A bunch of KDE questions

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at acm.org
Sat Apr 26 03:40:17 BST 2003

Brian Kendig wrote:
> I have a whole bunch of questions about KDE (3.1, which I'm running on 
> Debian Linux):
> - My fonts in the KDE 3.1 Konsole are screwed up.  I go into Settings / 
> Font / Custom, and no matter what font I select, like say 
> Lucidatypewriter, it always shows up in the 'Quick Brown Fox' sample 
> area below as the same spaced-out-all-weird Helvetica (like the software 
> is trying to display proportional characters as monospaced).  If I hit 
> 'OK' then the Konsole font takes on the same weirdly-spaced Helvetica.  
> Only if I select Settings / Font / Normal (or Tiny or Huge or any of the 
> other presets) will it give me a normal-looking font, which looks like 
> Courier.  Why are the fonts acting so wonky here?

Your font system is screwed up.  What are you using?  How did you 
install Qt?

> - I managed to get audio working, but my system bell isn't dinging any 
> more.  I go into the Control Center, under System Bell, and no matter 
> what I set the sliders to, and whether or not I have 'Use system bell 
> instead of system notification' checked, it never makes any noise.  
> Other event sound effects work fine under KDE; how do I re-enable the bell?

You may have a corrupted: "~/.kde/share/config/kcmbellrc" file. 
Delete it and restart KDE.  This should fix it, but if not, the 
switch for what to use for the bell is in: "kdeglobals" under 
the: "[General]" key:


> - How do I install a new KDE theme?  'KAlloy' from themes.kde.org looks 
> neat, but it wants me to install it by specifying the 'prefix' and 
> 'libdir' directories.  I've figured out what 'libdir' is, but what's 
> 'prefix' supposed to be?  I don't know what it means by 'the path of my 
> kde installation' -- kde3 is in /usr/bin, but I don't think there's a 
> central location for the rest of the kde files, is there?

The 'prefix' is where you installed KDE.  If your KDE executables 
are in: "/usr/bin/" then your 'prefix' is: "/usr".  If you have 
the environment variable: KDEDIR set then 'prefix' should be set 
automatically by the configure script for KDE stuff.

> - themes.kde.org only has ten KDE 3.1 themes, and themes.org only has 
> thirteen of them!  Are there lots more KDE themes hiding someplace else, 
> or does no one use non-standard themes?  Which theme do you use?

I don't use a Theme.  Note that Style and Theme are not the same 

> - Is there a graphical battery monitor that I can put in the KDE panel 
> beside the clock?  I haven't been able to find a battery monitor yet.

Probably.  Go to: http://apps.kde.com/ and use the search.

> - Is there a central directory for KDE applications, similar to 
> '/Applications' on the Mac or 'C:\Program Files' on Windows?  Or do I 
> have to keep all the KDE apps in the 'Start' menu (or whatever the 
> K-gear menu is called)?

No.  Not unless you installed KDE in its own directory.  Note 
that unless you built from source, your distro decided this for you.

> - My laptop seems really sluggish when it's running KDE.  Like, for 
> example, the 1024x768 login screen backdrop takes so long to load that 
> I've already logged in by the time it appears.  

This appears to be a known bug.

> Admittedly, this is a 
> P3/266, 

I doubt that this specific problem is due to your machine.  I 
have a 400 MHz K6 III with 7/16 GByte of memory and have the same 
complaint.  I recommend 1/4 GByte (256 MByte) of memory.  If you 
have less, consider not running some system services or a custom 
built Kernel.

> but my iBook/300 feels faster running Mac OS X even despite all 
> the Mac's flashy graphic bells&whistles.  What are some ways to get the 
> lead out of KDE?http://apps.kde.com/

Note that what you said is true.  KDE *appears* slow.  The reason 
for this is that you do something and then for a while NOTHING 
happens.  To get the lead out you need to explain this to the 
developers.  I, and others, have tried but they respond with 
statistics showing that KDE is not slow.  This is true, but it 
still appears slow.

> - In your opinion, what are the must-have applications for KDE?

This is Linux.  You have FREEDOM.  But, there is a top ten list 
at: http://apps.kde.com/ if you must follow the crowd.

Of the apps not included in the standard tarballs I would first 
get Krename, if you build from source, Kconfigure is nice.  But, 
just browse the apps site and see what might be useful to you. 
Stick to those labeled as 'stable' unless you like to take risks.


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