Upgrading from KDE 4.2.4 to KDE 3.5.10 in Slackware 13

So a few days ago, Slackware 13.0 was released. Unfortunately, Patrick Volkerding greatly deviated from the basic philosophy to which he’s faithfully adhered for years with nearly every release — one of stability, simplicity, and only including elements in the distro that are thoroughly tested and functional — and replaced the highly stable, robust, and fully tested KDE 3.5.10 with the much less stable, buggy, half-baked and in fact barely usable KDE 4.2.4.

I wrote the other day that I considered this a minimum of a year or so premature, and had decided sight unseen that this was a bad decision, based on my extensive attempts at using KDE 4 releases as recent as 4.3 (on OpenSUSE 11.1).

Turns out I was right. KDE 4.2.4 on Slackware 13 is a disaster. I did a full install of Slackware 13 last night on VirtualBox and found KDE 4.2.4 to be just as unusable on Slackware as I had found it to be in Kubuntu when I tried it out a couple of months ago. Not surprising, since I didn’t expect that Patrick would have been fixing the massive usability issues intrinsic to KDE 4 just by including it in a Slackware release; that just isn’t a realistic expectation. Still, I had to get a baseline, and that baseline was about what I had expected.

Then, I set about finding a way to upgrade KDE 4.2.4 to KDE 3.5.10 on Slackware 13. I was successful in this today, and here is my writeup of how I did it.

Step one: Install Slackware 13.0 WITHOUT KDE or Qt4

I basically approached this as a normal Slackware install, but I did a menu install, which allowed me to select individual packages to install.

In this process, I excluded all KDE packages, and any that I found that had anything to do with Qt (the development platform on which KDE 4 is built). This doesn't affect anything in Slackware, other than the applications that depend on those elements, but we don't want those anyway, since we'll be replacing them with the KDE 3.5.10 versions. The rest is just a normal Slackware installation, so do what you would normally do, just without the KDE or Qt components.

Step two: Get what you need from Slackware 12.2

Slackware 12.2 is the last release that packaged a decent version of KDE, so if you don't have a copy already, you'll want to get a copy of it. I downloaded mine -- the ISO for the DVD -- from here.

From there, you can either mount the ISO (by logging in as root and typing mount -o loop /path/to/slackware-12.2-install-dvd.iso /path/to/mountpoint) or burn the ISO to a blank DVD and mounting that.

The Slackware 12.2 DVD will contain everything you need to make this work. Open up the DVD either with a terminal or your favorite file manager (as long as it's not Konqueror, since that's not installed yet!), and go to the slackware directory and copy the contents of the entire kde folder you find there.

Then go to the slackware/l folder and copy a few other things you'll need.

Just to be complete, here is a list of all the files you'll be needing.

Files from slackware/kde:
amarok-1.4.10-i486-3.tgz
k3b-1.0.5-i486-2.tgz
kdeaccessibility-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdeaddons-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdeadmin-3.5.10-i486-4.tgz
kdeartwork-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdebase-3.5.10-i486-3.tgz
kdebindings-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdeedu-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdegames-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdegraphics-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdelibs-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdemultimedia-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdenetwork-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdepim-3.5.10-i486-4.tgz
kdesdk-3.5.10-i486-3.tgz
kdetoys-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdeutils-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
kdevelop-3.5.3-i486-3.tgz
kdewebdev-3.5.10-i486-2.tgz
knemo-0.4.8-i486-2.tgz
koffice-1.6.3-i486-7.tgz

Files from slackware/l:
arts-1.5.10-i486-2.tgz
dbus-qt3-0.70-i486-2.tgz
qca-1.0-i486-4.tgz
qca-tls-1.0-i486-6.tgz
qt-3.3.8b-i486-2.tgz

Put all of these packages in a single folder on your Slackware 13 machine in preparation for the next step.

Step three: Use pkgtool to install KDE 3.5.10

From a command line, on your Slackware 13 box, su to root and then cd to the folder in which you copied all of those packages from step two.

Once you are there, type pkgtool and select the current directory when it asks you from where to install packages.

It will then start installing them, one by one, and it will prompt you for each and every one of them. Once this process is finished, reboot just for good measure.

Step four: Set KDE as your default window manager

This one's easy. Once you've got your Slackware 13 machine back up from rebooting, su to root again, and then type xwmconfig to bring up the X-Windows management screen. Select KDE from the list (it should be the one right at the top if everything in step three installed correctly) and hit enter.

Once you exit out of xwmconfig, type exit so that you're back at the command line as your own user account, and type startx to start KDE.

IT WORKS!

I did all of this on a virtualized Slackware 13 machine, with limited resources, and so far in my testing, everything works. I haven't tested K3b yet, as I've decided not to push my luck and attempt CD/DVD burning from a virtual machine (that just sounds problematic no matter how I think about it, so I figure it probably isn't a valid test), so let me know if any of you have this set up on real hardware and get K3b to work.

But everything else I've tested is functional... Konqueror, Kontact, Amarok, KOffice, sound, it all seems to function perfectly!

I'm kind of itching to test this out on real hardware; once I do, I'll do a quick blurb to let everyone know what worked and what didn't, but I'm optimistic about this for the first time in days. There IS an upgrade path from Slackware 12.2 to Slackware 13.0 without losing the last decent KDE release... it just takes a little work.

Good luck!

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34 thoughts on “Upgrading from KDE 4.2.4 to KDE 3.5.10 in Slackware 13

  1. Pingback: Norbert Evenich (evenorbert) 's status on Tuesday, 08-Sep-09 20:40:25 UTC - Identi.ca
  2. Thanks for the writeup. I, too, am not happy with KDE4. I’m using 4.3.1 on Arch linux on my laptop to try it out. It’s getting closer to being usable, but there are some “features” that I just can’t stand. I’m not ready yet to use it on my desktop pc (that is happily running Debian Lenny with KDE 3.5.10). I love 3.5.10 and I hope KDE4 will eventually be as good.

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking about trying out slackware, but since slackware 13′s KDE4 is older than arch’s, I wasn’t going to bother. But using your method, I’ll be able to try slackware with my beloved KDE 3.5.10. So I’m gonna give it a shot.

    Is there any particular slackware installation how-to that you know of that is a must-read?

    • Is there any particular slackware installation how-to that you know of that is a must-read?

      As a matter of fact, there is. You can find a really excellent writeup right here. And of course I’ll be happy to answer any questions I can as well. I’m particularly curious to see how KDE 3.5.10 runs on Slackware 13 in the real world. Keep me posted!

      Trent

  3. I’ve been asking myself how possible it would be to create an “upgrade kit” of all the Slackware 12.2 /KDE3 packages and a script for uninstalling and installing everything, presuming a default install, including KDE with one command as root, in one directory and rolled up in a tarball.

    In principle, it seems incredibly simple, though I don’t know the command for removing software. I just checked the manpage for installpkg, and ther wasn’t an option.

    My scripting abilities are primative to say the least, but just an executable list of uninstalls and installs might work, AFIK Any thoughts?

    • I believe the command for which you are looking is removepkg.

      I was contemplating throwing something together too. It in theory shouldn't take much, considering that Slackware already has the packaging framework with which to work...

  4. The primary question, I guess, not having any experience is whether the packages could be just be uninstalled with removepkg as directly as by apt-get remove, in other words, just by the path and not by the specific URL.

    I’m embarrassed to tell you how long I’ve been trying to get Slackware working on this machine, or something just as satisfactory, so I won’t. Okay, looks like I just did.

    It’s just been months of doggedly, stupidly installing, reinstalling, and rereinstalling. Ive probably been averaging an install a day since March. Slackware 12.2 had a driver problem that prevented me from getting X working. A guy in a chat room who’s a lot more knowledgable about Slack had the same problem and couldn’t fix it. So I tried to fill the vacancy wit rotating Debians, Ubuntus, and semi-slacks. The only thing that was doing it for me before today was SLAX, which I was running as a full-time live CD.
    All this is a long winded way of saying I may not get around to attempting an upgrade kit for a while, as I have housework, and non-computer things to attend to. The weekend before last I got a sunburn. What sort of vampire-geek doesn’t get any sun before Labor Day?

    Anyway, if you get to it first, I’ll test it and seed it if that’s what’s called for. If not, I hope to get to it by and by. Thanks for helping me make the final lap of a long long journey. Slackware with Crazy KDE wasn’t quite making it.

  5. Hey! What about a remixed Slackware DVD? What could be easier than that?

    pkgtool seems to adapt itelf to whatever packages are in the directory. So maybe, just maybe, simply replacing the qt4 and KDE4 packages with KDE3 and qt3 packages with isomaster will make a Slackware 13 with KDE3 installer CD! I have a hard time believing it could really be that easy, but I created a remastered CD and I just finished burning it since I started this post.

    I’m sure that if you can upgrade Slackware13 on the hard drive this easily, a Slack with KDE3 installer disk is completely feasible, even if I’m not quite there yet. When you talk about being dissapointed with Slackware 13, keep in mind that Patrick knew that when he chose to go with KDE4 that he had already given us the tools we needed to remedy the situation ourselves.

    Gonna try my new DVD, Wish me luck!

  6. Update:

    The new DVD boots like it’s supposed to, which is good but not decisive. Still haven’t tried to install. I only have the one computer, and my cats knocked all my cds on the floor so I had to make a new Slax CD so if things really mucked up I would have an OS to run.

    Started to insall and then I realized I was abut to delete the iso I was supposed to be testing. It
    s so nice when you realize that you’re doing something moronic BEFORE it’s too late.

    Copying the .iso to the external hard drive right now. The it’ll be time to try again.

    Man, if I pull this off, it’ll be a feather in my cap. I could use one of those… but it really does seem too easy, too good to be true.

    This is it…

    • but it really does seem too easy, too good to be true.

      Hey, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I tried the method above for installing 3.5.10 on Slack13… and it shocked and amazed me by actually WORKING, at least as a proof of concept.

      You never know.

  7. So close! The install seemed to go perfect, and then I rebooted, and got hung up while HAL was supposed to be activated. Based on the output, the problem seems to have something to do with dbus. I had remembered to include dbus-qt.tgz, but not the .txt file and .tgz.asc file, so I added those, and am remastering the DVD yet again. Hope I can find a blank disk somewhere.

  8. The install from the second DVD remix also kept breaking down, but in different times and in differnt ways. And I did get to see a KDE3 desktop. The blank DVDs i was using were really the dregs, old DVDs that had been sitting around for months, maybe even a couple of years. So I got some new DVDs burning DVD #3 right now with SLAX.

    And it’s done. Rebooting!

  9. No, it just didn’t work, not yet anyway. So this tutotial remains the best way I know of to run real KDE3 on Real Slackware 13. I think that we could make it a lot easier by bundling up all the necessary packages in a tarball and seeding it.

    However, I’m not running Slackware at the moment. There seems to be a problem with Slackware 13.0 freezing up on this machine. The same thing happens when I try to run the latest version of Sid on this machine. Is there something in the latest software that my old Dell Optiplex does not like.

    So instead, I’m running Vector Linux 6 Light, and I’m installing KDE3 via gslapt. Vector Linux Gold, Vector Linux Light, and Zenwalk are all Slackware-based distros that install with something other than KDE as the default desktop, and allow you to add the KDE of your choice later. This might be a viable choice for some.

    Also, Slax still uses KDE3 by default. I suspect that it will continue to do so for a while. A small size is a big part of Slax’s cachet, and the KDE4 modules for slax are (as I recall) something like twice the size of the default CD.

  10. heyy!! there are two thing you are missing: build the dbus-qt3 bindings and rebuild kioslave-media.. this is necessary to get the HAL&KDE automounting working!!

  11. Well, Carlos, you understand that the method for installing KDE3 into Slackware 13 given in this blog works perfectly well, and it did work for me, I was just trying to create a KDE3 version of the Slackware 13 installer disk… and failing I think you may have provided a clue as to why I was failing, though I’m not sure how I’d go about fixing it.

  12. Pingback: KDE 3.5.10 package released on Slackware.com for Slackware 13 « The Linux Critic
  13. The only problem I see with your approach is with applications like Kopete that rely on protocols defined outside.
    Kopete from KDE 3.5 stopped working with Yahoo recently, since Yahoo changed the protocol. The fix is in KDE 4.3.1, but not backported to 3.5.
    I am still on Slack 12.2, since KDE4 is not all that usable yet. I’m trying to get Kopete from 4.3.1 running (there was a post from somebody on Ubuntu: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=7937521) but while everything compiles, kopete doesn’t show its UI (–help, etc. works, but it fails connecting to dbus.)
    Oh well, maybe it is time to switch to Pidgin…

  14. pkgtool? Copying the files around? Why not just use installpkg on the appropriate .tgz’s?

    cd …/slackware/kde
    installpkg *tgz
    cd ../l
    # The next is one long line
    installpkg arts-1.5.10-i486-2.tgz dbus-qt3-0.70-i486-2.tgz qca-1.0-i486-4.tgz qca-tls-1.0-i486-6.tgz qt-3.3.8b-i486-2.tgz

    cp? pkgtool? Geez

  15. Thanks for the step-by-step guidance – excellent. I did it a slightly different way, which some GUI users on a fresh install might find useful:
    1) Install Slackware 13 from the DVD in the usual way, but when the option comes up, deselect KDE and continue the installation and when the option comes up, select xfce as the desktop for now. Once installed, login as root and type in startx.
    2) Once in xfce, go to etc to select the run level 4 in inittab via mousepad and save the change.
    3) Copy all the 27 files noted above to the root folder and in the terminal, type in the command upgradepkg *.tgz. This will produce errors for those packages not yet installed, but will upgrade qca and qt, which are currently on the system (I don’t know if this is essential, but when I tried installing first, it left the original qca and qt packages alongside the new ones). Then, leaving all packages in the root folder, type in installpkg *.tgz, which will install everything.
    4) Then type in xwmconfig and select KDE, which should be at the top of the list. Reboot the machine and the KDE login should be there.

    I did it this way as I’m more confident with a GUI and thought others might find it a useful way to do it. So far, everything works.

  16. Thanks Trent for the write up. Whenever I do a new linux install I get the latest slackware and yesterday found 13 was out (I know, I’m late to the game). I downloaded the iso, burned it this morning and then proceeded with the install. With KDE4 I found it extremely wasteful in it’s screen space considering the limitations of the netbook I was installing it on (an acer aspire one with limited vertical resolution). After I threw up messing with KDE4… I already tried to get the 3.5.10 KDE from a 12.2 install disc and pkgtool installed the whole kde directory but was missing the other needed packages. That’s where I found this after some googling and I am grateful for the write-up.

    I know what they were thinking with KDE4, but I heartily object. The meshing of Vista/7/OSX10 into an interface is not anywhere near as useful or clean as the classic windows functionality of KDE3.5.10. I would think with slackware 13 we’d get the option of 3.5.10 or 4.whatever … with it defaulting to 3.5.10 as the standard, but nope.. someone is trying to be all edgy and superficial over clean functionality (probably a huge Mac fan). Atleast Vista gave the option of still using classic menus (same for XP) and turning off much of the junk… no such luck with KDE4.

    Whatever the case, I had installed 4.whatever today with my slackware install… and just over wrote it with 3.5.10 when installing the packages.

    No this is not the most eloquent way of handling it but it worked. So anyone that mistakenly installed KDE4, by installing 3.5.10 you don’t have to use the xwmconfig to change to kde. Just install everything and it’s good to go.

    I did notice that one of the tools I ran in 4 did start up in 3.5 … so there may be some benefit in installing 4 before 3.5. Not sure yet if this is true, but worth checking into for the more hardcore than myself. I tend to spend more time cross compiling Slackware for other unsupported systems (and compiling custom kernels) for embedded systems rather than tweaking X. I never would have guessed they would have made such a boneheaded decision as to drop a standard interface like kde3.5 when 4 turns out to be so drastically different and backwards from what Slackware has previously been all about.

    Note to the powers that be in the slackware comunity: Leave KDE4 for the other distros that are aimed at giving the end user pretty stuff to compete with Windows7 & OSX10. Most hardcore slackware users want functionality over pretty. If nothing else, at least put in the option of which KDE to install so the hardcore slackware users can have the choice.

  17. Ive been using Slackware since the first time they shipped a disc with a Linux book (version 1.something).

    Its always been my “go-to” Linux because although the learning curve was horrendous (as someone with no prior Unix experience up to that point), you got a real sense of achievement when things worked. And its definately made me a better coder all-round. In the space of a year, I went from ab-initio to being able to write my own kernel code. It took much much longer for me to achieve that on windows.

    I have a lot to thank Pat for, not least of which because his name shows up in logfiles on devices all round my home and even in mine and my wifes cars.

    But over the last week or so, Ive come to the conclusion that my love affair with Slackware is about to become a thing of the past.

    The same things that attracted you to Slackware were the very things I loved about it. It felt tight, powerful and flexible. And none of your computational horsepower was eaten up by applications designed for people who dribble and say “ooh sparklies!”.

    Over the years Ive tried out every version of every distribution as they have become available. And seeing how much crap they shove onto your machine – and how much control they wrench from you – always had me removing them within hours.

    I finally got around to taking Slack13-64 for a test run a few days ago and DESPITE having deselected a lot of “candy apps” (ya know, stuff designed for mouth breathers who rate how something looks above what it DOES), I still ended up with something that was as useful as tits on fish.

    Honest to goodness, even windows 95 was better than KDE4 is and I am really annoyed that after buying books, tshirts, discs and supporting what I believed to be a distribution that had the same goal as me (to be efficient, lean and effective) has turned turtle and given way to bloatware.

    When someone says something is “nice” (as I believe pat did in his post on the slack forum) it usually means it LOOKS nice. Another definition of “nice” is: “Is very good at what it does”. To that end, kde4 is NOT nice. it is a carbuncle on the arse of Linux.

    I wouldnt be annoyed if it was just a simple case of deselecting stuff, but simply by electing to install KDE4, you end up with a bunch of crap you didnt want. And that doesnt even begin to express my annoyance at how badly kde4 behaves. Even on a 32″ screen, it felt like it was eating my desktop and STILL wanted to burst at the seems….

    And then for some bizarre reason, the dreadful “kick launch” or whatever its called, ended up on the right hand side of my screen where it refused to budge. Lovely.

    So Im stuck with a choice: bail on Slackware and try to find (or build) something else or stick with Slack and try to fix the things I dont like about it.

    Well, I like the barebones structure of Slack. Most of my machines around the home office etc boot over the network using barebones slackware images that Ive customised.

    So over the next couple of days, Im going to attempt to build yet another slack image from a baseline slack installation and see where I end up.

    But one thing has definately come out of this: During the last few days, I chucked debian lenny install on a spare box and decided to see what it was like to use a different distro. Debian isnt for me. The hand-holding was irritating after a while. but I did discover a new-found friend: Gnome.

    And this seems like a great time to make the switch. I dont really want to stop using Slack unless I have to, but I no longer agree with their choice of desktop environment.

    So Im going to build my Slack13-64 box up from scratch, get gnome running on it and see what I have. If its unworkable, then I’ll switch distros, but I really hope it works because gnome seems more in keeping with my own goals – functionality over appearance :o)

    • Thank you, THANK YOU, for that wonderful comment, Eddie.

      It’s not exactly a very popular thing to be that honest about KDE these days. It’s very validating for me to see others that feel the same way, much less put the effort into something more than just a “me too!” comment.

      Thanks again, and keep reading. I’m kind of on an Ubuntu/Linux Mint kick lately, but I’m doing pretty much everything with a Slackware eye for things.

  18. HeadyEddie,

    Hopefully you subscribed to receive comments. I just want to say… XFCE. Since my post above in Dec, I have both tweaked KDE4 to look and act more like KDE3.5 as well as opted out of 4.0 and installed 3.5 from a slack12 disc. Still I find XFCE is pretty close to what I wanted for an X Interface and it’s not bloated and is part of Slackware13. The only negative I have even found with it has to do with menu customization… but it seems every X front-end has some kind of limit or thing to overcome.

    Switching front ends in Slack13 is actually pretty easy.

    I see you aren’t jumping off the Slackware bandwagon yet… I can’t imagine seriously jumping to anything else. I’ve spent more time with it as a server admin and not just someone that does embedded systems dev work and I find it refreshingly easy to handle. Turning off and on features by chmod’ing the rc.whatever files is so elegant. Other distributions do some wacky stuff that I really don’t want to go back to. MOST of slackware is still very streamlined and much more customizable than other distributions so I’m not even sure where you’d turn from here. KDE4 (heavily tweaked) only has a place on a machine I might use for goofing off with and even then it’s probably just for the games package as KNETWALK has been upgraded to require some actual skill. I have found ways to turn off much of the glittery junk that comes with kde4 and that helps but since I started using XFCE and it runs all my kde aps I don’t see much reason to go back to KDE or do any major tweaking like I did with my netbook.

    Still for anything I’d build a linux server for can be handled without installing X in the first place.

    _________________

    Trent,

    I’m not sure why more haven’t raised a stink about KDE4. It really has no place as the default X environment.

    • Nightc1,

      no mate, I didnt subscribe to comments. I dont write on blogs at all usually. This was my “exception to the rule”.

      What you say is true enough. But yeah, Ive pretty much fallen off the Slack-Waggon now. Having spent the last few days putting together a build from scratch has made me realise that its the only way to get what I originally signed up with Slackware for: what I need, not what I think will be “cool”.

      And for my purposes that means: uber fast, uncluttered, devleopment libraries, compilers etc and not akanoidy or stuff from that ilk. (nor the kdevelop that ships with kde4 which ironically has LESS functionality than its big brother – Im glad I didnt use it as a main development too or I guess Id be screwed!)

      Its not actually hard to replicate the Slackware way of doing things in your own distro / grass roots build and yes, it IS elegant, but in Slackware 13′s case, its a small part of the whole.

      Building from scratch is – I have to say – proving to be much less a chore than weeding out stuff I dont want.

      By the way, throughout all the years Ive been with slack, other than individually selecting the packages in the installed in “verbose” mode (which is excrutiatingly dull), Ive never gotten round to developing a custom install script for slack. Since you seem to do that often, whats your secret?

      one approach Ive used (when Ive had the time) is to install only the A series and build up from there, but that too is very time consuming and of course, is done effectively blind without dep.res. Not impossible (I know, one of the builds I did using that method is still running well on a friends laptop), but irritating and time consuming. The tagfile system is pretty ineffective as a version change breaks it.

  19. You’re welcome mate. For every 1 idiot kde fanboy that comes on here to give you shite, remember theres probably a dozen or so hardcore slack users who didnt buy a ticket on the glitz bandwaggon. If I want to look at something pretty, well I look at my wife.

    Computers are tools. And anyone who feels a need to make theirs look pretty, needs to go spend a day with a REAL craftsman….put glitter on a wrench and they would thnk you’d lost your marbles!

    Great blog by the way, makes very interesting reading.

  20. If you think that you can judge KDE 4 while running it inside VB you are very wrong.
    KDE 4 which is included in S13 works better than any KDE 3 I’ve ever used. However, it is true that on some buggy hardware it’s better to turn off all visual effects. My Nvidia 7600 GT by some strange manufacturer definitely has problems.
    On the other hand, Dell Latitude 6500 with it’s excellent bios and NV 160M graphics works like charm with Slack13 and KDE4.


    • If you think that you can judge KDE 4 while running it inside VB you are very wrong.

      Considering that the vast majority of issues I have with KDE 4 are with its interface and lack of functionality and flexibility compared to KDE 3, I think I can judge it via virtualization.

  21. gonzo, I like how you blame the hardware.

    HeadyEddie,

    You asked “By the way, throughout all the years Ive been with slack, other than individually selecting the packages in the installed in “verbose” mode (which is excrutiatingly dull), Ive never gotten round to developing a custom install script for slack. Since you seem to do that often, whats your secret?”

    Linux From Scratch:

    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

    If I’m building for something other than my current system then Crossed Linux From Scratch.

    For embedded systems, since often storage space is very limited, I’ll use busybox for my basic tools instead of much of what is included. It does a great job of combining libraries and stuff so the resulting executable is small. But this is not something someone setting up a standard server or home computer should bother messing with since harddrive space isn’t often a limiting factor. To make a comparison, some of the systems I work on have 1.44Mb of internal storage. Another one has something like 16Mb of internal storage. These kind of limiting factors require some drastic actions.

    For my own computer or server or something, I’ll just install the WHOLE Slackware 13 dvd, turn off the stuff I don’t need and then download the latest Kernel and begin compiling a new custom kernel. As it stands, Slackware 13 doesn’t really turn on a whole lot of extra stuff so the main thing you save by doing a custom install is harddrive space. I have no issues with harddrive space and don’t care if I have a bunch of extra stuff installed. I can always pkgtool and remove stuff not needed. But compiling a custom Kernel is the best way to eliminate extra junk running. It’ll result in a system that boots and runs faster. Once I have my new kernel, I’ll copy it over (rather than running “make install” after “make”) and then modify lilo-conf so that my original kernel is an option and the new kernel is the default (with 5 seconds of decision time). This gives me a path back in, if I messed something up in my custom kernel. Oh, and I rarely ever start in runlevel 5. That eats a lot of resources (doesn’t matter which front end you use though KDE4 seems to eat more resources).

    I have cheated the whole custom kernel thing too and just used the kernel provided in SLAX as a secondary option. The nice thing with SLAX is how much stuff is compiled into the kernel while it still remains fairly small. But that’s something for another day.

  22. First of all, I’d like to thank Trent for a good manual. Actually, while I agree with most of people here on disagreement to use KDE4, my problem is slightly different: I have my 12.2 Slackware up and running, but just cannot install qt4 on it. I need qt4 for some packages, which refuse to run without it on my server. After 2 days of trying installing qt4 in many different ways with many different errors, I finally decided to give it up and upgrade to Slackware 13, keeping working with my old good KDE 3.5.10 desktop. So, tomorrow I plan to do the following: upgrading 12 to 13, excluding KDE4 packages. Then, I’ll try to start my KDE3 and hope for it to keep working. I’ll appreciate any suggestions or opinions regarding this procedure. Will keep you up regarding the results.

    • Wow, thanks for the kind words, Max!

      I’m interested in hearing the results of your experimentation with this. Good luck!

  23. Another late to the party, but I’ll be doing this tonight. A while back, I installed Slackware 13 on a partition on a new hard drive, along with Windows 7. I actually found Windows 7 to be less infuriating than KDE4. I still found myself reverting back to my Slackware 10-based Linux install, as I’m happy with my setup, and have everything I need it to be able to work.

    For me, the real deal-breaker were the regressions in dual-monitor support. I just COULD NOT configure it to work the way it did in KDE3. Nor could anyone. When I investigated, I found developers telling users that the plasma desktop “improvements” were completely incongruous with the old behaviour, and that they had no intention of working on it. On one bug report a developer replied saying, basically, “stop adding comments to this bug or it’ll move even further down the list of priorities”.

    I too was absolutely flabbergasted by Patrick’s decision to include KDE4 in Slackware 13. Literally. I couldn’t believe that one of the cornerstones of the distribution had essentially been kicked out. It’s as if Ferrari decided to start producing cheap family wagons.


    • When I investigated, I found developers telling users that the plasma desktop “improvements” were completely incongruous with the old behaviour, and that they had no intention of working on it. On one bug report a developer replied saying, basically, “stop adding comments to this bug or it’ll move even further down the list of priorities”.

      That attitude was one of the big reasons I was so resistant to KDE4. The lack of functionality in it in the Slackware 13 release and the frustrating interface it presented were really only half the picture.

      The arrogance of the developers was the other half. The “it doesn’t matter that you don’t like this as much as the old KDE, this is how we’re doing it and if you don’t like it you can stick it” feeling I got when I started digging around the KDE forums looking for help just convinced me that KDE was dead.

      The fact that this mess was included as the ONLY KDE option in Slackware just floored me. I had been more-or-less in denial about the whole KDE situation until then. Until it barged into my favorite distro, my distro of choice! Then it hit home. Even though I used primarily Fluxbox as my window manager in Slackware, I still used a lot of KDE apps (Konqueror, Kontact, Amarok, K3b, to name a few) and replacing those was NOT going to be fun.

      KDE 4 in Slackware basically meant that there was NO (usable) KDE in Slackware. And that soured me on Slackware itself.

      When you remove KDE from Slackware, and leave me with having to go with non-KDE app equivalents for a lot of things (which is NOT fun to do without something like apt-get, as I’m sure you know), it caused me to leave Slackware entirely, in favor of a distro that made gtk applications a lot easier to install and manage.

      And I haven’t looked back.

      Life without KDE is kind of rough at first, but it’s out there. This blog documents a lot of what I ended up doing to deal with that.

  24. Pingback: wireless: from a fresh install?

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