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KDE GUI Graphics Open Source Operating Systems SuSE Linux

KDE Plasma 5 Becomes the Default Desktop of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed 60

sfcrazy writes: Jos Poortliet, former openSUSE community manager, wrote in a blog post, "At the time of writing this, the openQA servers were busily running tests and, by the time we publish this article, they should be done. What was being tested? A massive amount of changes, bringing not only the latest Plasma 5.3 and Applications 15.04.1 to Tumbleweed, but also marking the switch to Plasma 5 as the default desktop!" The switch to P5 will also have a massive impact in Plasma 5 development because now there will be more users finding bugs and filing reports to make it even better.
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KDE Plasma 5 Becomes the Default Desktop of OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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  • Why is it news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by allo ( 1728082 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @05:44AM (#49709807)

    Plasma 5 is out for a long time now and the successor of KDE 4.x. So why shouldn't the distros adopt it?

    • Re:Why is it news? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Windwraith ( 932426 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @05:53AM (#49709831)

      Because it lacks a lot of things, has some visual bugs and lots of crashes. Some functions are present at the interface level but won't work, specially stuff related to hotkeys.
      Needs 2-3 more iterations to be public.

      • by henni16 ( 586412 )

        Because it lacks a lot of things, has some visual bugs and lots of crashes.

        Sounds like if they manage to make it lose data and corrupt settings upon upgrading the k* programs, they'll have kept the user experience consistent with 4.

    • Because the past major revision upgrade of KDE was a disaster (KDE3->KDE4).
      Because the KDE folks are putting a lot of work into their Wayland backend so they might push for inclusion of it early on as well.
      It's contraversial because it has the potential to result in another round of great Linux Desktop instability.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What is "Desktop instability" ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17, 2015 @06:00AM (#49709847)

    KDE Plasma 5 is not yet near to be production ready, notwithstanding the 5.3 version. Just to mention a few issues:

    for instance:

    - kwin compositing is not usable on older nvidia hardware with the nvidia proprietary driver 304.x, even if the driver supports opengl 2.1
    - session save/restore is totally broken (at logout the running applications are saved, but then at the next login they are restored to the wrong desktops/activities and in the wrong places/sizes)
    - there is no support for screensavers
    - there is no support for guest sessions
    - plasma can crash when attaching an external monitor or projection screen
    - there is a huge number of missing widgets/plasmoids wrt to plasma 4 (scientific calculator, sensors monitoring, to mention a couple)
    - some widgets are present but broken (cpu load widget misrenders on systems with more than 1 cpu and is not practically dockable to a panel as it takes a huge amount of horizontal space)
    - some widgets make the plasma desktop crash when you try to remove the widget, so that once added the widgets require the manual editing of a configuration file to be removed

    All these are aspects well visible even before having more users finding bugs and filing reports.

    Making something that is not production ready the default is actually *hurting* the product, not helping it, because it creates frustration in its users, makes them bitter about the evident regression wrt what they were used to. If users are given no way to stick to Plasma 4 until Plasma 5 fills their needs they may even jump into other desktops to fix their ability to do everyday work (from what I hear, cinnamon seems a favorite of Plasma 4 orphans). This can have a very negative impact on KDE usage numbers and make the desktop irrelevant, no matter its many qualities and intense work on development.

    Let's hope that Opensuse will at least leave Plasma 4 installable as an alternative to Plasma 5. Kubuntu did not (version 15.04 Vivid is Plasma 5 only). Kubuntu says they provide the alternative via Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty LTS, but this is not really an option: if you are already on version 14.10 Utopic, you can only update to 15.04 Vivid, there is no downgrade path, and you cannot stick to 15.04 either as it shall go EOL in a couple of months. Furthermore, those who are currently on Utopic, probably did the Trusty -> Utopic upgrade because they needed something that is in Utopic and was not in Trusty, so even a re-install to Trusty is not an option to them.

    • Put another way: we already know a laundry list of bugs, and until those are fixed there's no need to force more people to use it to re-report them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        That'd be nice if KDE wasn't horrible at dealing with user-reported bugs. It's always "can't reproduce lol, WONTFIX" or "not important enough" or just sits there forever without anyone looking at it. Then one day it's suddenly fixed without the bug report being closed or anything. Asking for help in forums never provides any answer if you got an exotic issue for whatever reason. They will always come with "delete configs and pray" or methods that don't do anything since 10 releases ago. Again, if anyone eve

        • by udippel ( 562132 )

          You are an AC, and sound like like flamebait. You had better used your real screen name to make more of an impression (OMG, now I have to ...)

          Because you are generally right. I used to help projects of FOSS with bug reports, but almost all of mine against KDE have gone the path into the drain that you described. Often, with requests for debugs, installs of other, newer software (with missing dependencies), and after some years, the standard comment: 'too old'.

          For too long time their governance has shifted i

          • I didn't post AC as flamebait, but because some people takes way too much personal offense at such criticisms, regardless of whether they are true or not.
            Look, I've seen several FOSS projects, including managing my own, and most projects at least ask questions or inquire further. Even huge projects like Chromium or even Ubuntu itself.
            Also note that I said that in some of those cases the bug gets resolved, but not because of the bug report. Seems like they were on some developer's personal notebook instead o

    • - kwin compositing is not usable on older nvidia hardware with the nvidia proprietary driver 304.x, even if the driver supports opengl 2.1

      lol that poor older hardware on driver 304.x just suffers :
      - on some recent new distros, you may need to boot with "nomodeset" or equivalent before fixing things up
      - WebGL is very slow, freezing/unreliable
      - you can't run the port of Counter Strike Source, a game from 2004, on a graphics card from 2006, even if the driver supports opengl 2.1

      and to replace a 32 watt card with dual VGA support (not VGA + DVI only!) there aren't many options.

    • by Windwraith ( 932426 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @06:55AM (#49709967)

      I found myself in that situation, needed something from Vivid and found myself in a desktop that was upside down. After the bad rep KDE4 got for being pushed too early, it's surprising they did this.
      Ended up using Unity for the time being. Not extremely happy. While it works okay there are little annoyances here and there, but at least it works better than Plasma 5. And before someone points it out, yes, I did reset my configs several times, so it's not a configuration issue. This is with plasma 5.3 from backports ppa, 5.2 was even worse.

      - Plasma 4 had the best systray in all the linux ecosystem, allowing KDE native, "new" Unity-style indicators, and old tray icons. Now neither of those work in Plasma 5, leaving empty space or not showing at all. Even Unity has ways to show old tray icons such as Pidgin. When asking about it, was instructed to install stuff like stalonetray...are we in FVWM now?
      - You can't invoke Klipper actions on current clipboard either. Options exist, hotkey config exist, but it doesn't work, it's like half-converted to plasmoid.
      - No more Unity launcher integration, and Icon-Only Task Manager has lost all options. Click on window group function is even slower to use than Unity's.
      - No pastebin, network monitor plasmoids. They are supposedly ported but git activity stopped months ago. In fact git activity for several KDE apps and plasmoids has died entirely. Not hoping to ever see them again.
      - No window tabbing. Nowhere to be found despite options to set hotkeys existing.
      - The window titlebar decorations are massive and cannot be configured. Even Unity allows this now. Huge waste of space.
      - Breeze style refuses to work. If you enjoyed a consistent desktop using the Oxygen theme in KDE4, forget about it now.
      - Icons from all GTK apps are missing.
      - Frequent crashes if trying to configure any hotkeys. Hotkey system completely broken, very difficult to make it remember anything.
      - No attempt to read options from KDE4, it just pits you versus the default desktop no matter what you had.
      - Several apps such as Krusader aren't ported (and probably will never be), brings both KDE4 and "KDE frameworks 5" services when started.
      - Konsole won't allow showing "konsole" in the title. Which means you cannot reliably use tools to select the window with a hotkey. The option is present in Konsole, but will do nothing.
      - Window settings don't get saved if you set them from a window. Changes need to be done in System Settings for them to be actually remembered.
      - Klipper cannot be used in another desktop any longer since it's a half-baked plasmoid now. I'd say it's in pupa stage.
      - Clock plasmoid can't even allow 24 hour time now. AM/PM or nothing.
      - Several options that do absolutely nothing, don't get saved or are obvious remains of KDE4. It's unclear if they will ever work again or just are going to get removed instead.
      - Dumps all of its config files in $HOME/.config instead of something like $HOME/.config/kde or so. Not a big deal but now the folder looks messy.
      - Gwenview is now massively slow when opening a image in a folder with many images. The previous version could handle it and start working instantly, now you require a few seconds before it starts acknowledging your controls.
      - Option to make toolbar icons smaller has vanished.
      - New "classic" app menu is much slower and less direct than the old "classic" menu.
      - khotnewstuff can decide to stop working for no reason and can produce random crashes. No rhyme or reason or reliable ways to reproduce.

      So, yeah, no one would like to use this for everyday work outside of the defaults. Should have remained in the oven for two more releases at the very least. Being unable to roll back while things get better is quite infuriating and has completely disturbed my workflow. But can't go back to 14.10 because 15.04 fixes a vital bug in my system. No good alternatives.

      • At least Plasma doesn't just silently crash for you - on my Ubuntu 15.04 system, it just dies and dumps me back at the login screen (and there doesn't seem to be any way to debug it, nothing in .xsession errors, and no answers on the bug report). I find it totally bewildering that KDE4 -> KDE5 should do this, after they have just about recovered reputationally and stability-wise from the KDE 3 -> 4 mess (and 4 still hasn't completely reached parity with 3 in some ways). The bump to KDE5 should have be

      • Should have remained in the oven for two more releases at the very least.

        The story is about openSUSE Tumbleweed, a rolling release distribution for advanced users.
        Regular openSUSE still comes with Plasma 4.
        openSUSE 13.3 has not even been dated yet and will come with a future Plasma 5 version.

        Apparently you use (K)Ubuntu: Their QA track record regarding anything by KDE is absolutely horrible and their reputation for jumping onto new features way too early. Read the "Suitability and Updates" paragraph of []
        KDE has been absolutely forthcoming. Plasma

      • by rdnetto ( 955205 )

        - Plasma 4 had the best systray in all the linux ecosystem, allowing KDE native, "new" Unity-style indicators, and old tray icons. Now neither of those work in Plasma 5, leaving empty space or not showing at all. Even Unity has ways to show old tray icons such as Pidgin. When asking about it, was instructed to install stuff like stalonetray...are we in FVWM now?

        I've got a pretty good idea why this is happening. The old API for tray icons didn't handle the case where you had multiple systrays correctly (e.g. dual monitors) - the icon would only appear on one of them. The new API fixes this, but as you have noticed not everything supports it. The best solution is probably for someone to go around submitting patches to all the projects using the old API, but that's obviously going to take some time...

    • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday May 17, 2015 @01:30PM (#49712031) Homepage
      Indeed there are still many problems with Plasma 5.3.
      I am typing from it right now, it works for most tasks, but so many configurations that KDE is known for and are dear to my use are either missing (QuickLaunch) or seriously buggy (various hot keys).
      The problems with core applications like Dolphin and Gwenview are for an official release inexcusable.
      The problems with previously working nVidia versions are another regression I was not waiting for, on Plasma4 I could run the latest, now I needed to revert to version 304.

      Yes we need to get on with QT5, it offers necessary tools to prepare for future developments.
      I understand development is faster and easier when you have more testers but to turn all users in to involuntary testers damages the name and fame of the product.
      But I don't recognise what some posters here claim, KDE (or Kubuntu) developers don't listen to or follow up on bug reports, my experience is quite different.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Tumbleweed is NOT the default openSUSE.

    • Considering that the last time I checked, OpenSUSE still has KDE3 repos, I'm sure that it will. I haven't bothered installing it for a year after I had to replace the drive with / on it, but before that, I sometimes logged in to a 3.x session for nostalgia's sake.

    • there is no support for screensavers

      Congratulations, you are among a tiny minority of 2%: []

  • When compared with v4. Unluckily. Kubuntu 15.4 already showed it.
    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      Yeah, and I'm one of the victims. Sleep mode wakes to a black screen. Some windows (kate, konsole...) don't reopen in new sessions; all others reopen on the 1st desktop. 'flat' icon styles are not distinctive enough (all grey). If you use the ATI driver there's no more console and you can't unlock the screen... and more. It's usable, but those things are annoying and unpolished. Particularly after years of very smooth Kubuntu upgrades.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      When compared with v4. Unluckily. Kubuntu 15.4 already showed it.

      Of course Kubuntu did: they were also at the forefront of KDE4 adoption, despite KDE devs explicitly stating that it wasn't ready for widespread use yet, which caused the "KDE4 is terrible and broken" group think that some people still cling to years later. We're just revisiting the same mistakes again with a new number at this point.

      Meanwhile, I'll just stick with Debian and a much-more-stable KDE4. KDE5 isn't even in experimental yet, so it's probably going to be just like last time: it won't get pick

  • More distributions need to drop this bloated garbage and go back to basics. I run a custom arch install with a heavily customized openbox window manager (including the addition of a custom "start bar") and it's amazing. It's extremely fast, works fine with gtk themes, and looks great.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hmm? Why such a sour puss? I use KDE all day every day at work and it works perfectly fine thanks.

  • I upgraded from kubuntu 14.10 to 15.04 last week (an in-place upgrade, not a reinstall), and then immediately added the latest packages from the backports ppa. Everything is working fine for me, no crashes. I realise there are some inconsistencies as not everything is ported to plasma 5 / qt5, and I know some widgets are missing, but overall my experince is positive and I love the breeze dark theme. Anyone who thinks this anywhere near as bad as the kde3 > kde4 transition has a very short memory......
    • I was there. The difference here is that KDE3 to 4 was supposed to be a major overhaul, while 4 to 5 was more of a port to Qt5. The loss of functionality was pretty considerable and made a lot of "remains" of KDE4 stay in place, which makes it feel odd and disjointed. Klipper is a good example.

      In my case my desktop replicated Unity and used a non-standard window layout, only KDE4 was able to handle that strange combination. And personally it worked smooth as butter saving the "close menus when a notificatio

      • ackagers didn't learn that it's not wise to push software undercooked like what happened with KDE4

        Only a single (!) major distribution shipped Plasma 4.0 exclusively. That was Fedora. All others either shipped it next to KDE 3.5 (like openSUSE and Kubuntu) or waited until 4.2 (Debian, Mandriva,)

  • Some is still using suse.

If I set here and stare at nothing long enough, people might think I'm an engineer working on something. -- S.R. McElroy