Switched to Plasma 5

I’ve switched to using Plasma 5 as my daily (work) desktop. “So what?” you say, since Plasma 5 has been available since July 15th, 2014. Yep, more than three years on the desktop — see Sebas’s blog for some history. So I’ve finally switched my FreeBSD desktop machine, as a sign that Plasma 5 really is coming closer to the official FreeBSD ports tree.

KDE Applications are starting to trickle in to the official ports tree. The first (I think) was FileLight, which gave a good illustration of the gotcha’s involved with the update:

  • Anything that touches baloo requires a radical update to Plasma 5 as a whole. Baloo 4 and baloo 5 are not happy side-by side, and we don’t intend to put serious effort into installing them in separate places.
  • Translations are tricky, because they have moved from (KDE 4 times) a separate i18n package, to the application package. This means that the new KF5-based application package conflicts with the old KDE4 application, but also with the entire translation package (for, say, Russian) for KDE4.

For people who want the whole thing now, and who understand that KDE4 co-existence with Plasma 5 and modern KDE Applications can be problematic, the official ports tree can be avoided, and Area51 is the repository or ports tree to use.

On my desktop, on 10.3-STABLE and with nVidia drivers, Plasma 5 is more stable than on 12-CURRENT with tricksy Intel IGP drivers on the laptop. That’s a good thing, for the desktop I spend all week in writing code.

KMail and Akonadi have decided that my local maildirs are not accessible, so I’m using mutt for the time being to look at those. All my IMAP (knock on wood) is fine, so there’s still an intriguing bug there. In Randa I showed the effect and the messages to Dan and Volker, who were likewise intrigued. In the
end, though, it needs to be debugged and fixed here, locally, and then upstreamed.

At some point, the KDE-FreeBSD team had in mind to have Plasma 5 in the official ports tree in 2017Q2. It’s looking like 2017Q4, now (with just 5 days to go in Q3), basically because the upgrade path is annoying (from a ports perspective). Not for any functional reason, which is why it’s worth repeating that Plasma 5 from Area51 is a fine, fully functional, and fully up-to-date KDE desktop.

[[ Edit 2017-09-27 14:18 because Phoronix manages to get everything wrong, all the time: Tobias has been using Plasma 5 as his FreeBSD desktop of choice for years, dogfooding the ports much better than I ever have. And while I might be the noisiest blogger of our lot, that’s .. not necessarily a position of leadership. ]]

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6 Responses to Switched to Plasma 5

  1. Bruno says:

    How will you make the setting user time and timezone working correctly?

    • adridg says:

      What does this question even mean? Is there a specific problem with Plasma 5 on the FreeBSD desktop related to timezones? If so, please file a bug at bugs.kde.org, note the OS as FreeBSD and eventually it may get looked at. Personally I right click on the digital clock, choose Digital Clock Settings .., then Timezone from the dialog and choose my timezone. Then it tells me that it’s 13:34 CEST.

  2. Tobias Berner says:

    I remember an issue with with /etc/localtime being required to be a symlink for it to be picked up automagically.

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  4. Tony Jackson says:

    I’m quite new to FreeBSD as a desktop after some time Linux side. Could you confirm/deny the need for hald with KDE 5 please? It’s my understanding that hald is deprecated and introduces vulnerabilities, clearly not something I particularly want for my machine. As XFCE does not require this (I assume it uses the current devd) I was a little suprised to see hald used in your previous area51 installation article and the inclusion on BSDNow.

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