Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Top 10 Things I HATE about KDE 4

Filed under

I've been trying to like to KDE 4 since before its very first developmental release. I've been a KDE user since my first day in Linux, about the time KDE was at version 1.99 (the version that shipped with Mandrake 7.2). The buzz for KDE4 was humming quite loud and lot of happy users posted how nice it was. I kept trying it and was always so disappointed in not being able to like it. Besides the overall plastic feel, here are the top 10 things that drive me nuts with KDE 4 (and believe me they are just the top 10):

10. Everything is a "plasmoid." And most annoyingly, even desktop icons are plasma widgets. Not only is it fugly, but it also takes up valuable desktop space. It reminds of Windows 98 when I had to buy an extra program just to make the icon text background transparent.

9. Dual monitor separation - What I mean by that is on dual display systems, one has to configure each monitor/display/half of the desktop separately. And it also means that the panel can't stretch out over the two displays, move from one to the other, and you can't move icons from one to the other. They are really almost completely separate desktops. The only thing we can really still do is move windows between them. Thank goodness they wrote that in.

8. Akregator Unread indicator number - In KDE 3 unread articles numbers were bold and IN RED, which makes seeing feeds with new articles much easier than just this 'just bold' method now. If you pick out the right font it's not as hard to see, but some distros' default font make it very hard to see. In any font case, using just bold causes me to have to slow down and look a bit more carefully. My eyes are getting old and this is an inconvenience. I want my RED back!!!

7. Akregator pulls in random order - In KDE 3 Akregator would pull in the feeds in just about the order in which they are listed. But now, KDE 4 pulls in some random order that I've yet to identify. It's not alphabetical. This makes me have to wait until it's all done before I start down the list. Before I could start searching for good articles almost immediately upon clicking Fetch All. And Akregator in KDE 4 pulls in a lot sloooooower than in KDE 3. Again, loss of time and convenience.

6. Can't search for individual feeds anymore - One thing I've always wished for in Akregator is a "Sort feeds alphabetically," but in lieu of that, we could search for feeds by depressing the keyboard letter beginning the feed's name. For example, if I wanted to find in my list, I could keep hitting "t" as it went through the list highlighting each feed that starts with "t." But this functionality is now gone. So, with 1500 feeds, I'm shit out of luck trying to find a particular one inside of a half hour and a lot of effort. I usually just give up. Wouldn't it be nice to have a sort alphabetically or search function for the feed panel or at least have the highlight by letter back?

5. Dictionary widget needs extra clicks and less information - Now instead of the nice textarea for the Dictionary panel applet like in KDE 3, we now have this stupid icon that must be clicked upon in order to raise the input area. And the output is very limited now. Many times it just shows one or two short basic definitions instead of all the uses of the word and, equally or moreso as valuable to a writer with perhaps lesser skills, the extensive thesaurus at the end is gone. Perhaps they changed dictionary databases, but I don't see any way for the end user to configure it, do you? Basically the dictionary is almost useless at this point for anything beyond spell checking.

4. List of open windows too big and doesn't wrap - See how in this picture the list of open Konqueror windows seems to run on passed the top of my monitor? Well, IT DOES! With a monitor with a height of 1050 pixels, that leaves me room to see about 28 or 29 available windows, leaving the rest inaccessible. Taking about 40 pixels for each line in their efforts to make them all nice and shiny is ridiculous. Aaaaand, they don't wrap. In fact, that's the key. In KDE 3 when the windows list got too tall it would wrap, or stop at the top of the display and make a second column where I could still see them, click on one, and bring it above the other windows for use. I still ain't found a good work around for this. In-con-ven-i-ent!!! <heavy sigh>

3. Kmail Wrapping Links - Oh, but the links in KDE 4 Kmail wrap! This is real nice for having actual clickable links - um, no. Now we have to highlight to copy, open a new browser, and paste into address bar. So, better make sure there is no homepage set or else there's another couple extra step added to the hodgepodge. Sometimes you can just highlight the wrapped part and click on the linkable part and the site will come up and you can add the extra part. This rarely works just right. Of course, they didn't wrap in KDE 3 which meant links actually worked in sent or draft mail. What were they thinking? Oh, what's that you say? Turn off word-wrap? Yeah, it's real nice to send folks unformatted emails, that won't annoy them at all. Or better yet, let's go into the configuration and change each time just for the ones with links.

2. Where the fsck is the Konqueror web history?! This one has pstops me more than once. This is a critical bug to users and yet it seems to be way down on the list of priorities to fix. I need it because the power goes off or blinks here quite a bit and the restore session doesn't work if KDE isn't shut down properly of course. So, not being able to look through the history to find my lost links really messes me up. Twice Thursday, in trying to find a work around for number 4, my finger slipped off while the cursor was over "Closed" in the Konquoror taskbar right-click menu! grrrrr! I've been pretty lucky and so far KDE hasn't crashed out to the login yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. And when it does - grrrrrr... Besides, sometimes a person might like to go back and just find something they saw earlier. This one is just inexcusable.

Edit: I found a history - it's not in the sidebar, but up in the menu under GO. It opens up a separate little window, but hey, at least it's here. I don't know why someone didn't tell me about this! Big Grin Anyway, I went off on it cause I googled around and all I really saw on it was the bug report about it not working and someone talking about the bug report being ignored. Sorry KDE guys. Sad

1. Can't stretch wallpapers over two displays - This one is related to number 9, but was the number one and my first annoyance with KDE 4. Now I have to use a separate wallpaper on each monitor, or sorta "tile" the one across the desktop. This is a really ugly solution. Real ugly. Fscking ugly! I have so many cool wallpapers I've yet to use that are just wasted now. Of the below, which do you think is a nicer effect?

KDE 3.5.x

KDE 4.3.x

Bonus: nspluginviewer still broke - 'nuf said there.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Half of these issues are

Half of these issues are KOffice.

The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

re: half

lefty.crupps wrote:

Half of these issues are KOffice.

You mean Kontact? Yeah, but Kontact and Konqueror are integral parts of KDE.


The Desktop wallpaper and separate desktops issue is known and it is being worked on.

Is it really!? I hope so. I read a blog post by aaron (I think it was) not too long ago that stated it wasn't too high up on the list.


The Konqueror list with 33 open windows is an issue, but perhaps you could try using Tabs?

But it's still "out of sight out of mind" and then lots of clicking around to try and find out what I got. And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring up an existing browser window, click to open new tab, copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I think for now the best solution is to just put the link with title in a text file for those I think I won't need until time for the howtos and leftovers at the end of the day. But that still sucks really.

I don't know about yaw, but KDE 4 is not progress to me. It seems like a lot of steps back. And I didn't even mention the resource-hungry problem. So far, PCLOS is the only distro that I can even comfortably use it in. It just don't seem better to me. All the fancy graphics and effects (that I can't even use) don't make up for the loss of usability and functionality.

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I

Yes, I did mean Kontact; I do agree that Kontact is pretty integral to KDE if you require an email app, feed reader, etc. But not everyone has the same needs of course.

> And how to automagically open links found in Kmail and
> Akregator as tabs of existing windows? I'd have to bring
> up an existing browser window, click to open new tab,
> copy and paste the link, and then click the go button.

I an not sure exactly, as my default browser is Firefox (the real one) even though I am using Debian Sid with KDE 4.3.2; links in Kontact open in the current Firefox browser new tab automatically (this was the same with Iceweasel, the Debian version of FF code, which is stuck at 3.0.14 or so). Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

KDE certainly has more work to do, but overall I have been very pleased with its progress, its stability, and its functionality. KDE 3.5.x wasn't built in a day, after all.

Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

re: konq


Do you need to set your default browser to 'konqueror %U' or some other flag perhaps? I have tried a number of options myself and haven't resolved it for you; its always a new window for me, but asking within #kde on Freenode's IRC, others seem to get it in a new tab when they configure Konqueror to open in new tab (under the General settings page), with the default browser just set as Konqueror (no %u flag attempts).

You tried to solve it for me? You asked around on IRC? How sweet of you, thank you so much.

But I don't really want to mess around with that %U %u much - in the kdeglobal? I did the other day and when I'd click a link, I got a infinite number of konquerors opening up until I jumped in the konsole and killalled. Big Grin

Actually, I guess I'll just try to keep my list down to under 28 windows. Big Grin


Good luck with your efforts, and remember that filing bug reports and wishes on goes a long way to making your desktop usable for yourself. Developers don't know what works and what is needed without the community helping them out!

Shoot, have you seen those lists? There was even a story the other day about how the KDE guys are overwhelmed by bug reports and feature requests. I went there looking to see if someone had already put in a request for the stretching wallpaper thing, and the search came out with 100s of hits. Not any were really relevant as far as I read.

But thank you for trying to help me. Smile

oh man, another one

I almost forgot about:

the real transparency of the Konsole sucks because number one it relies on the composite effects that I have to turn off, but the fake transparency we had in kde 3 isn't available.

but even if it's on, it's not usable cause the real transparency shows everything underneath. So, if the konsole is above a window, all that window's text and stuff will show through making the font in the konsole hard to see. The fake transparency in kde3 only replicated the background - so it was always usable no matter what was behind it.

So, bascially, even if composite is enabled for the desktop, you still can't have a pretty konsole.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • XDC2015 X.Org Conference Announced, CFP Issued
  • Persistent Memory Microconference Accepted into 2015 Linux Plumbers Conference
    The topic of persistent memory is back to the future for those of us old enough to have used core memory, but today’s persistent memory boasts densities, speeds, latencies, and capacities that are well beyond the scope even of science fiction back in the core-memory era.
  • AllSeen Alliance Strengthens IoT Open Source Ecosystem With 20 New Members
    The AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry collaboration to advance the Internet of Everything through an open source software project, today announced 20 new members have joined the initiative. This marks the sixth consecutive month with double-digit member growth for the AllSeen Alliance, with more than 70 companies joining the initiative since January. Furthermore, these new members hold expertise across critical horizontal areas of the Internet of Things (IoT) -- telecommunications and networking operators, software developers, IoT platforms and solutions, product companies and smart home automation.
  • Libinput 0.16 Now Supports Devices Like The Chromebook Pixel
    The plans for Libinput 1.0 haven't yielded fruit yet, but libinput 0.16 is out this afternoon as the latest version of this input library used both by Wayland and X11 (and potentially Mir moving forward).
  • libinput and the lack of device types
    libinput uses udev tags to determine what a device is. This is a significant difference to the X.Org stack which determines how to deal with a device based on an elaborate set of rules, rules grown over time, matured, but with a slight layer of mould on top by now. In evdev's case that is understandable, it stems from a design where you could just point it at a device in your xorg.conf and it'd automagically work, well before we had even input hotplugging in X. What it leads to now though is that the server uses slightly different rules to decide what a device is (to implement MatchIsTouchscreen for example) than evdev does. So you may have, in theory, a device that responds to MatchIsTouchscreen only to set itself up as keyboard.
  • AMD Catalyst 15.5 Beta Linux Driver Surfaces
    AMD is finally out with a big Catalyst Linux driver update!
  • NVIDIA/Nouveau PerfKit Implemented Over Gallium3D State Tracker
    Samuel Pitoiset today unveiled his long sought after patches for implementing NVIDIA's PerfKit performance utility as a Gallium3D state tracker for use by the open-source Linux graphics drivers.
  • Intel Compute Stick Performance Surprises Under Ubuntu Linux
    All of the Intel x86 systems were running Ubuntu 15.04 with the Linux 4.1 kernel and the rest of the same software make-up. With the Utilite, Ubuntu 12.04 with the Linux 3.0 kernel was used due to newer releases not being supported by CompuLab. With the Jetson TK1 was Ubuntu 14.04 with the Linux 3.10 kernel, likewise due to NVIDIA not providing any newer official images. Due to running OpenGL (non-GLES) tests, only for the x86 systems are the graphics test results while for all of the processor-bound tests are results for all six systems in total.
  • Qt 5.4.2 Officially Released
    While Qt 5.5 is hopefully shipping at the end of the month, Qt 5.4.2 is the newest stable version today. Qt 5.4.2 has important security fixes for the Qt WebEngine, DoS vulnerability fix for its BMP image handler, and various other security fixes. There's also updates in Qt 5.4.2 for third-party libraries bundled within this leading open-source tool-kit.
  • Qt 5.4.2 and Qt Creator 3.4.1 Officially Released with Multiple Improvements and Fixes
    On June 2, the Qt Company, through Tuukka Turunen, announced the immediate availability for download of the second patch release for the stable Qt 5.4 series of the world's most acclaimed GUI toolkit.
  • It is official, Marble is coming to Android
    First, I would like to announce, I have been chosen as a Google Summer of Code student and my task is to provide a working version of Marble on Android at the end of the summer.
  • Count downs: T -10 hours, -12 days, -30 days, -95 days
    So the first fundraiser I’d like to write about is the Make Krita faster than Photoshop Kickstarter campaign. It’s almost over and is already a success but that doesn’t mean you can’t still become a supporter of this awesome painting application. And for the case you shouldn’t have seen it there was a series of interviews with Krita users (and thus users of KDE software) you should have read at least in part.
  • Take control of your file systems with Konqueror
    Each of these profiles configures Konqueror in a specific way for a specific task. You can then use these as starting points configure Konqueror to meet your specific needs and save a profile so that you can reconfigure Konqueror at any time to meet those needs. Even when configured for one task, such as file management, Konqueror can be used for other tasks such as web browsing.
    I started porting of kdepim to KF5 1 year ago (in may 2014). When I started it I thought that it should be easy. But it was not easy because firstly KF5 was not release and it was not stable, there was some bugs. Secondary kdepim is not just KMail, it contains the kdepim libs + akonadi + kdepim runtime + kdepim apps (as korganizer, kmail, etc.).
  • Cinnamon 2.6 Yields Lower CPU Usage
  • Cinnamon 2.6
    On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.6!
  • Tiny Core v6.3
    Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Core v6.3...
  • Peppermint OS Six Screencast and Screenshots
  • Peppermint OS Six released
  • Peppermint Six is Here!
    Peppermint is excited to announce the launch of our latest operating system Peppermint Six. Lightweight and designed for speed, Peppermint Six delivers on that promise whether using software on your desktop, online, or using cloud based apps.
  • [Slackware] KDE 5_15.06 with a few useful fixes
    Yesterday there was a new release for the KDE Applications. I know that I updated my KDE 5 package set barely a week ago, but there were a few updates that I wanted to push anyway, so adding the updated Applications packages seemed like the proper thing to do.
  • Improving update of existing debian/copyright file
  • Reproducible builds: week 5 in Stretch cycle
  • Qseven COM runs Linux on 14nm Braswell, offers 4K video
    Congatec’s “Conga-QA4″ Qseven COM is based on Intel’s 14nm “Braswell” Pentium and Celeron SoCs, and offers MIPI-CSI, dual SATA ports, and 4K video.
  • Expandable 3.5-inch SBC runs Linux on Bay Trail SoCs
    Axiomtek’s “CAPA840″ SBC supports Atom E3800 SoCs, and offers -20 to 70°C support, wide-range power, dual mini-PCIe, and a “ZIO” connector for I/O modules.
  • Sysadmin adventures: When weather threatens our work
    With summer fast approaching in Boston, I appreciate the FSF office's air conditioning system. It keeps us comfortable in the heat, but during the record-breaking snowfall this winter, the system broke down, and as a result I found myself on an unexpected adventure.
  • Google’s Project Vault Is A Secure Computing Environment On A Micro SD Card, For Any Platform
    Onboard the Vault itself is an ARM processor running RTOS, a secure operating system focused on privacy and data security. It also has an NFC chip and an antenna (for proving that you are in control and that it’s correctly authorized). Finally, there’s a suite of cryptographic services, including hashing, signing, batch encryption and a hardware random number generator.
  • Cavium, System Makers Unveil ARM-Based Servers, Boards
    As Computex 2015 gets under way, server makers like Asus and Gigabyte announce they are using Cavium's ThunderX SoCs in new systems.
  • Tuesday's security updates
  • OpenSSL Certificate Authority v1.0.0
    I’ve recently made many improvements and additions. The series is now available as a standalone document titled OpenSSL Certificate Authority. Make sure you check it out!
  • Majority of websites have serious, unfixed vulnerabilities
    In a recent analysis of more than 30,000 websites, most had at least one serious vulnerability for 150 or more days last year.
  • StackIQ debuts fastest, easiest open-source bare-metal installer for Linux server provisioning
    StackIQ, Inc., makers of the Warehouse-grade automation platform for any large-scale server infrastructure, today announced the release of open source Stacki (short for “Stack Installer”), the world’s fastest and easiest-to-use Linux server provisioning tool. With Stacki, there are zero prerequisites for taking systems from bare metal to ‘a ping and a prompt.’ Alongside this new release, the company made available a one-day, on-site Stacki training and an implementation service for users who want to use the tools immediately for production servers.
  • A good start with room to improve: Thoughts on Citrix's Linux VDA, plus a video demo from Citrix Synergy 2015
    One of the more surprising things in a relatively unsurprising Citrix Synergy was the round of applause created by the announcement of the Linux VDA Tech Preview. I think it’s great, but it’s not the kind of announcement you’d think would garner much more than a murmur, let alone get a larger reaction from the audience than the iBand’s rendition of “Hey Ya!"
  • The Worm (Dell) Has Turned
    Amazing. Wonders never cease in 2015, The Year Of The GNU/Linux Desktop.
  • Is Eye Candy Doomed?
    With the popularity of mobile computing, some thought that windows would not be necessary anymore. The guys at Redmond, for example, made an atrocity of an OS and trumpeted as the latest-greatest. It dismissed the idea of windows because all apps ran full screen. Way to go! Especially if one uses a big monitor...what a waste of screen real estate!

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming