Tag Archives: Blue Systems

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Top 5 GnuLinux operating systems you should try: #1 Linux Mint

In my previous article, I discussed if a user can switch to GNU/Linux or not and I promised to write about the operating systems one can try.

In this series of articles I will talk about the operating systems I install on people’s PCs. The OS I choose for each individual depends on what they want to do with their system or how comfortable the are with software. So in this article I will talk about the merit of each operating systems.

If I am installing GnuLinux on the PC of a Windows-to-Linux convert, someone who just wants it to work without having to spend much times on making it to work then I choose Linux Mint Cinnamon edition.

But why?

Familiar interface

There are many reasons to use Linux Mint – the most notable being its ease of use and simplicity. Linux Mint focuses on what users want instead of driving their own agenda. They have also steered clear of the turn-desktop-into-mobile craze and instead developed technologies (Mate, Cinnamon) that offers the good old interface designed for a keyboard and mouse device.

You won’t have to relearn how to use your computer if you are coming from Windows background due to similarities in the interface. It’s more or less like if you have driven one car you can drive every car.

Hardware support

Due to it’s Ubuntu base it has a very good driver and codec support (the fact is now every GnuLinux distribution is very well supported in terms of drivers and codecs and it’s not exclusive to Ubuntu – the credit goes to people like Greg KH who have worked hard to bring better hardware support for Linux and Ubuntu benefits from his work).

Linux Mint will work out of the box on most hardware. You can easily install drivers for printers or other such devices in Linux Mint.

So the chances are that Linux Mint will just work fine on you current hardware.

Just keep one thing in mind – something Mac users also do, when you buy new hardware make sure it supports GnuLinux.

Dual Boot

In case you are not comfortable with diving into the unknown waters by erasing Windows and moving to Linux Mint, you can also do a dual boot where both Linux Mint and Windows will be installed on the same system. So if you are not comfortable you can switch between Linux Mint and Windows.

Kubuntu opens up for donations

KDE-based Ubuntu flavor Kubuntu is now open for outside donations. The distribution was earlier funded by Canonical, but then as the company shifted focus towards mobile platform. Jonathan Riddell, the lead Kubuntu developer, who was hired by Canonical to develop Kubuntu was reassigned to other projects. Riddell quit Canonical and joined Blue Systems, which funds other GNU/Linux based systems such as Linux Mint, to continue his work on Kubuntu.

Canonical received some flack lately when Riddell said that the project did not receive any money from the company through the donations collected from the download page.

Canonical’s Jono Bacon said that they were looking into the matter and later set-up a system for funds distribution. It’s unclear if Kubuntu received any money from Canonical.

Now Kubuntu team is opening up for external donations to allow the team to invest more resources on making Kubuntu better.

According to the project blog:

Your donations will help finance project expenses such as hardware, travel and cloud computing.

As a community made non-commercial project we welcome all contributions. We are fully transparent with all expenses clearly logged.

The donation page states that “Spending from Kubuntu funds so far has been on travel to UDS, tablet and UEFI hardware, cloud computing for development and team shirts. See the KDE GB accounts for a complete list.”

PayPal is currently being used to collect donations. The donations are handled by With Support, the commercial support partner of Kubuntu. The collected money will be handled by KDE GB UK bank account.

Kubuntu 13.04 released, experience KDE on top of Ubuntu base

Good news for KDE fans, Kubuntu 13.04 is now available for free download. This release brings the latest stable release of KDE’s Plasma Workspaces and Applications 4.10 which brings a new screen locker, Qt Quick notifications, color correction in Gwenview and faster indexing in the semantic desktop.

Kubuntu has it’s own software manager, Muon Suite,  which may not be as eye candy (and sluggish as is Ubuntu Software Center) but it does offer a decent experiece. Kubuntu 13.04 comes with Muon Suite 2 which introduces support for installing Plasma widgets found in KDE’s KNewStuff framework from within Software Center and Muon Discover.

Kubuntu also gets an improved look for its installer.

According to Kubuntu page:

Kubuntu should now be able to support UEFI Secure Boot, a standard for controlling what software can be run on a computer. Supporting Secure Boot, a part of the Windows 8 certification requirements for client systems, ensures that Ubuntu will continue to provide an “it just works” experience on new hardware.

You can download Kubuntu 13.04 from this page.

KDE’s answer to Unity Dash, Homerun 0.2.2 released

There are many ways in KDE to find and launch an application or access files – the simplest being krunner which can be invoked by alt+F2. However, if there are any new KDE converts they might want something like Unity’s Dash or Gnome’s Activities overview.

Homerun is KDE’s answer to that.

The project page explains Homerun as a fullscreen launcher with content organized in tabs. A tab is composed of several “sources”. A source can provide one or more sections to a tab. Homerun comes with a few built-in sources, but custom sources can be written using libhomerun.

Unlike Unity or Gnome,  KDE nicely nestles all applications and also offers a ‘seach’ box within the Kickoff Application Launcher so it’s very easy to find appropriate applications under the appropriate categories, instead of going for a wild goose chase.

Homerun simply complements that and, living up to KDE’s approach of empowering users, enables users to customize their system the way they want.

Homerun developers have announced the version 0.2.2 which fixes some bugs.

Aurélien Gâteau, who works for Blue Systems (the same company that funds quite a lot of KDE projects), writes on his blog:

This new version includes one often requested bug fix: the ability for the “Installed Apps” and “All Installed Apps” to refresh themselves when new applications are installed or uninstalled.  Homerun 0.2.2 also ships with translations which have not been released in previous versions because of some mix up with release scripts :/ (It turns out if your application is not released as part of KDE SC, you should use releaseme, not createtarball)

The latest version will soon find it’s way in your favourite KDE distribution, but f you are running Arch Linux, you can already install it from AUR.

The developers plan to release 0.2.3 within two weeks which should come with more complete translation coverage.

Update: Markus S. rightly points out in comment below that “Homerun is not an answer to Unity. It’s a re-implementation of Plasma Netbook’s “Search and Launch” in QML, just as all other Plasma applets are being rewritten in QML since quite a while. Plasma Netbook predates Unity as well as GNOME Shell.”

How will changes at Ubuntu affect Kubuntu: exclusive interview with Jonathan Riddell

There are some major changes happening at Ubuntu which pans from changing base technologies to community involvement. Ubuntu has quite some flavour and derivatives and there was some concern among the users how these changes will impact these distributions, so we reached out to two major distributions which are based on Ubuntu – Linux Mint and Kubuntu.

In this interview Jonathan Riddell the team lead of Kubuntu talks about these changes and Kubuntu’s relationship with Canonical.

Muktware: What’s more important for Kubuntu – KDE or the base OS – since Ubuntu is moving in a direction which is totally different from the standard Linux distributions?

Jonathan: Kubuntu is the KDE flavour of Ubuntu so the project wouldn’t exist without both of those.

Muktware: What strategy do you have in place as Ubuntu transitions to in-house technologies such as Mir. How will Kubuntu handle this transition to Mir and will the project use it?

Jonathan: It’s too early to tell for Mir. Mir will have an X compatibility mode and various people in Canonical have assured us that KWin and KDE apps will work fine with it but it’ll probably not be trouble free.  We will just have to wait and see.

Muktware:  With so many changes in Ubuntu would Kubuntu ever consider using Debian testing as a base and changing to a rolling release? Why wait for Ubuntu? [asked by Justin Lane on Google+]

Jonathan: Since Kubuntu is the KDE flavour of Ubuntu it wouldn’t be Kubuntu is we all jumped to making a Debian based distro. Debian currently has KDE packages from a release a year old so it doesn’t make much sense to ask why wait for Ubuntu.

Muktware:  In general how is this transition going to affect the Ubuntu-based projects? Have you been in touch with other Ubuntu-based distros such as Xubuntu and Lubuntu? What is their take on this transition?

Jonathan: There are a number of transitions in Ubuntu currently. Mir is in a question above. Dropping Ubuntu Developer Summits is another, that’s a shame as it was a big part of what made Ubuntu a community or peers but they would have been very expensive for Canonical to run (although KDE manages to run conferences on a fraction of the budget).

Another is a proposal to drop 6 monthly releases and encourage use of the development release (or as others would say dropping “interim” releases and having a “rolling release”), this is still being discussed and Kubuntu developers have been very prominant in that discussion.  Other changes that have happened in the last year include moving developers away from unprofitable projects like Kubuntu, Launchpad and Bazaar.

In my case I found another sponsor to let me work on Kubuntu which I’m very pleased about. Launchpad and Bazaar are both in maintinance mode where new features are unlikely to get added. Also the Ubuntu release manager was made redundant which was a shame as that was a role which helped flavours like Kubuntu a lot.

 

I only had contact with the Linux Mint developer recently when Canonical claimed that they needed a licence to use the compiled packages from Ubuntu

 

Muktware: Since Linux Mint/Netrunner and Kubuntu are funded by the same  organization is there is collaborations between these teams?

Jonathan: One of the core Netrunner developers is also a core Kubuntu contributor so we get along great. I only had contact with the Linux Mint developer recently when Canonical claimed that they needed a licence to use the compiled packages from Ubuntu. This is a dangerous misunderstanding of copyright licencing from a company which should understand it. I advised Linux Mint to say some rude things to Canonical but I think they’re too polite for that.

 

Kubuntu has never received any of these funds or seen any better support, so this is a disappointing case of fraud.

 

Muktware: Any plans to change the name of Kubuntu?

Jonathan: Last year I was contacted by a nice non-profit company who want to provide a commercial support service for Kubuntu.  Of course Canonical has the trademark of Kubuntu so they had to get a trademark licence from Canonical which took many months of long and slow negotiations. It was very frustracting to have Canonical be the blocker for part of the Ubuntu community since Canonical should be an enabler for the Ubuntu community (at least when we don’t compete directly).  So we did look at changing the name of Kubuntu but were told by Mark we’d be kicked out the project if we did that which would be a worst case scenario for everyone.

Since then Canonical has started asking for donations when downloading  Ubuntu and one option is to give “Better support for flavours like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu Slider thumb”.  Kubuntu has never received any of these funds or seen any better support, so this is a disappointing case of fraud.

[Update: Jono Bacon, Canonical’s community manager, is investigating these donations and expects the first contribution from Canonical to be made soon.]

 

 

Muktware: Kubuntu uses Canonical’s infrastructure, any change possible there? Is it possible for all BlueSystem funded projects to use a non-Canonical yet common infrastructure?

Jonathan: We are part of Ubuntu so it wouldn’t be possible to use any archive without becoming essentially a different project.  And I’ve no desire to, Canonical providing the infrastructure for Ubuntu is one of the main contributions they give to Kubuntu.

Muktware: We often hear that without Canonical Ubuntu would be nothing. If that be the case we won’t have innovative community driven projects like KDE or hundreds of other such great open source projects. Is it undermining the value of contributors? As a project leader, what is your opinion about community?

Jonathan: Canonical has upset quite a few contributors to Ubuntu Desktop by moving away from integrating community made software like Gnome and developing their own.  While that has less of a warm fuzzy feeling for those of us who love community made software I don’t blame them, Apple and Google have solved Bug No 1 (Microsoft has a majority market share) while nobody yet has got near using community made software.  So it’s quite reasonable to move to a new model.  Anyone who likes to be part of Ubuntu where the community has more say is very welcome at Kubuntu or any other sub-project which is community led.

Muktware: Are you also working on Tablet port of Kubuntu as Plasma Active is now running successful on devices like Nexus 7.

Jonathan: Certainly am, we have images made, alas my Nexus 7 has mysteriously stopped turning on so I’ve not been able to test them and need to track down another Nexus 7.  Always the way with engineering projects of course.

Muktware: As Kubuntu is part of BlueSystems GmbH together with Netrunner and Mint KDE, will we see a merge of these distros? Possibly a KDE OS, like Gnome is planning? Will they move towards Debian or stay with Ubuntu and Mir? Do we need a K-Ubuntu if Canonical is pursuing a Unity-only future? [asked by on Daniel Horak Google+]

Jonathan: Kubuntu is part of Ubuntu and has a Kubuntu Council which is constituted and has a bank account for anyone kind enough to donate money (I always get a fuzzy feeling when this happens).  Blue Systems have been lovely in donating us some money but they have no other say over us, they have Netrunner as their distro to play around with.

Clement Lefebvre: Mir has nothing to do with Linux Mint

Linux Mint is one of the most important open source projects which cater to the needs of users by proving what users want. Linux Mint has been around for a while but it rose in popularity when Unity happened and Canonical started to drift away from the core Linux and open source communities and began doing their own things secretly, behind the closed doors. What Canonical is doing is fine for protecting a company’s interests but many see it as unhealthy for open source.

Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu many users are concerned about the future of this distribution. So I reached out to Clement Lefebvre of Linux Mint to get his views on some of the pressing issues.

Q. What’s more important for Linux Mint – the base OS or the user environment (Gnome/KDE) that it offers to suit user’s needs – since Ubuntu is moving in a direction which is totally different from stanadard Linux distribution?

Lefebvre: Neither. What’s important is the end result, Mint itself, the experience given to the user. How we get there and what components we use to reach our goal is secondary.

Q. What strategy do you have in place as Ubuntu transitions to in-house technologies such as Mir. How will Linux Mint handle this transition to Mir (will you use it?)

Lefebvre: Mir is irrelevant. Nobody ever heard of it a week ago and plans don’t change based on wild speculations. If Ubuntu isn’t clear on what they want Ubuntu to be, that’s their problem. It has nothing to do with Linux Mint.

What’s important is the end result, Mint itself, the experience given to the user. How we get there and what components we use to reach our goal is secondary.

Q. With so many changes in Ubuntu would Linux Mint consider completely switching base to Debian?

Lefebvre: All components are reviewed and expected to work well. Ubuntu is the component we use as our package base. We also use Debian and we also perform R&D on independent package bases. At the moment Ubuntu is the best alternative for us. If that changes we’ll consider not using it, until then we’ve no plans to change anything.
 
Q. Since Linux Mint/Netrunner and Kubuntu are funded by the same organization is there is collaborations between these teams?

Lefebvre: Yes, although it’s important to note that these three projects are led by different people. On the matter at hand though, I think we’re all on the same page. Martin put it really well when he mentioned “a question nobody asked”, ” a solution to a problem which does not exist”. I appreciate your work Swapnil but you’re coming to us for news and reactions on a non-event here…

Q. Linux Mint uses Canonical’s infrastructure (repos and launchpad), any change possible there? Is it possible for all BlueSystem funded projects to use a non-Canonical yet common infrastructure?

Lefebvre: The funding and leadership are completely separate here. Blue Systems funded projects do not share the same infrastructure and they use different ways of working, they’re different projects. In the case of Linux Mint we use Ubuntu repositories for the product itself (which is what I refer to as the component “package base”) and we also use services such as Launchpad, primarily for translations.

Q We often hear that without Canonical Ubuntu would be nothing. If that be the case we won’t have innovative community driven projects like Linux Mint or hundreds of other such great open source projects. Is it undermining the value of contributors? As a project leader, what is your opinion about community?

Lefebvre: The community is the most important asset of a distribution. It provides feedback, ideas, promotion, support, bug reports, artwork, motivation, it’s the living heart of any open-source project. In my opinion you need both clear leadership and good communication with the community. It’s easy when the project is small and it gets harder as the project goes mainstream. Mint is funded by its community, by advertising and by sponsors which do not participate in the decision-making, so its leadership is independent from commercial concerns. This is a privilege of course and we feel really lucky and grateful about this.

I have no comment on Canonical itself and the way it structured the decision-making in Ubuntu. I wouldn’t like to tell other projects how to conduct their business or how to organize themselves, especially in the case of Ubuntu. I’ll simply point to the fact that Ubuntu is a huge success, that it topped the charts for many years, that it’s the most well-known distribution and probably still the most widely used. We can speculate on where it’s going and doubt the decisions it’s taking are good for the current Ubuntu user base, but we can also look at its track record, and what it’s achieved and at all the successful projects it’s already implemented. I don’t think we need to have an opinion on whether Ubuntu is taking the “right” decisions or the “wrong” ones, we simply need to know whether we want to follow or not when they’re changing directions.

Q. Are you also working on Tablet port of Linux Mint as Plasma Active is now running successfully on devices like Nexus 7.

Lefebvre: No. We’re working on making Linux Mint 15 better than Linux Mint 14 on the very same equipment we’ve been focused on since 2006: the PC. If we can make things better for people whose screen is tactile, we’re happy to do so. If it’s t the cost of frustrating desktop computer users based on the limitations of these portable devices, we’re not interested.

Q. As LM is part of BlueSystems GmbH together with Netrunner and Kubuntu, will we see a merge of these distros? Possibly a KDE OS, like Gnome is planning? Will they move towards Debian or stay with Ubuntu and Mir? How much duplication is happening in these three projects supported by BlueSystems? (asked by Daniel Horak on Google+)

Lefebvre: These projects are not “part” of Blue Systems. Linux Mint is an independent project, it’s not for sale and you can’t buy shares or participate in its decision-making or its leadership. Blue Systems participates in its funding, like other sponsors such as Opera and eUKhost, or like thousands of users who donate to us every months. Money is one thing and the help is appreciated, but decisions come from top to bottom, have nothing to do with sponsors and are generally free of commercial concerns. Kubuntu works differently but is also completely independent from its sponsors. Netrunner was founded and is led by Clemens Tonnies himself.

Kubuntu opens doors for the disappointed Ubuntu community

More and more developers and long-time Ubuntu members are getting disappointed with the Canonical leadership and breaking their association with what they call the Canonical community. Martin Owens, popularly known as DoctorMo, is one such developer.

There is special place for Ownes in my life as he directly affected me. He used to maintain the tablet pen drivers for Ubuntu. I have one such device and I was able to use it under Ubuntu because of the work he had done on it. I wrote about it extensively.

Owens is, unfortunately, not happy with the way business is going on at Ubuntu. He says that entity like Ubuntu community is dead and it has been like that for a while:

…I have to be honest, there isn’t an Ubuntu community any more. There’s a Canonical community, an ubuntu-users gaggle and maybe an enthusiasts posse. But no community that makes decisions, builds a consensus, advocates or educates. It’s dead now, it’s been that way for a while.

He then addresses Jono Bacon the community manager of Ubuntu who is in a very tight spot. Owens says:

You were warned plenty. It’s not your fault. You had to deliver decisions against the best interests of the Ubuntu peer community and in favour of the Canonical community. Driving so hard towards product nirvana that peer relationships were driven into the ground. I’m sure you disagree that the community is dead, but eventually those scales will fall or the fake smile will stop. I don’t know what kind of Community you want, but it sure isn’t the peer community I signed up for.

The comments on his blog reflected the same sentiment.

Alen Bell, a lead Ubuntu developer, comments that he “can totally understand your perspective on this, there are quite a few people who are wrapping up their obligations and commitments and disengaging gracefully in this way.”

Bell further writes that he thinks, “Canonical kind of want to reboot the community relationship, so that there is a clearer separation, with Canonical providing the platform, the developer community writing apps for the platform and users using the apps. There is some evidence to suggest that this might be working and they might be attracting a new and different community, it is going to take a few years to figure it out.”

That’s something similar to the kind of community Microsoft had – there was a clear separation among Microsoft developers, app developers and users.

 

Release your code, don’t get locked in, earn your bread, keep up the good work – Martin Owens

 

Where do you go?
Where should these developers go? There are many open source communities out there which are still run by meritocracy and not some company.

Owens writes that “App developers need not change their behaviour, being an app developer doesn’t make you part of the old peer community. Just devs making good apps that should target all distros. Release your code, don’t get locked in, earn your bread, keep up the good work.”

Ownes message is a very important one. If you are an app developer don’t lock your app to one distro only, make it available for all distros so it’s used by the Linux community and not locked to just one distro.

Jonathan Riddell the lead developer of Kubuntu has invited such disappointed developers to come and join Kubuntu. He writes, “If like Martin Owens you’re feeling the lack of Ubuntu community and wanting an Ubuntu community that cares about everyone’s contribution, doesn’t make random announcements every couple of days that have obviously been made behind closed doors and cares about a community made upstream desktop (and err.. whole graphics stack), you’d be very welcome here at Kubuntu. Join us in #kubuntu-devel.”

Canonical pulled the plug on Kubuntu in 2011 when they stopped sponsoring Riddell’s work on KDE. It was Blue Systems which came to Kubuntu’s rescue and funded the project.

Riddell’s call reminds me of those days when Novell made a controversial decision and signed a patent agreement with Microsoft [PDF]. Mark Shuttleworth made a call to openSUSE developers to come and join Ubuntu. He wrote, “If you have an interest in being part of a vibrant community that cares about keeping free software widely available and protecting the rights of people to get it free of charge, free to modify, free of murky encumbrances and “undisclosed balance sheet liabilities”, then please do join us.”

None of this looks very good for Canonical which is already attracting quite a lot of criticism lately over Dash search, Ubuntu Touch and Mir.

Kubuntu 13.04 Alpha 2 Released Along With LTS Update

Kubuntu fans can now test the second alpha of 13.04 which comes with KDE SC 4.10. The testing image are available for download from this page.

The Alpha 2 Raring Ringtail snapshot includes a the 3.8.0-6.11 Ubuntu Linux kernel which is based on the the upstream v3.8-rc6 Linux kernel. Notable changes include initial support for arm multiplatform support for TI omap3/4 and Freescale imx6, alx ethernet driver support, misc config updates and security fixes.

Kubuntu also supports UEFI Secure Boot, so if you have a Windows 8 certified system, you can test if secure boot is working finde under Kubuntu or not.

LTS Updates
The Kubuntu team has also announce the updates to its stable LTS release, 12.04.3 which adds all the current bugfixes and security updates to keep your systems fresh. If you are already an LTS user, there is no need to download the latest version, just run an update.

Where is Ubuntu alpha?
If you are awaiting for Ubuntu’s alpha releases, I should remind you that Ubuntu has changed it’s release schedule and there won’t be any alphas. There will be only one ‘beta’ release before the final release. If you are interested in testing Ubuntu, you can always download the daily images. This change in plan makes it less stressful for Ubuntu developers to prepare a release every month and focus more on a stable final release.

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KDE 4.10 Released, Fastest KDE Ever

The KDE team has announced the 4.10 releases of KDE Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform. It brings many improvements, features and polishes the UI even further, which already is one of the most polished, stable and mature desktop environments.

With this releae the Qt Quick framework has been deployed in many Plasma Workspace components. In general, consistency, stability and ease of use have been improved considerably.

For developers it is now easier to build widgets, entirely new Plasma Workspace layouts and other custom enhancements. Since the wallpaper engine has been updated to QML, it is easier to write animated wallpapers. From security point of view, the new QML-based screen locker makes Workspaces more secure.

KDE’s saner Global Menu integration
With 4.10 KDE users can experience a much more sane global-menu like implementation without interrupting their workflow.

The new KDE appmenu enables a common menu for multiple applications running simultaneously. It has an option to display a top screen menubar—hidden by default—that appears when the mouse is moved near the top edge of the screen. The menubar follows the window focus so it can be used in multiscreen environments. There is also an option for the menu to be displayed as a sub-menu of a button in the window decoration. The menu can be displayed on the screen wherever the user wants it.

Better semantic search across desktop
KDE 4.10 introduces a new indexer, which makes indexing faster and more robust. One major improvements is that it first quickly indexes the basic information of new files (name and mimetype) so the files are available at once, and then delays full data extraction until the system is idle so you won’t experience ‘slow’ system when it’s indexing files. Unlike Ubuntu KDE continues to give users more power over their systems and search is no exception. Users can now disable indexing of Audio, Images, Documents, Video’s and Source Code. The search and storage user interface and Backup have seen improvements as well. The introduction of the Tags KIO slave allows users to browse their files by tags from any KDE application.

Dolphin, the best file managers ever
There has been an impressive number of performance enhancements. Loading folders, both with and without previews, is significantly faster and requires less memory while using all available processor cores to be as fast as possible. Minor improvements were made to search, drag and drop and other areas. Dolphin also benefits from the improvements in the KDE semantic storage and search backend, reducing the resources needed for metadata handling.

Transferring files to and from a phone or other mobile device has become easier with support for MTP devices, which show up in the Places panel. The size of Panel icons can now be changed, and other usability and accessibility options have been added.

A detailed review of KDE 4.10 is coming soon. If you are a KDE user, you must join the KDE community on Google+.

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A Brand New Display Monitor Manager Is Coming For KDE

KDE developers Alex Fiestas and Dan Vrátil are working on a brand new KDE screen management solution. The current display manager has its shortcoming which the new manage will address. As Fiestas writes on his blog that the brand new screen manager “will solve most of the issues that we currently have on the desktop, making the configuration of monitors either auto-magical or super simple.”

The newly developed manager makes things easier for a multi-monitor user  – just plug in your monitor and start working.

Roadmap for this new Display manager was previously explained on the Dan Vráti’s blog. Major working part is kscreenlib which provides information about available/connected/enabled outputs and notifications about their changes. They are also working on KDED daemon which would listen for these events and depending on connected monitors (every monitor can be uniquely identified by it’s EDID) it would load specific configuration.

New KDE Screen Management from Àlex Fiestas on Vimeo.

Dan Vráti has designed a new UI written in QML which allows a user to configure displays just by dragging them around rather then selecting options from combo box. It will be part of KCM but users doesn’t needs to go in KCM every time they connect new a display. Already known or previously attached monitors will be configured automaticlly based on previous settings. If you connect a new monitor then a small window will popup where you can select the position of the new display —  left/right/clone of the active screen or open the KCM and perform more advanced configuration.

They also planned to use Kwin scripting engine for displaying black overlay over the entire desktop when changing display configuration in order to hide Plasma flickering and resizing from users. This offer a smooter transition.

If you want to test out these new Display manager, Steps are given on the blog:
1) Get and compile source of klibscrren and kscreen from KDE source repos.
2) Issue following commands in terminal:

qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.unloadModule randrmonitor
qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.setModuleAutoloading randrmonitor false
qdbus org.kde.kded /kded org.kde.kded.loadModule kscree

If you are a KDE user, you may want to follow the KDE Community on Google+

 

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