Bonum Certa Men Certa

KDE Neon Weirdness

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 24, 2024

Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer.

Colorful retro vintage style pop art poster of Statue of Liberty

Last night, KDE Neon released almost 100 updates. I’ve generally had a pleasant experience with this distribution so far.

However, when I rebooted, I connected my HDMI cable to the TV and proceeded to watch a movie in Dragon Player.

While I was watching the movie, the screen in the laptop apparently froze up, although the movie continued playing, so I didn’t notice until the movie was done.

When I pressed the power button, the logout screen showed up and started a 30 second countdown until shutdown. I couldn’t move the mouse pointer, so I just let it shut the computer down.

When it came back up, all the icons in SDDM were broken. My WiFi was turned off, and my Bluetooth was impossible to turn back on again, so my mouse wouldn’t work.

Then I turned the WiFi on and came across a suggested command (as root) “rfkill list”, and it told me my Bluetooth was “soft blocked”, so I used (as root) “rfkill unblock bluetooth”. It let me turn Bluetooth back on and my mouse started working again.

But the icons on SDDM were broken. Someone in the KDE Neon chatroom suggested switching to Breeze Dark icons, logging out, logging in, and switching back. However, I already use Breeze Dark and those were the only icons listed that could be selected.

Then while I was trying to figure that out, the system tray started malfunctioning. Clicking icons in the system tray did not bring up that icon’s menu, just an empty “dot”.

Well, on a lark, logging out, selecting “KDE on X11”, and trying it again made the system tray work again, so I logged out, selected “KDE on Wayland” and it remained working.

Today, I installed more updates, and among them it included a new version of Breeze Icons, and now my icons are correct on SDDM (the display manager) and regular Breeze (the light version) shows up again.

I really wish that they would wait until the entire update is available before pushing anything out. I must have somehow ended up with mismatched packages from two separate versions of Plasma Workspaces and weird things started happening to my computer.

I’ve mentioned several times that “Linux and open source stuff in general” is nowhere near as reliable as it was even in 2007. In so many places, it’s like we’ve taken one step forward and three steps back. Just not any one thing, but everything (especially the init system and administrative tooling, but the desktops too).

To think that my computers actually worked great under KDE 3 and SysVInit and they do all sorts of crazy shit in the wake of what came about later makes me tend to think that good people have left and in many cases less qualifies people have taken their place.

This is just my general observation as a user. The trajectory has been “on a steep downward spiral” for years.

I’m far too lazy to “learn BSD” or something, and even if I wasn’t, I’m fully aware of the level of, well, outright harassment is going on with things like Wayland and SystemD, against anything that is not Linux, so bad interfaces make it over there as ports and we’ll end up with the same problems, most likely, as they do.

Someone asked what I get with Wayland that I don’t get with X11. Well, nothing. KDE still works great with X11. It took this long to work….at all with Wayland, and in many cases it was just a lot of waiting (on the part of users) and effort (on the part of developers) to get back to some semblance of the order we had prior to this mess.

But in the end, it’s KDE’s circus and KDE’s monkeys, and if they want to spend a lot of time reinventing wheels as part of the Wayland crowd, well, I can’t tell them not to.

They’re apparently going to add a SystemD Blue Screen of Death module. In 2007, I don’t feel that my computers crashed enough to need anything like this.

Modern software development is just make a pile of bugs, then don’t fix it, and go replace something else with a pile of bugs. We’re finally reaping the endgame here, and I’ve got to say that, last night felt like something that would have been more expected under Windows 10 or 11 after some updates roll in than “typical for Linux”.

Very unnerving.

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