Friday, 16 June 2017

New look for my Plasma

I've settled on the breeze dark "look and feel" for some time now.

I did try ark dark because I loved ark dark in my GTK desktops and I particularly like the window decorations.

However,  going through all KDE's extra options to try to get GTK apps to display the same as native QT I could never get the consistency I was looking for,  so back to breeze dark.

These are the look and feel themes I have installed currently:

Setup like this I did have the consistency I was looking for but I wanted something more.  

Breeze dark with a little transparency would be even nicer: so I delved into the nether reaches of the "get new theme" button and came up with Breeze Transparent Dark,  which does the trick nicely.

Here are my installed desktop themes:

Now I can have some lovely effects on my menu and taskbar:

Thursday, 8 June 2017

I've moved back to KDE with Antergos

I had a bit of a disaster with my Manjaro XFCE and despite my best efforts I could not revive it.  If you watch a lot of YouTube videos on linux distros you often see people starting off on Manjaro and then leaving it when something goes wrong.  Usually,  its Manjaro that gets the blame.  So,  just to be clear,  this was all my fault: nothing to do with the distro.

I'd decided to fiddle around with my graphics settings to try to reduce screen tearing and after putting in some extra settings on the nividia-settings module life got awfully nasty.  Initially I had no visuals at all: but after a bit of terminal work I did get the GUI back: but Steam in particular refused to play ball despite my frantic googling efforts.

This seemed a good opportunity to try something new: so I decided to have a look at KDE again.  I like KDE: I like the way you can fiddle around with all aspects of the desktop to your heart's content. It also gave me the excuse to put another 8GB of RAM in my tired old HP desktop taking it up to the giddy heights of 16GB.

I decided to go for a "purer" Arch with Antergos rather than stick with Manjaro (although they do a KDE version) so with some trepidation I set up the ISO on a trusty USB stick and off I went.  In the past I've had all sort of fun and games with Antergos and in particular,  the installer.  However,  on this occasion I did get the install completed after some playing around with the updater which did eventually update the running ISO and do the install.

Its my first serious go (I don't count virtualbox) at KDE 5 and its a bit of a revelation.  In common with other commenters I've found it far less resource intensive than I had expected.  Of course it does use more RAM than XFCE (which I still use on a laptop via the ever reliable MX-16) but it seems far better than my previous installs.

Here's what I'm rocking now:

This is with my trusty NVidia GT-640.  I do have a much better NVidia card but its too power hungry for the PSU in the HP plus its too big for the motherboard: so that one will have to wait for a new build for now.  

I experimented with quite a few themes (as you do) but settled on breeze dark in the end.  I do love the arc-dark look,  especially the window buttons,  but I just couldn't get it to look consistent between the normal and GTK windows so in the end I gave up and went for breeze in look and feel and desktop themes.  

I have to say I'm well pleased with the results: and it does perform well as a gaming rig too.  I've just added Mad Max to my steam library and despite its dire warnings of performance issues on first run: it does run just fine: even with antialiasing on.

I've just updated my Mad Max to use the vulkan driver that's available via the Steam beta: and the results are fantastic.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Delay the startup of Latte Dock in KDE

I'm now using a KDE build (Antergos) : and loving it!

I've been using Latte Dock since I had some issues with Plank under KDE: on occasions it would show an extra icon for Plasma and that started me looking for something new.

I do like Latte Dock a lot: but I've been having an issue with KDE occasionally crashing out of GL compositing on startup: which always shows up in the dock since its background re appears and looks ugly.

My theory is that if I could delay the dock startup a while: the compositing would be unaffected when the dock loaded: and so far it seems to have worked.

So I changed the line in my autostart to look like this:

The only thing I changed was the command which reads:

sleep 20s && latte-dock &

Now the compositing can load ahead of the dock and all seems to be well.