File open/select dialogs very slow

Nik kde-user at
Wed Sep 28 04:45:14 BST 2005

Hi all,

My apologies if this has been answered already, or if I am posting to
the wrong list.

Ever since I upgraded to Fedora Core 3 (first with KDE 3.3, and now with
KDE 3.4.2-0.fc3.2) I have found that file-open and file-select
dialogs take excessively long to open (30 seconds or more). During this
time, the hard-disk light is on solidly. Subsequent file dialogs open
much more quickly, implying some amount of caching is going on. But if
no file dialogs are opened for some period of time (5 minutes or more),
then the next file dialog will again take 30 seconds or more. During the 
time it takes for the dialog to open, the application appears frozen (it 
cannot refresh, etc), giving users the impression that something *bad* 
(tm) has happened.

This behaviour is consistent over a range of applications:

Thunderbird, Firefox, KPDF, Konqueror, plus others.

Some applications do not suffer from this. For instance my Java
applications (using AWT and/or SWING) show file navigation dialogs
almost instananeously. In addition, applications that don't use a pretty 
file navigation window (Xpdf, Acrobat 7) show (less pretty) file open 
dialogs instantaneously.

If I use Gnome instead of KDE, the non-KDE applications, such as 
Thunderbird and Firefox cease to have this problem, whereas KDE apps 
such as KPDF continue to.

I assume that this is due to KDE providing a central file navigator
dialog which most apps end up using. I have tried
adjusting settings in the KDE file manager control panel, such as
disabling all previews. This seems to have reduced the longest waits
(from over 30 seconds to 15-20 seconds), but the delay is still too long.

This issue was one of a number that stopped a rollout of 30 Linux 
machines to the architects in our office. We have deployed on Win2000 
instead, and will revisit linux/KDE in about 12 months' time. (Yes, I 
know I could deploy on Gnome instead of KDE, but I would prefer to try 
fixing it under KDE, than abandon KDE just yet.)

Q: Can anybody give me any pointers or suggestions on how to I can fix this?

Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

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