April 25, 2019

KDE 3.0 Review: Bumpy Install, Smooth Run - page 5

Introducing KDE 3.0

  • April 8, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

It would really make my day if there was a way to install KDE with a single command. It seems to me that we have the technology to do this in Linux with a smart enough RPM setup, but then I'm not a programmer and it's really easy and fun for non-programmers to dream up "simple" projects for programmers, so I bet it's not as easy as I think. My major, super, stupendously big beef here is that under SuSE 7.3, I end up with a system with a broken useradd command. Before installing KDE 3.0 I could create user accounts with no difficulty. Now (at the command line) I create a user account and the command doesn't make a home directory for that user! That's a pretty serious problem.

There's a workaround available, though. The account's created properly in /etc/password and so on, there's just no home directory. So, you can always create a "blank" account before installing KDE 3.0, then from inside /home after you create the user and add their password (in a system where all of the users are assigned to group users):

cp -a  
chown -R

or on a system where all users get their own group:

cp -a  
chown -R .

Whenever possible it's nice to be using software with less bugs, and KDE 3.0 certainly has a lot of bug fixes. It's also got quite a list of new features. However, my personal preference is to stick with the GUI version that my distribution came with, and update it when I update my distribution as a unit. Otherwise it gets just too fiddly (as you saw in the installation process) and some things invariably break, as I discovered with my ability to add users--still, I could fix the useradd problem with a quick shell script if this was my main machine. What I'd recommend is going through the list of features and seeing if any of them is something that you need. That makes it worth the hassle right there. Otherwise, only do it if you want to look at it as a learning experience, you enjoy a challenge, or you really really want to have the latest, greatest KDE GUI available--or if there's a piece of software you need that won't run without KDE 3.0.

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