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  • More on KDE Connect– disappointment

    Posted on Ascaris Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Linux – all distros More on KDE Connect– disappointment

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      • #2288465 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Not too long ago, when someone mentioned a new file transfer utility that would be made a part of the latest Mint release, I sang the praises of KDE Connect, a utility built into KDE Plasma (and available for other desktops too through adaptations from outside of KDE), and I had mentioned that somehow Ubuntu had managed to mess something up in its implementation in Kubuntu 20.04, as it was not working very well.

        I had also said that I resisted recommending KDE based distros before because of the bugs, but it had improved so much now that I was willing to climb out onto that limb.

        Well, now KDE Neon, the distro I use, has released its “rebase” to 20.04. Neon is generally the latest Ubuntu LTS release with all of the latest KDE software on top. It’s “generally” because it takes some time after the release of each Ubuntu version for KDE to change to the new base. For the last few releases (as long as I have been using it), the rebased KDE Neon is released when Ubuntu releases their first bugfix point release, in this case 20.04.1.

        As you may have guessed, the dysfunction with KDE Connect is still there, just as it has been for several months in Kubuntu 20.04.  When KDE devs asked for volunteers to test the upgrade process a month or so ago, I backed my G3 up and gave it a try, and I discovered the KDE Connect bug was still there. I’d been sure that while Ubuntu messed it up, KDE would not let it be released like that, with it being one of their products and all. This was a prerelease edition, though, so there was still time.

        I reported the bug and rolled back to 18.04.  Now I’ve realized that the rebase is out, so I allowed it to upgrade again, and the bug is still here, and if anything, seems to be even worse when I try to connect two 20.04 PCs together rather than one 18.04 and one 20.04 (18.04 is flawless).

        The problem now is that KDE will be ceasing updates for 18.04, as their release schedule is a rolling release on top of the official Ubuntu release in use. If I want to keep the functionality I have come to appreciate, I will have to look elsewhere.  All of the Ubuntu 20.04 derivatives I have tried have the issue, including Mint 20 with KDE Connect Indicator, a program that makes KDE Connect work on non-KDE desktops.

        It may still work for connecting to phones, but I don’t care about that. I have gone from simply not wanting a smart phone to truly despising them.

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

      • #2288627 Reply
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        The problem now is that KDE will be ceasing updates for 18.04, as their release schedule is a rolling release on top of the official Ubuntu release in use. If I want to keep the functionality I have come to appreciate, I will have to look elsewhere.

        @Ascaris, how about switching to Kubuntu? If you were to install their 18.04 LTS release, I believe you’d continue to get updates and patches into the spring of 2023. That should be ample time for them to fix the KDE Connect bug.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2288951 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Yes, that is a possibility, but it would mean bringing back bugs and rough edges that are, as far as Neon is concerned, long gone.

          I decided to try some other KDE distros in live sessions. OpenSUSE didn’t have a live session mode that I could find, so I did a test install to my Dell Inspiron 11 laptop, currently not in use. KDE Connect worked even worse than in Neon… it didn’t see the other PCs (running Neon 18.04), nor did they see the SUSE PC. I found its firewall and made sure that “KDE Connect” was added to the “Trusted” column, but still no luck. I didn’t feel like messing with it, so I tried Manjaro KDE, in a live session. KDE Connect worked right off the bat from there, so I did a test install over OpenSUSE and let it fully update. It worked perfectly well once again.

          Kinda sad that the Manjaro devs make KDE Connect work better than KDE, but they have. Not that there is anything wrong with Manjaro devs, but if anyone would ensure KDE software works, you would think it would be KDE themselves.

          Manjaro has Plasma 5.19.3 (Neon has 5.19.4, the newest as I write this), Qt 5.15 (Neon has 5.14.something), and KDE Frameworks 5.72 (same as Neon).

          By contrast, Kubuntu 20.04 has Plasma 5.18.5 and Qt 5.12.8, if I recall, and Qt 5.13+ plus a newish version of Plasma (I forget the version) are needed together to vanquish the very annoying nVidia bug where the icon captions are messed up after resuming from sleep… so even the newest Kubuntu, 20.04, still has the bug because of the old Qt, and Kubuntu 18.04 has an older Qt than that as well as an old Plasma version, which I think is too old to have the fix.

          I do not really want to go outside of the familiar Ubuntu family, but I don’t know if there is anything in the Ubuntu family that has up-to-date packages (particularly Qt and Plasma) AND working KDE Connect. Maybe there is, but not among the bigger, well-known ones.

          So, I’ve created another partition on my G3 and installed Manjaro. It’s now a pentuple boot (Neon, Kubuntu 20.04, Mint 20, Manjaro, and that Windows thingy, whatever it is).  I just used my existing /home folder and all of my settings are carried over seamlessly, and I am installing many of the packages I had to get from PPAs in Ubuntu from the Arch repo (Manjaro is a derivative of Arch) directly, and more are from the AUR (Arch User Repo), which is kind of like their answer to PPAs. DisplayCal, Lutris, VirtualBox, all things I got from PPAs before, are available in fully updated form in the official repo. Waterfox Classic KDE is in the AUR, and it’s graaaaaaaduallllllly cloning the source (the source is huuuuge) so it can build it itself rather than grab it in precompiled form. Even the Intel Undervolt tool I use (which I had to build from source for Neon) is in the official Arch repo.

          I’d only installed Kubuntu as a second-chance OS in case Neon gets messed up. Not really in the sense of being corrupted somehow, through a failed update or otherwise, which I can fix with a quick restore quite easily, but things like this. When I first installed Kubuntu 18.04, the difference between Neon and Kubuntu wasn’t huge, but now Neon is well ahead in its KDE stuff. Kubuntu 20.04 is much closer to Neon, which would make it a better second-chance OS, but it shares the same flaw I am trying to avoid.

          A non-Ubuntu distro makes sense, in that way. I might just go ahead and get rid of Kubuntu, and if I am happy with the state of Manjaro as a temporary stand-in for Neon, I can update Neon to the 20.04 base again (so that I will be able to tell when the bug is fixed; currently it’s on 18.04). I am not planning on moving to Manjaro as the main OS, as I do still prefer the stable LTS base with the rolling KDE stuff (I’d be happier if they used the older 18.04 stable LTS base, in fact), and the whole consumer Linux world seems geared toward Ubuntu. I could end up changing my mind, though… who knows?

           

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2289003 Reply
            Cybertooth
            AskWoody Plus

            Yeah, it sounds like if you want to stay in familiar territory, you’re going to have to decide which is the lesser evil–living with the KDE Connect issue, or putting up with the other issues that you described.

            I won’t even pretend to be expert enough to offer any more suggestions.  🙂  As I continue my quest to create a Linux working environment that resembles Vista/7 as much as possible, I’m having enough trouble as it is telling the conceptual difference between “Look And Feel” and “Desktop Theme” in Settings –> Appearance –> Workspace Theme. So I’ll step back and observe the discussion here.

             

      • #2288961 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        FYI @Ascaris, I see MX linux have just released their MX-19.2_x64 KDE, “ahs”, 64 bit only version as a final according to distrowatch latest releases. More info over on https://mxlinux.org/

        Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2288966 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Great info, thanks. I overlooked that one somehow. It wouldn’t be too far from Ubuntu, given that Ubuntu itself is based on Debian, like MX. I checked the Plasma version and Qt version listed in MX, and they’re 5.19.4 and 5.15, respectively.

          I noticed in several of the package download sections that Debian and Ubuntu have good support, but Arch… not so much. One case in point would be Virtualbox, which has about 15 different Linux download versions, but still none for Arch. They did have several for Debian, though, and those should work nicely for MX also.

          It’s not a huge deal for me at the moment in my test Manjaro setup, as the version of Virtualbox from the Arch repo is only a few minor versions behind Oracle’s own Ubuntu repo, but it could easily mean some package I would like to have (without needing to compile it!) isn’t available on Arch (and thus Manjaro).

          I did eventually find that the maintainer of the Waterfox PPA for Ubuntu also has a precompiled Arch version of the software, and that’s a much better choice than the AUR. I’d heard so much good stuff about the AUR, but I spent over an hour downloading the source code to try to build Waterfox, only to have it fill up the Manjaro partition I’d made and stop.  That’s a lot of extra time and CPU cycles to reinvent the wheel.

          I’ll grab a MX .iso and see if KDE Connect works, and if so, I may have to back up my Manjaro installation and try MX to see how it goes.

          Thanks again for the info!

           

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2288967 Reply
            Microfix
            AskWoody MVP

            I’ve been avoiding ubuntu for a while now (personal preference) and much prefer using debian in conjunction with developer PPA’s for their own adaptations of apps and utilities. MX Linux certainly have a lot of those to choose from and their apps are actually useful.
            Good luck with the KDE connect (nice project hopefully)

            Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
            • #2288975 Reply
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              Unfortunately, I misread the Distrowatch display. MX actually has some really old versions of the packages… the versions from before were actually the current releases.

              I’ve already found the first thing that won’t work with Manjaro… my printer driver. Works with Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and one other one I don’t remember, but not Arch.

              I can already tell Manjaro is not going to work.

               

              Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

              • #2288977 Reply
                Microfix
                AskWoody MVP

                Being from a debian background from 2010/11, I’ve never really entertained Arch as it seemed like a foreign language to me.
                Not so good, perhaps a waiting game.

                Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
      • #2289115 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Ok, so now I tried PCLinuxOS KDE.

        It seemed like a good bet… it has up to date libraries, and a strange combination of APT and RPM packages rather than APT and the usual DEBs. That should still work fine; for example, my printer driver comes with RPM and DEB versions.

        I installed it, and… wow. The garish appearance is just overpowering. If you thought Windows XP looked Fisher-Price, you should try this. Just trying to get the partitioning done in their insanely colorful tool was difficult.

        Once booted, the insane appearance continues. Login screen is hideous, and it immediately hit me with a dialog asking whether I wanted to use X11 since my “preferred” Wayland was not installed. I’ve never “preferred,” let alone used, Wayland… but if the distro considers it preferred, why was it not installed?

        I selected the “yes this time” option, and the session began.

        I immediately saw that the normal fonts that KDE comes with were not installed, so it looks awful with my settings, and when I looked at fstab… they were identifying most of the volumes by /dev/sda1 and so on, which can be a real problem if the drives enumerate differently than when the OS was installed. There’s a reason using the UUIDs is the standard!

        In order to get that fixed (so I could copy paste the UUID with the minimum of effort), I installed the GNOME Disks tool to grab the UUID for the root volume (the rest of fstab, I just copy pasted from my Neon install), preconditioned as I am to use graphical tools, and it was an absolutely ancient version that was badly rendered, with buttons and drive displays that were the same color as the background– all you could see was the text or button glyph.

        I added a few more things too. KDE Connect is not installed by default, so I installed that, and I let the system update too.

        I rebooted, and… it would not start. It gave some kind of error about restarting gdm, which is kind of confusing, given that KDE uses SDDM, not gdm, but X would not start, and I had run out of patience to try to fix it. I had not yet seen if KDE Connect worked, but the whole thing was so badly done, garishly ugly, and troublesome that I could only imagine how it would be going forward.

        As for Manjaro… I found the AUR version of the printer driver from Canon, and after installing it and plugging in the printer, it recognized it and installed the driver as it should… but it won’t print anything. The printer makes the “receiving data” display, and the print spooler says “filter failed.” The document never prints.

        Well, super!

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

      • #2289714 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        I think I’ve found it!

        I’m using Fedora 32 now with KDE, and it ticks all the boxes!

        First of all, KDE Connect works flawlessly.

        Second, the Plasma version is 5.18.5, which is not as up to date as Neon, Manjaro, and some others (19.4), but there’s not much difference between them. The rough edges that make me bristle were already sanded down by the time 5.18.5 came out, so I’m quite happy with that.

        The Qt version is 5.14.2, same as KDE Neon, and newer than the one that comes with Kubuntu 20.04 (12.8).  Version 13 or higher is needed to get rid of the nasty nVidia bug I mentioned before.

        The KDE Frameworks, 5.70, is 2 versions less than Neon (5.72) and 2 versions ahead of Kubuntu 20.04 (5.68).

        Fedora is big enough that there are repos for it on all of the software I’ve looked at so far. Wine, Virtualbox, Waterfox… all have their official repos that are quite analogous to the PPAs that Ubuntu has.

        And, finally, my printer driver for my Canon MF3010 printer installs and works perfectly!

        I think I found my alternate to Neon.  I’m unfamiliar with it still, but I’ve been installing all of the stuff that I have in Neon, and it’s all going well. I have nVidia Prime render offload, WINE, and DXVK all working under Lutris, flawlessly. The undervolting utility is installed and working.  It’s very solid.

        Fedora is, of course, one of the old standbys, and I’ve never had a reason to stray from Ubuntu’s umbrella before. OpenSUSE probably would have worked too, now that I know why KDE Connect did not work (firewall).  I like the lizard motif more than a hat that most people confuse with a trilby, but I am not inclined to pick a distro on the basis of its logo.

        Testing continues, but so far, so good!

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

        • #2290458 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Ascaris wrote:
          but I am not inclined to pick a distro on the basis of its logo.

          Then it is my unfortunate duty to inform you, sir, that you are quite clearly not “management material.”

          Glad you found an alternate distro that meets your needs, Ascaris! 🙂

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