Friday, September 10, 2010

KDE 4.5 on Lenovo S10-3

Kubuntu 10.10 beta does not have a separate netbook edition. Instead the plasma workspace type can be changed to Netbook.

I could not boot with the Kubuntu 10.10beta livecd on Lenovo S10-3. Fortunately, this bug was reproducible and will hopefully be resolved soon.

One of my desires was to learn the setup of netbooks in more detail. A great way of doing that is to use Arch Linux. It is currently using 2.6.35 kernel and KDE4.5.

Since I wanted to have a reasonable but not too fine a control over what I installed, I decided to follow the route of kde-meta packages. The available meta-packages were obtained using
# pacman -Sg kde-meta

I decided to install kde-meta-kdebase, kde-meta-kdeutilities, kde-meta-kdenetworking and kde-meta-kdemultimedia.

The first problem I encountered was pretty simple. X wouldn't start. It turned out that xorg package had to be installed separately.

Next, I installed intel driver for X.

Working with the mousepad was a problem - it was very jerky and sensitive. It took a while to realise that touchpad has a separate driver. I needed to install xf86-input-synaptics package. It was a great relief being able to work with the mousepad without going crazy.

I changed the workspace type to Netbook in the settings and I had the new look.

While it will take time to get used to it. The main page starts with the search and launch options. Most likely it is the usual kde4 menu but with a very different look and feel. One can search for an application or select it from application groups.

Once the application is started, the top bar is hidden. The entire screen is taken up by the application. I prefer this approach. It reminds me of the reason why one commentator had praised dedicated eBook readers - There are no distractions. On the desktop, while watching a youtube or similar video, I frequently find myself making use of the extra space to start a game of solitaire!

It is going to be enjoyable exploring it and getting used to it. At my age, learning something new is a necessity :)

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