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Linux Upgrade Hell (or, KDE4 sucks)


Linux really needs a "I'm a noob" button, such that it quits asking the user questions we don't have a clue how to answer. (Unless of course we're kernel developers or the like.) Hopefully Mandriva 2010.1 will have a better install interface...

Slow. Sluggish. POS.

Where to start trashing this, "lets re-build it from scratch" nightmare the KDE team has shoved down our throats?

A new Duel Core Processor with twice as much RAM (4GB) runs slower than a five year old Pentium with half the RAM (2GB). (I wish I was kidding.)

Dolphin sucks. Worse, there is NO way to use/install the old Konqueror file manager.

Just install Gnome...

Migrating from KDE3 to KDE4
Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Release Notes
ROFL, says it:

If you upgrade from a previous releases, KDE 3 - if installed - will be replaced by KDE 4. The old .kde directory in the user's /home will be backed up.

Data migration from KDE 3: data will be backed up and migrated to KDE 4 (user preferences, emails, ...).

General scenario goes like this:

  1. Tar ball your old KDE3 /home/user directory
  2. Install 2010.0 on new machine, create 'temp' account
  3. Create /home/user partition on new machine (and mount it)
  4. Extract tar ball to new /home/user partition
  5. Create same username w/ same owner and group numbers
  6. Verify new machine's /home/user are owned by the correct person
  7. Login to 'user'

What you expected a working 'user?' With everything migrated and working all happy? What a joke, NOTHING was either backed up OR migrated!

Open up KMail and there's NOTHING. No mail, no contacts, no rules, no accounts, no filters, nada, nothing, zilch....

Log back in to the temp account, do some web searches, find a "cp -f .kde .kde4" should fix it, do that, re-login to user, and.... Drum Roll Please!


KDE4 treats KDE3 like a red-headed step brother.

And this isn't new, the KDE development team apparently just gave a big, loud raspberry to it's user base. Circa Oct 2008: Change from KDE 3 to KDE 4 - a disaster! , and my personal favorite read on the subject is when Linus Torvalds tells KDE they've blown it and he's switched to Gnome (which is a desktop he trashed earlier, so I guess the Gnome folks listened?).

Open source identity: Linux founder Linus Torvalds
By Rodney Gedda, Computerworld Australia
January 22, 2009 03:30 PM ET

Linus Torvalds ditches KDE 4 for GNOME

Need Wireless?
This works. Well.

Intel Pro/wireless 3945ABG Network Connection - Network Adapter - Mini-pci Expre

I have not removed the fan-boy comments. They're humorous in showing how much they have not used the system they are defending.

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I switched from KDE 4

I used to be the biggest Suse fan ever but KDE 4.x is horrible. It's just too buggy to use. I"m now an Ubuntu 10.04 user and wish Gnome would learn the lesson of KDE 4.

I don't know what version of

I don't know what version of KDE you are using but I use 4.4.90 and it works very well with a memory usage of about 300-400MB.
You can still use Konqueror instead of Dolphin if you prefer. Just go to System Settings -> Default Applications. From there you can change to whatever file manager you want.


KDE 4.4 works like a charm. Much nicer and much more mature than Gnome.

So you had a nasty upgrade. Tip: don't upgrade. Even the Windows folks know that.

It can't generally be a POS since some love it

I'm not a DE user, but I do have KDE4 at work and I do maintain some boxes running it on PCs belonging to relatives and friends. My experience with it started from version 4.1. I upgraded my mother-in-law's computer remotely from KDE3 to KDE4, but did choose to erase all packages belonging or dependent of KDE3 before upgrading. I haven't seen any issues for years, and that box has like my others been rolling on without fresh installs (Arch).

I actually like KDE4 a lot more. At work it works pretty smoothly even though running on mid range office hardware of 5 or more years of age. In itself KDE4 doesn't take up more RAM. If you have more RAM more will be used, but that's how Linux has been working for a long time and has nothing to do with the desktop per se. What can be a problem, which distinguish KDE from Gnome, is the close to endless options. You can tweak every single windows of every single application to become more than most of us realize. Some prefer options, but some prefer OSX.

You have every right to dislike KDE4. Some of your points though aren't KDE4 specific.

KDE 4 series work perfect!

Stop complaining and start using a fine distro like Debian.

I'm using Debian testing with KDE 4 running in a PIV with 384 MB of RAM flawlessly.

There's a tool in Debian to migrate from KDE3 to KDE4 (

Try PCLinuxOS KDE 4

Texstar has done a great job with the interface, things work and it's FAST! You can try out the live CD or install in a virtual drive, to test it out. Mint has a release candidate out there for KDE 4, and that's worth checking out as well once it gets final.

Sadly, KDE 4 is the best

Sadly, KDE 4 is the best thing to ever happen to Gnome. KDE 4 is driving me to Gnome. I don't like Gnome at all, but KDE 4 is just awful. It seems like the developers put too much energy in to trying to make KDE 4 pretty (read: eye candy), but they've also managed to make things difficult to accomplish via the GUI. With all due respect to those who like KDE 4, it seems like things have been dumbed down to a point where most of the configurability that used to be straightforward is now difficult at best. For example, I will grant you that KNetworkManager has never been stellar. However, it has become a series of Microsoftesque prompts followed by a "Next" button. And Dolphin blows!

I've always felt Gnome made things more difficult for me in its effort to be easy and friendly. Maybe KDE 4 is just such a departure from what I'm used, it sucks. There are some truly great apps written for KDE. k3b is just one example. It's the Gold Standard when it come to Linux burning software in my book. As with most things Gnome, its equivalent, brasero is shit.

I for one, don't really care for spiffy graphical effects. What I've seen of MS Vista left me wanting to hurl. That's one reason I've never bothered with the likes of Beryl or Compiz. Pretty is counterproductive! The Proletariat don't need "Pretty" to be great! If I want pretty, I'll download an image of some attractive brunette lady from the Internet and set it as my wallpaper. (I would like to point out that I'm one of those unimaginative dolts who set their screensaver to "blank screen.") Kaudiorecorder is a perfect example of where pretty is not required for an application to function excellently.

Bah! This whole experience makes me glad that the Kubuntu 8.04 is a LTS release.

kde 4 vs 3

to the above: please try xfce4 before you give up hope. gnome sucks. very good points about kde4, btw.


i don't know about upgrading, as i usually manage to break something requiring builds from scratch. i've been using xfce 4 via gentoo linux as of late, and i had experimented with debian. from what i've seen kde4 is much more bloated. btw 300-400MB ram is not a light footprint; that's calling like my pancakes fried in lard smothered in butter and drenched in syrup "light and low carb". no offense, that's just absurd. i do love those pancakes though.

and yes debian is a pretty fine binary distro, really probably the best i've seen, actually. opensuse has some nice features but overall has been pretty sluggish of late. perhaps because it's a kde-based distro? i'm not just knocking kde because i hate it, it's pretty consistent, and has some great features, it just is not this all perfect solution.

as far as wanting to upgrade, we're talking about a user of a complete desktop environment that claims user-friendliness, i'm fairly certain that's not entirely absurd an expectation. after all, we aren't talking about someone using awesome, fluxbox, or even xfce. and yes, i hate capital letters. (and margarine.)

and as far as complaining, it looks like OP authors the blog, so i'm fairly certain it's fair for him to bitch about whatever he wants. don't like it? go read or watch or browse (or watch Jon Stewart bash Glenn Beck, that was a good laugh) but don't complain here without a permit. ;) (hint, that last bit was sarcasm, before you call me a retard. and yes i have a life, i watch porn and play diablo 2 all the time.)

I agree

I recently put on KDE 4.5 on an Arch Linux install recently. Even with all those supposed bugs fixed, it's still slow as balls. I don't know how people can say KDE works, I've been hearing the "this version of KDE 4.x is so much faster than KDE 4.(x-1)" for a while now, and I've yet to confirm that. Honestly, if you think KDE 4 is decent, you either haven't used another desktop environment or are coming from Vista. It's slow, it's buggy, it's ugly (why they used gray everywhere makes no sense to me) and it doesn't feel like release-ready software.

Stick with Gnome, Xfce, or the up-and-improving LXDE (which retains the gtk icons and themes without all the bloat).