Tag Archives: KDE 4.4

Changing Wallpapers and Themes in KDE 4.4

If you’re new to KDE4 or KDE for that matter, you might be a little bit lost in trying to customize it, especially when it comes to themes and wallpapers. Here’s how you can change them.

Right-click on the desktop and left-click “Desktop Activity”

Desktop Activity
Desktop Activity

Desktop settings opens up.

Desktop Settings
Desktop Settings

From the above screenshot – you’ll see two options – open, and Get New Wallpapers. By clicking on Open you can browser to the directory where all your images are stored, select it and set it as your wallpaper.

Select the required wallpaper
Select the required wallpaper

Once you’re chosen your required wallpaper, hit apply, and your selected image will be set as the wallpaper.

Selected wallpaper is set
Selected wallpaper is set

If you don’t have too many wallpapers on your system, or prefer getting some excellent wallpapers from outside sources, KDE4 provides a neat way to get and install them. At the Desktop Settings screen, click on the Get New Wallpapers button.

KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers
KDE 4.4 Get Hot New Wallpapers

You’ll get the Plasma Addon installer screen. The screen gives you various options to get your desired wallpaper. You can sort by highest ratings, downloads, most popular, or just enter a search criteria of your own. Once you’ve selected your wallpaper, just click on the Install button, and the wallpaper will be ready to be installed.

Choose your wallpaper
Choose your wallpaper

Hit the close button to head back to the previous screen. You’ll see that the wallpaper is available, just select it, and hit Apply. Your new wallpaper is ready!

Your new wallpaper is ready!
Your new wallpaper is ready!

Let us have a look at how you can change themes. Like wallpapers, you can change themes by downloading from the Internet or by using the Get Hot New Stuff interface. We’ll use the Get Hot New Stuff interface. The screen for changing themes is a bit hidden, we’ll have to goto Desktop settings (read: Personal Settings / Configure Desktop)   first.   Once there, click on Appearance.

Desktop Settings
Desktop Settings

Once in Appearance, click on Styles and Workspace tab. Then proceed to click on Get New Themes.

Get new themes
Get new themes

Select a theme which you like, and click on the install button. Then click on close to go back to the theme selection screen. Click on the theme and click Apply. That’s it, your new theme is installed!

If you want to change individual aspects of the theme, mix and match best elements of multiple themes, head back to Personal Settings, and click on the Advanced tab, and from there select Desktop Theme details

Desktop Theme Details
Desktop Theme Details

Once in, mix and match and customize till you’re happy with the final results!

Your masterpiece!
Your masterpiece!

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora And ArchLinux

Few days ago, the KDE team had announced the release of KDE 4.4. We, at Techie-Buzz had taken you on a screenshot tour of KDE 4.4. Now, if that has piqued your interest to explore KDE 4.4, let’s have a look on how you can install KDE 4.4 on some popular Linux distributions.

KDE 4.4

Installing KDE 4.4 in openSUSE

openSUSE’s 1-click install and openSUSE build system makes it one of the easiest methods of installing KDE 4.4 ( or for that matter, any software). Head over to KDE 4 page of openSUSE wiki, and select the 1-click install link on the version of openSUSE that you have. For those extra lazy ones out there ( I’m one of those ;) ) here are the links:

Installing KDE 4.4 in Ubuntu/Kubuntu

To install KDE 4.4 in Kubuntu, first add the PPA by opening the Terminal and typing

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa

If you’re using Ubuntu, add the backports PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

Next, update the repositories to reflect the newly added PPA by typing

sudo apt-get update

Finally, if you’re using Kubuntu, perform the update to KDE 4.4 by typing

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If you’re using Ubuntu, then install the kubuntu-desktop package to install KDE 4.4

sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

Installing KDE 4.4 in ArchLinux

ArchLinux users can install/update to KDE 4.4 using pacman – the awesome package manager.

Installing KDE:

pacman -Sy kde

Upgrading to KDE 4.4:

pacman -Syu

Installing KDE 4.4 in Fedora 12

Fedora users will have to add repo file provided by KDE Packaging project to proceed with the installation. Download the repo file, save it in /etc/yum.repos.d directory.

Next, launch KPackageKit, head over to settings and enable kde and kde-testing repository. Once this is done, launch the terminal, switch over to root by typing

su root

Then, proceed with update by typing

yum groupupdate kde-desktop

Enjoy your KDE 4.4 install!

Screenshot Tour of KDE SC 4.4

Earlier, the KDE team had announced the availability of version 4.4 of the popular desktop environment, KDE. I’m a big KDE fan, and have been a KDE user since KDE 3.5. Despite the criticism faced by KDE4 for its initial release, I’ve always been impressed by KDE. I’d been running the RC2 version of KDE 4.4 since it was made available. And today I’ve upgraded to the release version.

Here are some screenshots of the DE:

KDE 4.4 in its barebones view

KDE 4.4 in its default avatar
KDE 4.4 in its default avatar

The folder view plasmoid in KDE 4.4 – indeed I’m hovering my mouse pointer over the folder, not clicking on it!

Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4
Folder View Plasmoid in KDE 4.4

Revamped interface for adding new Plasmoids on to desktop. As you can see, the widgets (“Plasmoids” ) are categorized, and can also be searched.

Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known
Add new widgets or "Plasmoids" as they are known

Multiple windows can now be grouped into one, providing a tabbed interface across windows. Individual windows can be further split and remote protocols do work

Multiple windows grouped into a single window
Multiple windows grouped into a single window

KWin’s composition engine is now a lot smoother, faster and my preferred composition engine

CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin
CoverFlow effect of switching tasks in KWin

KDE 4.4 comes with Amarok 2.2.2 as the music player. Amarok can make use of KNotify for displaying Now Playing information, instead of its OSD feature.

Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4
Amarok 2.2.2 on KDE 4.4

KRunner functions well as an application launcher, as well as a search bar

KRunner functions well as an application launcher
KRunner functions well as an application launcher

Konqueror is a fine browser, based on KHTML – the foundation for WebKit. However Gmail is not fully supported under Konqueror

Konqueror
Konqueror

So, what’re your thoughts about KDE 4.4 ? Or are you still hanging onto KDE 3.5 ? Post a comment and do let us know!