For the longest time I have shrugged off KDE 4 because of poor performance. But since 4.4 I have noticed a rather vast leap of the improvement chasm. Now, 4.5 is out and the leap went lunar! That's right, KDE has finally reached a level of usability and performance that rivals any of its competition (so long as its competition isn't one of the very light weight window managers, but that's comparing apples to chocolate chip cookies). For all of those who want to experience this amazing improvement, but don't want to have to wait until your distribution of choice releases with KDE 4.5 in all its glory, fear not...there is a way.
In this article I am going to show you how to upgrade both Fedora and Ubuntu so that your KDE becomes as snappy and reliable as it was back in the good ol' days of 3.5.
Before we begin
You will want to make sure that your distribution is fully up to date. So use either your Update Manager or run an update from the command line. Once you have done this you are ready to go.
Adding the repositories
As I said, I am going to be showing you how to do this in both Fedora and Ubuntu. This means we'll be dealing with apt and yum repositories. The first thing you have to do, in order to make your package manager aware of the new KDE updates, is to edit your repositories. Let's first do this in Fedora.
For Fedora you will create a new repo file in /etc/yum.repos.d. We'll call this file kde.repo. The contents of this file will be:
# kde.repo, v2.1
Now, the Ubuntu version is a bit different. Open up a terminal window and issue the command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/beta && sudo apt-get update
With the repositories in place you are almost ready to begin. But first you have an extra step in Fedora.
Enabling the repositories
In Fedora you need to fist make sure you have the repositories enabled before the system will be aware there is an update. To do this click on the start button and then enter "kpackage" in the search string. KPackageKit will pop up. Click on that entry to start up the tool you need.
Within this tool you will want to click on the Settings "tab" (see Figure 1) and then scroll down until you see KDE Testing and KDE Unstable. Check both of those and click Apply. Once you have done that you are ready to check for updates. To do this click on the Software Updates "tab". You should see numerous updates available, all pertaining to KDE 4.5. You are ready to update.
You are already in the location you need to be in for Fedora. Click the Select All Updates button in KPackageKit and then click Apply. The update process should now begin.
If you are updating KDE in Ubuntu, from the terminal window, issue the command:
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
If, however, you are installing KDE for the first time, issue the command:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Completing the upgrade
Once your upgrade (or install) is complete all you need to do is log out and log back in. You can open up the Dolphin file manager and click Help > About KDE to see that, in fact, you are now running KDE 4.5. Enjoy the experience!
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