AM going to have to do something as I'm not prepared to support Microsoft any longer by upgrading to their latest & greatest rubbish, and probably have to change fully working equipment along the way. So what I have decided is to use openSUSE up and running, initially with XP running in a dual boot mode. Later, I want to set up XP to work inside openSuse in a VM window, but by this time I would expect to have migrated some of the programs fully across to openSUSE.

Nevertheless, I do have some problems finding my way about and trying to do certain things and I am hopefull that people on here will be able to assist in sorting me out.

First problem is that of using either KDE4, KDE3 or Trinity. My main beef about KDE4 is that I find the default desktop and panel difficult to read. I have found a way of making the desktop plain black with smaller icons and white lettering so that is now ok, but I cannot find out how to change the panel. At present it is a sort of medium grey background with dark grey faint lettering and light grey icons. I would like to make the bachground somewhat lighter, use black lettering and coloured icons. Can that be done? If so could someone point me to the right place to do it.

Alternatively, as I understand it, I can use KDE3.5 but I haven't been able to get it up and running. It fails on both openSUSE 12.2.and 12.3 with "kdebase3-SuSE-branding" could not be installed, this using the 1-click installer. In addition, I am required to add 'DISPLAYMANAGER="KDM3"' line to the file /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager. Apparently this can be done either directly or via the YAST module. Unfortunately, I find existing variations on this theme so end up being stuck. I did try altering a line, but then the whole thing crashed.

Thirdly, I understand that I should be able to use Trinity. Now, according to the Trinity installation instructions, the latest version is for SUSE 12.2, so I have reloaded that, followed the instructions and failed. I have found two mistakes on the zypper commands, namely suse instead of SUSE and a missing underscore between SUSE and 12.2. Nevertheless, it still fails saying that "File '/repodata/repomd.xml' not found on medium 'http://ppa/quickbuild.personcomputing.net/trinity/trinity/rpm/openSUSE_12.2/trinity-3.5.13/RPMS/x86_64'. Note that I have tried both 3.5.13 & 3.5.13.1 as this latter number appears to be the correct version number for Trinity. Any ideas?

Regards,

ten0rman
 
Old 05-06-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ten0rman View Post

First problem is that of using either KDE4, KDE3 or Trinity.
Just be a bit careful of trinity; the only trinity I can see in the one click installer isn't that trinity but a completely different one ('system call fuzzing').

Quote:
Originally Posted by ten0rman View Post
My main beef about KDE4 is that I find the default desktop and panel difficult to read. I have found a way of making the desktop plain black with smaller icons and white lettering so that is now ok, but I cannot find out how to change the panel. At present it is a sort of medium grey background with dark grey faint lettering and light grey icons. I would like to make the bachground somewhat lighter, use black lettering and coloured icons. Can that be done? If so could someone point me to the right place to do it.
I am afraid that I can't quite understand what is wrong, but I'll point out that there are loads of bits and pieces for changing the appearance of Kde 4, and that the way that you get them is within Kde and you grab, eg, new Kde themes. Unfortunately, I can't suggest anything better than grabbing a few and seeing which appeal to you, as it seems very difficult to get any idea of which will appeal in advance. (And, the colours of pretty much everything within kde is 'tweakable'; not sure how much of a potential solution that could present, as you can very easily set off on an interesting adventure whereby you alter one colour to make thing A more readable, but then that colour clashes with thing B....and, by the time that you are comparing thing ZZ with a Pantone Colour chart, the thought '...and now, why did I set off on this path, again...' occurs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ten0rman View Post
Alternatively, as I understand it, I can use KDE3.5 but I haven't been able to get it up and running. It fails on both openSUSE 12.2.and 12.3 with "kdebase3-SuSE-branding" could not be installed, this using the 1-click installer. In addition, I am required to add 'DISPLAYMANAGER="KDM3"' line to the file /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager. Apparently this can be done either directly or via the YAST module. Unfortunately, I find existing variations on this theme so end up being stuck. I did try altering a line, but then the whole thing crashed.
At this point, I suspect that something is seriously messed up in your repo set up. If that were ok. you would simply be able to go into yast (...or apper...or zypper...), force a refresh of kde 3.5 and be good to go (selecting the GUI at log in time...easy to overlook, so be careful).

However, my suspicion is that won't actually work, so if you can post your current repo set-up in code tags (of course) then maybe something will show up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ten0rman View Post
Thirdly, I understand that I should be able to use Trinity. Now, according to the Trinity installation instructions, the latest version is for SUSE 12.2, so I have reloaded that, followed the instructions and failed. I have found two mistakes on the zypper commands, namely suse instead of SUSE and a missing underscore between SUSE and 12.2. Nevertheless, it still fails saying that "File '/repodata/repomd.xml' not found on medium 'http://ppa/quickbuild.personcomputing.net/trinity/trinity/rpm/openSUSE_12.2/trinity-3.5.13/RPMS/x86_64'. Note that I have tried both 3.5.13 & 3.5.13.1 as this latter number appears to be the correct version number for Trinity. Any ideas?
Which instructions? Where did you get them from and what do they say? If they came from, eg, the openSUSE wiki, and there is something wrong, I'm pretty sure that they will be responsive to an error report or a correction, the rest of the World Wild Web, less so.
 
Old 05-06-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
ten0rman
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Registered: Jan 2005
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Salasi,
Thanks for replying.

Just be a bit careful of trinity; the only trinity I can see in the one click installer isn't that trinity but a completely different one ('system call fuzzing').

KDE4.x.x is the default installation with openSUSE.

Trinity is the fork from KDE3 and the installation info is here:
http://www.trinitydesktop.org/wiki/b...ryInstallation
Para.3 has the mistakes "opensuse12.2" which should be "openSUSE_12.2". Using the wrong info results in a failure to find the files, whilst with the amended info, the files are accepted, but the installation then fails with the failure to find 'repodata/repomd'. The file reference for this file is obtained from the PACKMAN repository and appears correct - as far as I can tell, that is.

KDE3.5 can be found here:
en,opensuse.org\KDE3
which I don't understand! I found it by typing 'KDE3 opensuse' into the Firefox address bar, and selecting the first option which came up under Google. The page that then opens gives 1-click installation of KDE3 along with brief explanations and instructions. It fails to install correctly giving the error message "kdebase3-SuSE-branding" unable to be installed, and also the bit about choosing kdm3 as the default session manager that I can't do.

I am afraid that I can't quite understand what is wrong, etc.

The rest of your reply is exactly what is going wrong - I end up with an unusable desktop, eg today, I changed something and ended up with black fuzzy text on a dark grey background. I have tried downloading & installing other 'themes' (whatever they are supposed to be - I admit I don't really understand them). From further reading, I have a suspicion that the main part of the desktop, and the panel are linked together in such a way as make it almost impossible to separate the two, which would suggest that to get what I want may well require the devising and uploading of an appropriate scheme.

At this point, I suspect that something is seriously messed up in your repo set up. If that were ok. you would simply be able to go into yast (...or apper...or zypper...), force a refresh of kde 3.5 and be good to go (selecting the GUI at log in time...easy to overlook, so be careful).

Don't actually understand this. Whilst I am not fussed about delving in and making changes - after all, at this stage in the game I can always reload - I think it best that you consider me to be an absolute rank beginner who hasn't even got onto the newie ladder.

However, my suspicion is that won't actually work, so if you can post your current repo set-up in code tags (of course) then maybe something will show up.

And again, eh!

I have tried this 1-click installation on both openSUSE12.2 & 12.3. Neither work. Both fail the same way.

Which instructions? Where did you get them from and what do they say? If they came from, eg, the openSUSE wiki, and there is something wrong, I'm pretty sure that they will be responsive to an error report or a correction, the rest of the World Wild Web, less so.
This refers to Trinity Desktop Environment, source as shown above.

FWIW, I am replying using Linux Mint 14 (Mate) which I think is using Gnome. I find this quite reasonable to use. I have also tried Linux Mint 14 (Nadia) which supposedly uses KDE. Again, it seemed reasonable but not overgood. At least I can read everything easily.

I'm going to clear all these systems off the machine, then reload openSUSE 12.3 using one of LXDE or XFCE, and the try loading KDE3 again using the 1-click installer.

Regards,

ten0rman
 
Old 05-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #4
SilentSam
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You should be very wary of installing KDE3. It hasn't been updated in a very long time, and I'm sure that there are dependency issues in using it. Who knows what the conflicts will be when using systemd-udev alongside with KDE3 (which uses HAL).

KDE4 is an amazing desktop environment, but I definitely agree with you that it has it's quirks (with fonts and colours etc.). It is highly customizable though, so you shouldn't have a problem finding a plasma/widget style that suits your needs. I usually change my launcher to Lancelot, and that works for me very well.

I'm a big fan of KDE3.5, and used it a lot in its heyday and beyond (Kubuntu 8.04, OpenSUSE, and Arch), and I can tell you that things simply stopped working for me. Some of the newer backend applications may not work well with the older KDE GUIs. I have yet to try Trinity, so I can't comment on it.
 
Old 05-14-2013, 11:17 PM   #5
Slyfox696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ten0rman View Post
The rest of your reply is exactly what is going wrong - I end up with an unusable desktop, eg today, I changed something and ended up with black fuzzy text on a dark grey background. I have tried downloading & installing other 'themes' (whatever they are supposed to be - I admit I don't really understand them). From further reading, I have a suspicion that the main part of the desktop, and the panel are linked together in such a way as make it almost impossible to separate the two, which would suggest that to get what I want may well require the devising and uploading of an appropriate scheme.
I, too, am having a bit of difficulty understanding what you're wanting from KDE 4, but I'll give it a shot. You should be able to change the theme of the desktop (which would include the panel and the way the K menu looks), and the way the actual windows look when you open them up (for example, the bars which contain the minimize, maximize and close buttons).

To change your Desktop theme, click your K Menu and in the search bar type in "Configure Desktop". Click into your search return and find "Workspace Appearance", under "Workspace Appearance and Behavior" tab. From there, you can easily see how to change both your desktop themes and your windows decorations.

If you want a new theme or decoration, click on the button under which one you want. For this post, I'll go with Desktop Theme. Click "Get New Themes". Once you do, you should be provided with choices of themes. I usually order by Most Downloads and then choose a few themes from there. I'm currently running the "Elegance" theme for my laptop and I think it looks gorgeous.

And if you find a theme you kind of like, but would like to make a few changes too, you can do that as well. KDE 4 themes are located in your user directory. You can navigate to the KDE 4 themes folder with this command: cd ~/.kde4/share/apps/desktoptheme and from there, you can customize another's theme to your heart's content.

Does that help?

Last edited by Slyfox696; 05-14-2013 at 11:19 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
ten0rman
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Hi folks,

First an apology. I've been away. I've also been experimenting and reading an old book on SUSE 9.1,

Second, you are all making a big mistake concerning my level of competance. I really am a beginners beginner when it comes to Linux. Using the command line is a rather large grey area for me - at the moment. I suspect it will become considerably less so as time passes.

I have been trying other distros, mainly the Ubuntu ones and other desktops such as LXDE & XFDE.

Now, unfortunately, the version of Ubuntu I used did not load correctly. Not only that but it screwed up my MBR which meant that I had the devil's own job to get back to XP. This involved, eventually, using a Win98SE disk to get hold of FDISK to restore my MBR. The XP system disk seemed to want to re-install XP - and that I did not want given that all it needed was the MBR repairing. Once I got XP back, I was then able to reformat, or at least delete, the linux partitions thus allowing me to have a clean restart.

So, my current situation is that I can now reload openSUSE 12.3 any time I want to have a clean fresh start. I allow it to install KDE4.x, and then I install KDE3.5 over the top using the appropriate One-Click Installer. It still fails with the same error message as previously described, but actually it does work after I go into sysconfig (???) and change a setting therein. I was therefore wrong in what I said earlier.

Incidently, I have also discovered that GRUB2, left to it's own devices, will not correctly set up dual booting. I have discovered that I have to tell it to use the MBR instead of it's own choice, whatever that was - I can't remember - and then all is ok.

What do I want? I want a black wallpaper for all windows with white lettering and clear sharp coloured icons although to be fair, I read the lettering rather than the icons. I want a lightly coloured panel with black lettering and clear sharp icons. Light grey seems to be best. The point is that this combination gives good contrast and thus makes it easy to read and gives a good contrast between the desktop and the panel thus enabling good differentiation.

I do not want fading, shading, multi-coloured graphics, animated whatevers etc. Any of these fancy inessential effects are immediately removed as and when I find them.

I want to be able to access my most used programs from the taskbar (or whatever it's called). I want to be able to access lesser used programs from a menu system activated by the Start/KDE/Kicker/SUSE button. I want to be able access data either directly on the desktop or via folders located thereon. I want to be able to remove all unnecessary programs preferably via YAST, or if not possible due to dependancies, from the various menus.

Initially, I want to be able to use Firefox, Thunderbird, Libre Office (Writer & Calc) and to be able to transfer my data and settings across from XP. Later, I want to be able to either use replacement programs if necessary or to use WINE/OracleVM to access these programs.

In short, I want to use the computer as a tool, not as a toy - although SWMBO would describe it as a toy! And so far, KDE3.5 is the only desktop that appears to easily offer what I want.

As it happens, I have two almost identical Toshiba Laptops so I am using one of them to experiment on whilst reading up on what I am doing on the other. But, this machine is also my data backup machine so I do need to be careful.

I will have a look at the suggestions you have made, but do remember my lack of competance.

Regards,

ten0rman

p.s. After my failures with Trinity, I emailed someone at Trinity listing the errors I had found and the problems I had. The email hasn't bounced so I assume it got there. I have not had any sort of a reply - zilch, zero, nowt. Not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement. So much for Trinity!

Last edited by ten0rman; 05-24-2013 at 03:31 PM.
 
Old 06-21-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
ajohn
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KDE 3.x has been very hard to die as far as some people are concerned not because 4.x is any different on the surface really but it's very very different under the bonnet.

I'm using 11.4 with it's kde 4. On that system settings is in the program list pop up. Click on it and you will see workspace and application appearance - and many others. Try what ever you like with these till you find something you are happy with. Sounds like desktop themes is the one you want to change which is in workspace appearance.

If you right click the desktop you will see options to add a number of things. Widgets, panels and activities. Widgets do a variety of things. Select that and a number of them will pop up on the bottom of the screen. Add any if you want to. Panels and activities are a different way of grouping things together - a bit like a desktop in some ways.

The desktop will have tab like or round thing some where on it usually to the right. It might be marked new activity if it looks like a tab. Click on that and one of the options will be folder view. Select that and the desktop text size and icon size can be adjusted.

No mention of 3.5 because when you come to want to add applications you are likely to find that few support kde 3.5.

John
-
 
Old 06-24-2013, 04:35 AM   #8
polpak
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Latest stable release for openSUSE 12.3 (GNOME and/or KDE)

at: http://software.opensuse.org/123/en

Almost fell over reading you were
Quote:
experimenting and reading an old book on SUSE 9.1,
BTW admit are some old manuals around here well, rarely dig them out these days, so easy looking at online versions.


IF using openSUSE 12.3 try the Start-Up Document: http://doc.opensuse.org/documentatio...nsuse-startup/

Find HTML versions of most product manuals in your installed system under /usr/share/doc/manual or in the help centers of your desktop.

IF not there download latest PDF or HTML versions of the manuals at http://www.suse.com/documentationhttp://www.suse.com/documentation



NON-Technical happily using openSUSE 12.3 GNOME for a while.
 
Old 12-04-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
enorbet
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Keeping it Simple

Greetings
While I have grown fond of a number of niceties in KDE4, (I like being able to drag any app to the desktop and Bam! it's just linked, and being able to grab the popout and change the size of icons is pretty slick, and ofc more)but I do sympathize with how much more simple and direct v3 was. However I really do suggest you consider that a dead end. It's not worth the pain for such a limited future.

Normally I hate it when someone tries to help but they just offer some alternative not even mentioned in the OP. However in this case, perhaps you were unaware that K apps run in XFCE4 and while it started out EXTREMELY spare and simple, it is now very close to KDE3 in many ways and very customizable without being overwhelming. It's also extremely nimble (read= light & FAST!)

It can be installed in several ways on OpenSuse but I think this is a one-click solution

https://software.opensuse.org/downlo...ome%3Agottcode

I always make my distros boot to CLI and then use KDM for a login and desktop selector so I don't know how SuSe does this by default when you have 2 desktop systems side by side, but because XFCE can run almost all KDE apps, you probably want this. In any case, maybe you should take a look through google results to see if the visuals and concepts appeal to you, but it is a worthy consideration, especially for someone new to Linux.

Best wishes
 
  


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