The Blog is Hot

Four great technological advances

Posted in Jolla, kde, opensuse, software_freedom by mschlander on 15/08/2014

#1: openSUSE Factory Rolling Release Distribution

Over the course of the last several months a lot of changes were made to the development process for openSUSE Factory. Meaning it’s no longer a highly experimental testing dump, but it’s now a viable rolling release distribution in its own right. You can read all about the details here. I installed openSUSE Factory in a virtual machine yesterday and it seems to run pretty great. Of course to really judge a rolling release distribution you need to run it for a sustained period of time.

No rolling release distribution will ever be my preferred day-to-day operating system, but nevertheless I’m pretty excited about the “new” openSUSE Factory. I think the changes will enable version whores and bleeding edge explorers to finally have a truly symbiotic relationship with the users who value productivity and predictability in their PC operating system.


#2: KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5

Since I was already testing openSUSE Factory it was a great opportunity to finally get my feet wet with the new KDE Frameworks 5 and Qt5 based KDE Plasma 5 workspace, initially released about a month ago. Obviously it’s still lacking some features and polish, but it’s already usable for forgiving users who know what they’re doing and showing great promise.


#3: 4G on the Jolla

My provider enabled 4G on my subscription and offered to send me a new SIM Card gratis. So now my Jolla is sporting 4G. Unfortunately it only took about 5-10 minutes of speed testing (peaking at 12 MB/s, averaging about 10 MB/s) to use all my available bandwidth for the month, so for the rest of August I’ve been speed dropped to 64 Kbps, but hey, it’s still 4G!


#4: Richard Stallman presenting with a slideshow

Who’d have ever thought they’d see the day that Stallman would do a presentation with accompanying slides? Well it happened, and I think this great use of slides helps him communicate more effectively. Watch the video and judge for yourselves (27 MB, 13 minutes).



Jolla and KDE Connect

Posted in hardware, Jolla, kde, opensuse by mschlander on 29/06/2014

KDE Connect

KDE Connect is a piece of software that integrates your KDE desktop with Android devices. It enables you to share the clipboard, share files, use your Android device as a mousepad or remote control for MPRIS enabled media players on your desktop, have a battery indicator for your Android device on your desktop and more. Even more features are planned. All this is done over wifi.


Jolla is of course the coolest smartphone on the market, it runs SailfishOS, but it comes with an Android runtime (Alien Dalvik) which lets you run most Android apps perfectly fine on the Jolla.

KDE Connect on the Jolla

So I had to see if KDE Connect would work with the Jolla, and at least some of the main features work perfectly. I can now use my Jolla as a wireless mousepad for my KDE desktops, and I can use my Jolla as a remote control for e.g. Amarok. I can also work with the filesystem in the Dolphin file manager, but only the Android runtime folders of the Jolla filesystem are exposed to KDE this way.

Quite a few of the features don’t seem to work – notifications, battery indicator, sending files via the Dolphin context menu (right click) and clipboard sharing.

Media Player Remote Control


How to set it up

1) Install KDE Connect on your desktop (on openSUSE install the package ‘kdeconnect-kde’ from the KDE:Extra repository. Also install ‘sshfs’ if you want to be able to mount the Android folders on the Jolla in Dolphin.

2) Install KDE Connect on your Jolla (personally I installed the binaries from the F-Droid app store, but binaries are also available in Google Play and 1MobileMarket).

3) Connect your Jolla to the wifi of the same network as your desktop computer and make sure you don’t have a firewall running (or allow traffic for the range of ports 1714-1764 for both TCP and UDP).

4) Launch the KDE Connect app on the Jolla and go to KDE ‘systemsettings’ -> KDE Connect and pair your phone with the desktop.

Joined the game

Posted in kde, opensuse by mschlander on 17/09/2013

I finally joined the game (in yet another way).


KWallet is annoying

Posted in kde, opensuse by mschlander on 01/08/2012

This is another post in the common complaints about kde category.

People often complain about KWallet prompting them for the password (too often). So here’s the simplest solution to this:  Simply use an empty password for KWallet, and KWallet will never prompt you for the password again.

Change KWallet Password

If you have already set up KWallet with a non-empty password, here’s how to change it:

1) Run ‘kwalletmanager’ and click on the KWallet icon in the systray – the icon might be hidden so you’ll need to click the little arrow in the systray to show hidden systray icons.

2) Right click on your wallet in the kwalletmanager window and select Change Password

3) Enter an empty password, simply by clicking OK without entering anything.

Disable Akonadi in KDE SC 4.7

Posted in kde, opensuse by mschlander on 18/08/2011

How to avoid the Akonadi PIM framework of KDE is a very frequently asked question. Akonadi is started when logging into a default KDE session – and includes a mysql server – this is a bit of a waste of system resources since (in my personal estimation) the majority of KDE users won’t use Akonadi for anything at all.

So here’s how to make Akonadi not start in KDE SC 4.7.

Step 1
Disable KRunner runners that will start Akonadi. Press Alt+F2, click on the “wrench”, uncheck “Calendar Events” and “Contacts” runners, click on “Apply”.

Step 2
Tell the digital clock not to display calendar events. Right click the digital clock (in your panel), Digital Clock Settings, Calendar, uncheck “Display Events”, click “Apply”.

Step 3
Don’t use applications that need/start Akonadi, such as Kontact/KMail/KOrganizer, Konversation and Kopete.

That’s it. Next time you boot Akonadi won’t start anymore – at least not until needed.

Personally I’m a huge user of Akonadi and the applications mentioned above, so this post should not be seen as any kind of vendetta against Akonadi or KDEPIM developers or anyone else. The purpose is solely to help KDE users who – unlike me – don’t need Akonadi get a leaner and cleaner system.

Dansk netradio i Amarok

Posted in kde by mschlander on 16/04/2011

Nikolaj Hald Nielsen har overdraget vedligeholdelsen af det danske netradio-script til Amarok til mig.

Scriptet er nu opdateret og Amarok-brugere kan således integrere mere end 60 forskellige netradioer i Amarok med et par klik. Derunder DR, Den2Radio, NOVAfm og din foretrukne lokalradio.

Start Amarok, gå til menupunktet Værktøjer => klik på Håndtering af scripts => Hent flere scripts => Søg efter “danish” => Klik på “Installér” => Genstart Amarok.

Rapporter gerne problemer eller hvis du har foreslag til netradio der mangler. Planen er at opdatere scriptet ca. hver 3. måned fremover. I det næste halve års tid vil DR foretage større omlægninger og Radio 24syv vil gå i luften.

KDE is slow – for dummies

Posted in kde, opensuse by mschlander on 23/01/2011

On forums, IRC, mailing lists etc. you get a lot of people complaining that “KDE is slow”. I finally got fed up trying to answer the same question over and over, hence I’m writing this blog post, to explain how most people can solve their problem in a few very simple steps.

Step 1: Check System Activity

If you think your KDE is slow, first check if some process is hogging the CPU.

Press Ctrl+Esc to bring up the System Activity window

if something is hogging the CPU, fix this situation before proceeding.

Step 2: Disable Oxygen Animations

Most of the time perceived slowness of KDE is caused by graphics cards/drivers and various animations not getting a long very well. Additionally some people might perceive all the Oxygen Widget Style and Oxygen Window Decoration animations as slowness – even when they perform as intended.

To turn off the Oxygen Widget Style animations press Alt+F2 and type oxygen-settings go to the Animations tab and disable animations. (This method is only valid for KDE SC 4.5 or later, in earlier versions use systemsettings => Appearance => Style => Configure)

Now go to the Window Decoration section of oxygen-settings and disable animations here too. (This method is only valid for KDE SC 4.5 or later, in earlier versions use systemsettings => Appearance => Window Decoration)

Step 3: Disable KWin Desktop Effects

Like the Oxygen Animations the KWin Desktop Effects might be slow depending on your graphics card/driver – and for some people they might feel slow even when performing as expected. So either turn off effects completely – or figure out which specific effects don’t perform well with your specific combination of graphics card and driver, and disable only those specific effects.

Go to systemsettings => Desktop Effects (in KDE SC 4.4 and older, use systemsettings => Desktop => Desktop Effects)

Step 4: Disable Strigi

Strigi is the file indexer, indexing your files to make “Desktop Search” possible. It can also be a resource hog depending on various things. On some distros it’ll be disabled by default.

If you don’t use Desktop Search, make sure it’s disabled in systemsettings => Desktop Search (in KDE SC 4.4 and older, use systemsettings => Advanced => Desktop Search)

KDE is still slow?!?

Naturally there are a lot more little tweaks you can do to improve performance a bit. But if you’re running KDE on a relatively contemporary computer, and you still think it’s unbearably slow after going through the above steps, you should probably consider just switching to IceWM, FVWM or another lightweight window manager.