Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mandriva and KDE4

Well, I broke my rule about trying out something serious (i.e. something that can and will go wrong) on another partition before applying it to my working partition. I installed Ubuntu KDE4 on computer G and experienced a lot of confusion. Today I decided to install KDE4 on computer S. S is the family computer and I should not change it too often.

I was very happy to see that Mandriva's KDE4 installation did its best to simulate what my previous KDE3 desktop looked like. The task bar and virtual desktops are still there. The icons that I had on my KDE3 desktop did not disappear as with Ubuntu, but were collected in a floating window called the Desktop folder. I should add that Ubuntu was a clean install so I might not have had any desktop to save. So perhaps this behavior will be the same with Ubuntu if one upgrades from KDE3 to KDE4 without re-installing.

So, where is my beautiful iceberg wallpaper? I can't seem to find it. I found myself on the wiki which reminded me of the cashew nut icon in the top right corner of the screen that I had seen and used on Ubuntu but forgot about. Left clicking brings out a semi-transparant menu behind my windows (I had to shift them away to read it). Right clicking brings out a menu that I can see above my windows. Appearance takes me to the Plasma Desktop appearances application. Nice.

Now I want to allow only applications on current desktops to be visible on the taskbar (which is not called that anymore, but right clicking I get "task manager"). The virtual desktop is now called a Pager. This is what had me stumped on Ubuntu. Now based on the recomendations here, I have to close all the windows to be able to right click on the taskbar (or panel or ....there should be a translation table somewhere). I'll put in a new note if it works.


  1. Well, after closing all the windows on the desktop and right clicking on the panel, I did get the Task manager settings (its a little tricky). I was able to chose to display open applications per desktop. I cannot make independent wallpapers for each desktop. Right clicking on the Cashew nut, the appearance changes to not change with the desktop.

  2. I miss-clicked somewhere on my taskbar resulting in the system tray and clock application spreading out and taking up all empty space. I cannot see my minimized applications anymore. This happened also on my Ubuntu setup but I forgot how and whether I fixed it. (Hence the change in theme of this blog).

  3. Thanks to Manager Hans at the KDE forums, "However, if you just want your taskbar back: click on cashew Image, browse to "Task Manager" widget, drag the widget to your panel. (also covered in the FAQ)."

    So taskbar is an application on the panel which will show a collection of open applications which have been minimized.