KDE 4.4 - configure it to look half decent, speedy and well behaved

Because it still makes sense … as a user, I think KDE has a plethora of software that makes it work well. You just need to get rid of the shit that you dont need.

My Kubuntu 10.04 takes up 300mb on startup - and I know that it takes a lot more the majority out there. How do I do it:

  • Get rid of Nepomuk and Strigi - you cant uninstall it, but disable it.
  • Disable akonadi (you would think this would be easy to google!)

kwriteconfig –file kres-migratorrc –group Migration –key Enabled –type bool false

  • You also now need to get rid of all your dependent software - Kmail, Akregator, Kontact, Korganizer, Kalarm, Ktorrent (I have an alternative), Quassel, etc.
  • Install qBittorrent (a thoroughly superior and lighter client IMHO), for heaven’s sake use Thunderbird (quit the ”die GTK!” shouting), Xchat and Chromium, Choqok (for Twitter).
  • Preserve your sanity and configure to have a different Activity for each Desktop (different wallpapers for each virtual desktop !!)
  • Most importantly, quit the Konsole bullcrap and use the best, fastest, lightest and most configurable (tab supporting!) term ever made - mrxvt .Use my mrxvtrc if so inclined - which sort of mimics the konsole keymappings (ctrl-shift-left and right work!)
  • Atleast use Lucida Grande or Droid fonts on you desktop (enable anti-aliasing and make sure you disable the “Exclude range”). Just unzip the TTF or OTF to your ~/.fonts directory and run fc-cache -f -v

Optional and cutting edge:

  • Use Lancelot, the next gen KDE menu and runner - Ivan is highly responsive to filed bugs and it works quite well.
  • Use plasma-widget-networkmanagent instead of the default Knetworkmanager
  • Drop the default Oxygen/Air theme - it looks like crap and consumes too much CPU. I use QtCurve for widget style, Shadowport for Workspace theme and Kanzi for icons.

[caption id=“attachment_377” align=“aligncenter” width=“300” caption=“My Desktop”] KDE 4.4.3 desktop screenshot [/caption]

Why does KDE still make sense ?

Kdiff3, Kompare and Kdevelop simply have no parallel if you are a programmer. I wanted to read CHM documentation on Linux - Kchmviewer is the best. qBittorrent kicks butt - it is much better than Transmission or Ktorrent (qBittorrent was the first client to support the magnet protocol, if I’m not wrong). Kate as an editor is pretty decent (if you enable it’s snippets Plugin .. though I personally use gvim)

But I want to conclude with a rant - the KDE community is dogmatic enough that requests for lean, mean usable KDE is frowned upon: it is the rabid fanaticism of OSX without the good looks. I tried building kdelibs by disabling Strigi and I was able to - I dont understand why someone who has a lot more experience than me, cant (or wont create) a version without all these dependencies… in effect a stripped down KDE.

And the theme - transparency and lots of wasted space dont look good. For instance look at the Avant theme idea (created by Neil Patel) .. efficient usage of space and minimalism. Somebody please create this!

Let me try - maybe I’ll get half the way at creating a stripped down KDE.

, Neil Patel


KDE 4.4 - configure it to look half decent, speedy and well behaved


May 23, 2010

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