KDE Moves Window Edge Beyond Screen Border

27. March, 2014

With KDE 4.11, a new annoying feature was added: The window manager now moves a window beyond the screen edge. The original idea was to make the scroll bar easily accessible.

But a lot of people didn’t like this for various reasons.

My reason is that I use clicking on the window border to move a window to the front. By careful arrangement of the windows on my second monitor, I can easily switch between 5 windows by moving them against the screen edge: That way, I can use the mile high menu bar trick to position the mouse and one click to bring the window to the front (and no, I can’t use the usual click to front behavior; I know much better than the computer when I want to change the stacking order and when not).

With the window border hidden beyond the screen edge, this wasn’t possible anymore.

Here is a script that solved the issue for me: Snap to Deco 1.1

Installation Instructions:

Once downloaded, the script needs to be installed via

> plasmapkg -t kwinscript -i filename.kwinscript

which unpacks and copies files to ~/.kde4/share/apps/kwin/scripts/ but doesn’t activate them. In order to activate, use the scripts KCM (KConfig Module) graphical interface:

> kcmshell4 kwinscripts

and tick the required script.

Firefox Crashing When Opening a New Window in openSUSE 12.2

11. September, 2012

Does Firefox crash for you when you open a new window?

Report the crash using the built in tool, then browse “about:crashes” (shows you which crashes you reports), click the topmost link.

If frame #0 in “Crashing Thread” (bottom of the page) reads “libtracker-sparql-0.12.so.0.1205.0”, then this package is the culprit: tracker-miner-firefox

Delete it and Firefox should work again. If that helps in your case, you’ve been hit by this bug.

What’s this piece of crap do? From the web site:

Tracker is a semantic data storage for desktop and mobile devices. Tracker uses W3C standards for RDFontologies using Nepomuk withSPARQL to query and update the data.

If you don’t know, Nepomuk is the great technology that builds search indexes over anything on your disk. Unfortunately, it’s developed by people who believe quality in software is nice to have. So it tends to hog the CPU wasting your time, it can fill your harddisk with useless junk, and please, don’t run it on computers with more than 100 MB (that’s 0.1 GB) of disk space or more than 1’000 files; otherwise, it might never finish. If you try to search something, bring some time – useless results take a moment to come up with.

Don’t disable it either, or apps like Dolphin will be unhappy. It’s already beyond the abilities of these people to hide the UI elements for rating and tags when you try to protect yourself.

I opened a bug to have Nepomuk removed from KDE until it reaches alpha status but that bug was closed.

‘Nuf said.

Suspend Fail in openSUSE 12.1 After Upgrading KDE

29. June, 2012

When you upgrade openSUSE 12.1’s KDE 4.7 to 4.8 (using this repo), suspend to disk or ram might stop working. If so, you’ve encountered bug 758379:  STR (Suspend to RAM) fails when NetworkManager running and NFS shares mounted

The description is a bit misleading. It also happens for suspend to disk (STD) and when you don’t use NetworkManager.

Workaround: Unmount your NFS shares before you try to suspend:

sudo umount -t nfs -a

If you use NFS v4, then the command is:

sudo umount -t nfs4 -a

To check whether it worked, use this:

mount | grep nfs

This shouldn’t print anything with “type nfs” anymore. Afterwards, suspend should work.

KDE4: Running ssh-agent at Login

21. August, 2011

Here is the recipe if you need to run ssh-agent when you log in. First, create a start-up script $HOME/.kde4/env/start-ssh-agent.sh

eval `/usr/bin/ssh-agent`

To make sure the agent is killed when you log out, you need a script $HOME/.kde4/shutdown/kill-ssh-agent.sh

/usr/bin/ssh-agent -k

Tested with KDE 4.7 on openSUSE 11.4.

Suffering From Nepomuk, too?

20. August, 2011

Nepomuk is probably a suitable name for the tool suite. The name is related to the  “Pumuckl” which was a gremlin that causes all kinds of grief and havoc. I think the name is suitable since that’s what the Nepomuk framework and all related tools always did for me: Cause grief.

Either they locked up my computer, crashed my KDE session or hogged some resource (CPU, RAM, hard disk). Just now I installed this sh…software on a new laptop where it effectively prevented me to log in.

Trying to be proactive, I created a bug. Vote for it if you hate Nepomuk, too.

Rationale: We have this stuff several years to grow up. Apparently, it’s not happening.

Fixing Screen Refresh Problems with KDE 4.6

23. February, 2011

If you have problems with your screen in KDE 4.6 (application windows don’t get restored correctly after minimizing them; windows won’t update after a change; when overwriting selected text, part of the selected text stays on the screen; popup windows leave black boxes), try this: Switch the “Compositing Type” from “OpenGL” to “XRender” (in “System Settings” -> “Desktop Effects” -> “Advanced” tab).

As a nice side effect, this reduced the CPU usage of KWin from 10-30% to 0%.

Some desktop effects don’t work with this setting but in return, the UI feels more snappy.

Strange text entry behavior in KDE 4.5

11. August, 2010

As I write the last blog entry, I noticed that the cursor was somehow … glued to the last character. In the web browser, the last character would be underlined and in the shell, it would be displayed in reverse. When typing a symbol like comma or tick, I would get an umlaut like ç or é.

The culprit is called SCIM – “Smart Chinese/Common Input Method”. If you look at the running tasks, you should see a small window in the lower right corner of your screen:

SCIM main window

SCIM can get in your way

Click on the icon to quit this beast.

As I found out while writing this blog post, SCIM is pretty dangerous. If you start it in the foreground and then press Ctrl+Z to put it in the  background, all programs which take text input freeze. Stopping SCIM in the middle of a session can also leave Google Chrome dead. Great.

Plasma doesn’t come up after updating to KDE 4.5

11. August, 2010

If the desktop doesn’t come up after upgrading to KDE 4.5, check that the file “/usr/bin/ksmserver” exists. If it’s missing, look for the package “kdebase-workspace-bin” and install it (again) if necessary.

Could not start ksmserver. Check your installation. [solved]

11. August, 2010

SOLVED (see below)

I just upgraded to KDE 4.5 (for openSUSE 11.3, see here for instructions) but it won’t start. All I get is a xconsole with this text:

Could not start ksmserver. Check your installation.

The .xsession-errors log shows that the server unexpectedly dies. I check that all the libraries are there and stuff but to no avail. If I start it from the command line, it says “Can’t connect to X server on :0”. If I use a different window manager, I get “Can’t connect kdm. Use –replace to …”

Will keep trying.

[Update 1] It seems that this is a bug in the package version resolution of zypper. It only updates some packages but not all. So far, I couldn’t figure out which package breaks ksmserver. Using yast2 to install all KDE-related packages from the new 4.5 repository doesn’t help.

[Update 2] The error message in .xsession-errors looks like:

kdeinit4: (ksmserver /usr/bin/ksmserver) Pipe closed unexpectedlykdeinit4: Pipe closed unexpectedly: Resource temporarily unavailable

[Update 3] After some prodding, I found a solution. Here is a recipe:

  1. Run the installation via the one-click install. If one-click is broken for some reason, just invoke /sbin/OneClickInstallUI "http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Distro:/Factory/openSUSE_11.3/KDE4-BASIS.ymp"
  2. This will get you most of KDE 4.5 but not everything, so don’t reboot, yet. If you did reboot, you will have to do the following from the console which isn’t that much fun. If your KDE is broken, select a different window manager in the login screen (like TWM or MWM).
  3. What is missing? First locate the name of your KDE Factory repository. Run zypper lr One line of the output should read “KDE:Distro:Factory” or very similar. Note the value in the column “Alias” for this entry.
  4. Now we can ask zypper to list all updates that it didn’t install: zypper lu -a|grep KDE:Distro:Factory (use the name from above). This can be a long list. Don’t worry.
  5. To install the missing things, restrict zypper to the KDE Factory repository: zypper install --from KDE:Distro:Factory ...package names... Zypper will ask whether it’s OK to change the vendor. Answer “y” (yes).
  6. When zypper lu doesn’t print anything anymore, KDE 4.5 should start.

Next stop: Working around all the new bugs in KDE 4.5.

Maybe related: KDE startet nicht mehr, ksmserver error (German)