Sunday, 9 August 2009

KDE 4.3 on a MacBook Pro

I've just updated Kubuntu 9.04 on my MacBook Pro to KDE 4.3. I'd been dual booting OS X and KDE 4.2 for several months. Recently, KDE 4.2 had become my default system on this machine, after I got it set up exactly how I wanted.

Mac OS X is a fine system and is infinitely better than anything Microsoft has to offer. However, there are some things I just couldn't bring myself to like. Finder being one and Virtual Desktops another. For me, Linux just works better.

According to the KDE 4.3 release announcement over 10,000 bugs were fixed and almost 2,000 feature requests were implemented. Those numbers are astonishing for a six month period. The improvements really show when running the system though. This is the first KDE4 version that I could really recommed for full time use. KDE 4.1 was ok, 4.2 was better but 4.3 is really good.

Some of my favourite improvements are:

- Kontact using IMAP is vastly improved. It's now as good as Thunderbird or Mac Mail.
- Stability. 4.3 seems very robust.
- Updates to the FolderView widget so you can see the contents of a folder by just hovering over it.
- The new Air default theme.
- Having different widgets on different virtual desktops.

Oveall, KDE 4.3 feels very polished and functional. I'm really looking forward to 4.4.

Some useful links:
Installing (K)Ubuntu on a MacBook Pro
Updating Kubuntu 9.04 to KDE 4.3


fluxer said...

KDE is not a system, its a desktop environment. Its just the look and feel of whats under the hood (Linux, BSD,...), and you can't boot KDE, you boot linux, and if you have KDE installed then it loads KDE if you're in a graphical session.

TheGreatGonzo said...

Fluxer... you are of course right but for the majority of users their desktop is "Linux" as they have no idea/want/interest to consider using the command line.

I think KDE 4.3 is a fabulous release and if I had a Mac I would be running it on there as well.

malachi1990 said...

If you're interested, take a look at

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree apart from the praise of KMail which is as buggy as its ever been :(
This may have something to do with my tendency to rarely park old emails in relevant IMAP boxes. KMail just borks whenever it gets a sniff of it (~8000 mails). Thunderbird, however, copes just fine.
I've also spent a few nights trying to recover mail after Kmail's spam/virus filtering engine has had a go of said Inbox.
It is, however, prettier than Thunderbird on KDE so if you value chrome over functionality, go for it! :)

Rory Curtis said...

@fluxer - You are right of course. I'm a developer myself, so I'm well aware of the differnce between a DE and the underlying OS :-)

However, we can't assume that everyone reading this knows, or cares. Also, in terms of my computer system, i.e. the combination of hardware and software, KDE is an integral part of that.

Rory Curtis said...

@Anonymous - I've never experienced that many problems with KMail. I currently have three IMAP accounts set up and it's very responsive.

Thunderbird is good too but the integration KMail provides with the DE and the Calendar edges it for me.

Rory Curtis said...

@malachi1990 - I have tried running KDE on top of OS X using However, I never really had any success getting apps running. It's been a about 6 months since I tried, so maybe it's gotten better since then.

Also, that would still leave me with OS X, whereas I now have Linux running natively.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous - I have been using KMail as my primary mail program since 2003. I have survived through many bugs and the latest version is really robust.

I just migrated one of my main mail accounts to a hosted Zimbra account. I moved some 7 Gigs of mail to the Zimbra account (IMAP) from that particular POP3 account. No problem. I have at least 10 mailboxes with more than 10,000 messages and one with more than 20,000. No problem.

You may want to look at your settings. There is a "disconnected" IMAP setting that makes everything work much better.

As for the latest version of KDE, I am running Kubuntu and it's really a significant improvement. Need a little more time to figure out everything that has changed, but the upgrade was painless.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is one expensive way to get a Linux laptop! A quick trip to Dell's website or a Walmart for an HP could have saved you mucho buckos!! (Haven't you seen MS's "you find it, we buy it" laptop ads???)


Rory Curtis said...

@Anonymous - Re: expensive laptop, yes it is :-) I may well buy a different type of machine next time round.

I got the laptop well over a year ago. One of my previous posts covers how hard it was to find a decent Linux laptop at that time.

I refuse to buy a laptop with Windows when I'm not going to use it.

Anonymous said...

@Rory: BTW, did you see the recent bout of articles claiming that laptops bought from Amazon were given "Windows Rebates" for the cost of the MS OS? Just a suggestion that might broaden your search for future laptops. I'm sure a "Amazon Laptop Windows Rebates" Google would turn up the info.


Rory Curtis said...

@Anonymous - Re: Amazon. Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that. I'll certainly have a look.

muhaafiz said...

Looks awesome!