The K in KDE

This was an interesting tidbit that showed up in the hints on login to SUSE.

The K in KDE does not stand for anything. It is the character that comes before L in the Latin alphabet, which stands for Linux. It was chosen because KDE runs on many types of UNIX (and perfectly well on FreeBSD).

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SUSE Build Search

SUSE now offers a web search that allows you to find programs and their respective repositories. The one-click install will be implemented in SUSE 10.3, although there are ways to make it work in SUSE 10.2.

I use the search tool to find the repositories that I need for the specific programs I want. Once you find what you are looking for simple on the link in the upper right of each search result. This will take you to the address of that repository.

For example if you search for eclipse the link in the upper right is Java:addon/openSUSE_10.2. After you click the link it will take you to the following url: http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Java:/addon/openSUSE_10.2/.

You can then use the url to add a source to YaST. For instruction please see Adding YaST Installation Sources.

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Internet Radio

I enjoy Internet radio through Amarok. Instead of picking songs off the web, cds, etc. a playlist will be sent to you and the music streamed to your computer.

To use Amarok to listen to Internet radio simply open Ameriok. Alt+F2 then type amarok. (or in the menus under Multimedia->Audio Player->Amarok or just Multimedia->Amarok) After Amarok loads select Playlists from the left tabs, then drop down Radio Streams.

You can add your own or look at the Cool-Streams that come with Amarok. Simply select one of the streams by double clicking it. The playlist will download and then you can choose one of the streams to listen to.

SUSE Installation Thoughts

Partitions

It is a good idea to partition your drive into a main partition for applications and system stuff, home driver, and swap partition. By doing this you will be able to re-install SUSE without touching your personal files.

A swap partition is used when your computer runs our of memory then it can use the hard driver space for extra memory. I usually do a gig swap partition.

Turn off ZMD

I have found that there is really no way to remove ZMD after installing SUSE. You can disable ZMD, but there isn't any real way to un-install it.

My recommendation is to never install it. When installing SUSE simple click the software link when that screen is available and set Enterprise Software Management (ZENworks Linux Management) to Taboo by right clicking and selecting Taboo.

If you have already installed SUSE and just want to disable it please try Improving Yast Software Management.

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Installing KDevelop

Recently I have begun work in C++ and decided I wanted the most up to date version of KDevelop. So I looked in YAST but it wasn't the newest. The easiest way to get and maintain up to date version is to add a source containing KDevelop to YAST.

Add the following source to YaST. If you are new to adding installation sources please refer to Adding YaST Installation Sources.

http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Backports/openSUSE_10.2/x86_64

Then goto Software Management and install KDevelope. YAST will then maintain your version by alerting you to updates and allowing you to install them with a single click.

A good tutorial I used is: http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/

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Desktop Notes in SUSE 10.2 KDE

Windows Vista has a new feature that allows you to place notes on your desktop. This feature has existed for some time in SUSE, and there have been various Windows Gadgets that sought to emulate the functionality. I will explain how to use notes in SUSE 10.2.

Start by loading KNotes via Menu->Desktop->KNotes.

KNotes will load itself in the system tray (icons in the bottom right of screen by default). To make a new note simply right click on the KNotes icon and click new note.

A new note will appear on your desktop that you can drag around, hide, and change note settings.

The note title can by modified by double clicking on the window title area.

You can add other options to your note such as an alarm that will remind you of the note.

You can hide notes by clicking the X on them, but to delete notes you must right click and select delete.

Hidden notes can be reopened by left clicking on the KNotes icon and selected the note you wish to reopen. If you only have one note than it will automatically open it.

Custom Key Mapping in SUSE 10.2

I like mapping keys to tasks/applications that I use often. This can be done very easily in SUSE 10.2 as I will explain. For this example I will show you how to emulate the Windows plus E key functionality in SUSE.

Open up Input Actions window. Menu->Settings->Regional & Accessibility->Input Actions.

Then add a new group for your custom actions. I added Windows Key since I choose to map some Windows key combinations.

I added the WIN+E that opens up home folder similar to Windows behavior. To do this add new action under your recently added group. Set the information to what is shown in the screenshot below.

Next set the keyboard shortcut by clicking on the icon of a keyboard button as in the screen below.

You should see the following.

You can now press down the key combination that you wish to map. So for this example press and hold the Windows key and the E key. Now enter the location of your home folder. Your home folder should be /home/[username]/ where [username] is replaced by your computer username. For example user john would be /home/john/.

This is just the beginning of what can be accomplished through the Input Actions dialog. You can setup conditions on when to run certain commands and when they apply. You can even setup mouse gestures.

Get RAR Functionality in SUSE 10.2

Coming from Windows and WinRAR I attempted to figure out how to extract RAR files on SUSE and came up with the following solution.

Add the following source to YaST. If you are new to adding installation sources please refer to Adding YaST Installation Sources.

htt://ftp-linux.cc.gatech.edu/pub/suse/suse/update/10.2

Then goto Software Management and install unrar. Once completed you will be able to extract and view RAR contents through Konqueror just as you would with ZIP or TAR archive.

Update
You can now use SUSE software search to find up-to-date unrar packages. Also note that KDE 4 on SUSE seems to automatically come packaged with it.

Improving YaST Software Management Performance

I noticed that ZMD runs for quite a while when your machine boots. ZMD is used to manage software through YaST. SUSE has its own software that works fine and does not appear to be such a machine hog as ZMD.

To shut of ZMD open a Konsole (ALT + F2 then type konsole) and enter the following.

chkconfig -s novell-zmd off

After running the command I no longer experienced the resource hogging that ZMD appears to have caused.

If the SUSE Updater does not start after you reboot then start it manual from the menus.

System->Desktop Applet->openSUSE Update Applet

If you haven't installed SUSE yet I recommend this instead.

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