Ocotober 4th Meeting Report * Kubuntu 12.04 Desktop * KDE 4.9.2

Tonight's meeting got off to a fast start with 7 present and Darin getting right into his presentation on Kubuntu and the latest KDE SC 4.9.2 Desktop. He has been a long time user of GNome and recently moved to KDE, primarily due to the limitations and stability of the GNome desktop and the Compiz manager. He now uses Kwin which is integrated into KDE 4.9.2 which gives him the keyboard shortcuts and desktop features essential to him. He started off his presentation demonstrating a small script he had written which uses the xandr command to control both the output and resolution of both the laptop's built in display as well as a connected external VGA and hdmi displays. Here is his AutoMonitorSetup.sh script: #!/bin/sh notConnected="TRUE" xrandr -q vids="VGA-0 HDMI-0" echo $notConnected for vid in $vids; do #echo $vid con=`xrandr | grep "$vid connected" | nawk '{print $2}'` if [ "$con" = "connected" ]; then #nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="DFP-1:nvidia-auto-select +0+0, DFP-0:nvidia-auto-select +1920+0" #nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="DFP-1:nvidia-auto-select +0+0" #workaround for the nvidia-settings failure, replace HDMI-0 with VGA-0 if needed zenity --question --text "Is $vid on the left?" ans=$? if [ "$ans" = 1 ]; then posi="left-of"; else posi="right-of"; fi xrandr --output $vid --auto xrandr --output LVDS-0 --$posi $vid --auto echo $posi zenity --question --text "Make laptop (LVDS-0) primary?" ans=$? if [ "$ans" = 0 ]; then prim="LVDS-0"; else prim=$vid; fi xrandr --output $prim --primary notConnected="FALSE" fi done if [ $notConnected = "TRUE" ]; then nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="DFP-0:nvidia-auto-select +0+0, DFP-1:NULL"; fi He would run this script from a hot key setup in Kwin and could run it to reset the display settings after disconnecting and reconnecting any external displays, very effective, paticularly in making the extern display the primary desktop and keep the display on his laptop other uses and content while making a presenation on an overhead projector or large screen. He then mention a nice resource in using KDE which is a compiliation of the blogs of KDE's contributors (developers) whch can be found at KDE News Blog (Developer) blogsite. Darin talked about different features of the KDE desktop including "plasmoids", essentially "applets" on the deskop. On he uses is the cwp current weather plasmoid for KDE which can be found on the lauchpad One thing Darin really likes is the Dolphin KDE file browser which is highly customizable and features a terminal window which you can open with the F4 function key. Once opened, this terminal window follows the browser file browser location so you can easily work with files at the command line and if you change file directories in the terminal window, the graphical file browser window follows along, displaying the contents of the new directory. Very nice! While Darin was building his current KDE desktop, he discovered a little know location at /etc/xdg/autostart where things are added which are configured and ran at startup, including an unwanted nautilus.desktop startup. Darin teaches a Linux Class as part of the Boise Community Education program and maintains an comprehensive website at Linux Class Topics. Here you will find many of his notes on using KDE including how to install the backport for upgrading to KDE 4.9.2 SC Desktop. Member Hugh S. had a brought a couple of laptops, one running Unlimited Edition 3.4 which provides a complete "out of the box" installation of Ubuntu 12.04 with all the applications and features one could want including video DVD playback and editing of both audio and video. He also brought a small HP Netbook 210. which is available on eBay for about $150 to $200. This neat little ATOM powered netbook is quite nice and he had installed Netrunner 4.2, based on Kubuntu 12.04, on it. KDE was quite impressive on this little netbook performance wise. Hugh showed us how easy it was to remove the bottom panel for upgrading memory as well as access to other hardware upgrades. He had upgraded to 2 GB of RAM, which he highly recommends. Battery life is also impressive at 6 hours! Hugh had a couple of questions, one involving getting the battery applet on the top panel which the group was able to help him with. The other question was on how to "terminate" conky which was automatically started on the desktop. Clint recommended using the kill command to terminate it as there is no way of easily exiting the application. Also mentioned was the the Grub customerizer 3.01 which can be found at UbuntuGeek Clint mentioned that he had found an excellent book that included a complete chapter on the KDE 4 desktop including how-tos in configuring, the fedora 16 desktop Applications and Administration by Richard Petersen, published by the Surfing Turtle Press and available from Amazon. Clint also wrote up an extensive blog on our website at KDE 4.7 Software Compilation (SC) Usage where you can find more information on KDE as well as helpful links. Our next meeting will be on November 1st and will be an open meeting where you can bring your questions and anything you would like to discuss in the world of Linux. More details on the meeting will follow.