Hardy Heron – First Impressions

I just finished a clean install of Kubuntu Hardy Heron + KDE4 on my dual-boot laptop (Dell Inspiron 9400). My initial plan was to upgrade my Gutsy installation, but my harddisk was almost out of space, and upon research, I found out that resizing an ext3 Linux partition that is after an NTFS partition physically isn’t the easiest task in the world.

My partitions before installation were:
So I backed up my Linux files, shed a few tears over losing all those custom installations, and deleted the last 3 partitions after booting from the LiveCD.
My new disk looks like
NTFS/FAT32/FAT32/EXT3 / / EXT3 /home/ / SWP
with plenty of space (24GB) for linux to use.

The installation went very smoothly – I was expecting that I would have to recompile ALSA to get my subwoofer back, but I can see the LFE controls in the default installation. My son was watching the installation, and after playing with the online wallpaper browser, he now wants Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Windows on his system.

I don’t like the new Panel – as of now, it is very restrictive. There aren’t enough applets (now called widgets) in the default installation – maybe I need to search Adept for addons. I was used to tweaking each element on the Panel manually, but that power has been taken away by KDE4 AFAIK. A right-click did not let me move any of the icons around, and after I added a few widgets that I didn’t like, removing them messed up the panel layout totally.

The only workaround to rearranging the items on the KDE4 panel that I could figure out was:

  • Remove ALL widgets from the Panel.
  • Add the widgets you want one by one, from left to right

So I added Application Launcher Menu, Task Manager, Application Launcher, Pager, System Tray and Digital Clock, in that order, and the panel became a bit acceptable.

Another small nuisance of KDE4… I have not used any wallpapers on my operating systems for a few years now, and prefer to keep my desktop black as it is easier on the eye (I didn’t know it was the “green” thing to do until this year). I was unable to find the option to NOT use a wallpaper so far (though I have used HH for about 20 minutes now) – maybe I will find it, or maybe I will need to use a 100% black image as a wallpaper, but the option should have been easier to reach.
The high of a new and clean operating system installation is wearing off now, so I will go install the applications I really need – and perhaps write a bit more about it later.