LXDE and Plasma 5 .desktop -Files don’t meet the same requirements.

I’ve just switched a Linux computer of mine from the LXDE to the Plasma 5 desktop managers, because Plasma 5, the successor to KDE 4, is infinitely more-powerful. But then there were some issues with the transition, that may be relevant to my readers, if the readers also wish to switch desktop-managers, on an installed Linux computer.

One fact which I learned, was that even though LXDE and Plasma 5 both use .desktop -Files to launch applications, each system’s .desktop Files are different.

There is a directory named:

‘~/.config/autostart’

In which we find .desktop -Files that are to be run when the user first logs in. And we may find that the initial log-ins don’t run those files:

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Also, because the configuration in question is just a set of files, trying to click on these entries  in the Plasma 5 settings center does not enable them.

One main reason for which this happens, is the fact that the professional who set up these configuration files, gave the original ones a line that goes like this:

OnlyShowIn=XFCE;LXDE;LXQt;

On my system, this fact was a life-saver, because the LXDE version initially had Compiz installed, which is a fun compositor, but which is not compatible with KDE or Plasma 5. If that had launched, it would have messed up my first attempt to establish a Plasma 5 session.

But there exist other applications which I’d want to have run, even if I’m logging in to Plasma 5, for which reason I used the GUI, to create a Plasma 5 -compatible launcher for the script that updates my version of Flash to the latest version:

screenshot_20171017_083357

And I edited-in a line with a text-editor, which now goes:

OnlyShowIn=KDE;

The exact appearance of the icons here is purely coincidental. But if we wanted to transfer such scripts to:

‘/etc/skel’

Then a big problem for a user like me would be, that scripts which we created in our own home-folders, are likely to contain configuration-details, which will only work for the one user who created them. And so I kept this .desktop -File spartan, to make sure that it will work, regardless of whose home-folder it eventually ends up in.

Dirk

 

Freshly switched to KDE 4 or Plasma 5, and unable to Browse Network Shares using Dolphin?

I just installed Plasma 5 from the package-manager, on my tower-computer named ‘Plato’, only to find that for some time, I was unable to browse Windows File Shares – i.e. ‘SMB Shares’ – casually, just using the ‘Dolphin’ File Manager. Yet, I was able to mount these shares using ‘Smb4K’, making them visible in my local folders as though there.

Dolphin was showing me an essentially empty set of icons when displaying the Network.

As it turns out, we need to install a package named:

‘kio-extras’

Which will give Dolphin the additional plug-ins it needs, to recognize ‘smb://’ URIs. If our Plasma 5 desktop manager was set up professionally, then the person doing so would know about such details. But when individuals set up KDE or Plasma for the first time, we need to learn such details first-hand.

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As an added note, we might find that when we click on the Trash widget in our Panel, which I left just at the right-most end, we may get the error-message to the effect that ‘trash:/’ was a corrupted URL. Yet, from within Dolphin, the trash bin displays just fine.

In my case this was happening, because I did not have Dolphin set up as my default File Management application, in my Plasma 5 Settings, where instead I had an application selected which would have been appropriate to an LXDE desktop, and which does not recognize URIs that begin with ‘trash:/’. Switching this setting to make Dolphin my Default File Manager, fixed this problem.

Dirk

 

Distinguishing between Different Battery-Types

One of the things I recently did, was to pair my Linux-laptop, which I name ‘Klystron’, with an external Bluetooth-Mouse, because even though this advanced, HP laptop has as its hardware, an advanced Synaptics touchpad, that emulates a mouse quite well, we can grow tired of always using the built-in touchpad. I documented here, what I needed to do, to accomplish this pairing.

Well one of the features which the KDE Desktop Manager gives us under Linux, is to indicate the battery-charge-levels, not only of the laptop’s built-in battery, but also those of attached BT-mice, or of anything else which is connected, that has a battery, and the hardware of which is able to report as telemetry, the battery-level.

What was surprising me about this arrangement, was that the indicated battery-level of the mouse seemed to track accurately over the days, that the mouse was connected. This surprised me, because as I was remembering events, I had placed Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries into the mouse some time ago, and most devices which are physically designed to accept batteries in the AA-format, or in the AAA-battery-format, would be calibrated for Alkaline, Zinc-Manganese-Oxide batteries. When such accessories try to gauge the battery-level, if they have the chip to do so, the voltage-curve of a Ni-MH battery tends to remain lower than that of an Alkaline. A fully-charged Ni-MH only generates about 1.2V per cell, while an Alkaline generates 1.5V. And so when a Ni-MH battery is inserted, this chip will usually indicate a partially-discharged battery, even immediately after it has been charged, and then, when this battery-type finally goes dead, its voltage will collapse almost instantly.

Before the indicated charge-level dropped below ‘70%’, I decided to take the AA-format batteries out, and to put them into a charger I have, that’s designed for Ni-MH batteries, and what I found was, that the LEDs in the charger refused to light up, for the inserted batteries. They did not indicate partially-charged or anything, they just stayed ‘off’.

And so next, my thinking was, ‘Darned! I now have either batteries which have failed on me, or worse – a charger which has failed on me 100%…’

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