Friday, June 29, 2012

KDE on the Raspberry Pi

As you may know, there is no Kubuntu for Raspberry, due to the incompatibility of Kubuntu ARM version with the little computer. I wanted to create an image for raspberry most similar as possible to Kubuntu, so I basically took the original Debian release and add some packages to have the entire Plasma Desktop. The result is quite nice, I think, and the system itself uses about 100-110 MB of the total RAM (there is also some swap on the card image). It's also quite speddy: the only problem could be that when you launch a new program, for some seconds the CPU load is 100%. You just need to wait a little and then eveything returns fine. The image can be downloaded from this link:
http://www.zorbaproject.org/raspberry/debian-raspberry-kde.img
and you can dd it on a 4GB SD card with the command:
dd bs=1M if=~/debian-raspberry-kde.img of=/dev/sdd
if your SD card is /dev/sdd, obiously.

Just a note: the username is "pi" and the password is "raspberry".

Have fun hacking with Raspberry and KDE.

EDIT: Now with screenshots:





I decided to shot photos with a camera, because it shows that there is no "trick" and what you are seeing is really KDE on a RaspberryPi.
If you want to look at other shots, here they are: https://picasaweb.google.com/109718345247929494628/KDEOnRaspberryPi

42 comments:

  1. But, but, but... KDE is a resource hog, it couldn't possibly be running on a Pi, there must be some trick involved... ;-)

    Great to see, that's one in the eye for all the haters :-P I'll give it a try on my Pi soon as I get some time.

    John.

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  2. If I'm correct in what I see, there are no compositing effects on the Pi, right?

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  3. @Gary Greene: That's right, there is no compositing by default. I did not try this thing, because I don't need it, but I think it could be possible to have compositing using Xrender instead of OpenGL: just try it from the Desktop Effects tab in the System Settings. Maybe also OpenGL could work, but it would take too much resources for me, and you may need some extra package I did not included in the image.

    Thanks everybody for the compliments.

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  4. Oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god....
    This is AWESOME!
    I will probably use this distro on my RPI. I have a few questions first:
    1. Why is the taskbar at the bottom black? Is this a graphical glitch?
    2. Would it be possible to supply the KDE package separately so I can use it with a distro of my choice?
    Thanks!

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  5. @Jamer:
    1: The taskbar is black because there are no compositing effects. Really, sometimes it looks good, other times it has this black colour. I really don't know why.
    2: Unfortunately, it does not work this way. In fact, the KDE pakages I used are the one compiled by the Debian team, and they work only with Debian or derivatives. It may be possible to use them on Fedora, but you will need to convert every single package. And thete are mroe than a hundred packages. Anyway, probably also Fedora has a KDE version compiled for ARM processors, but I don't know anything about other distros.

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  6. Excellent work! It would be even better if you could explain which packages you used and perhaps describe the entire process of making KDE work on RPi. Thanks! :-)

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  7. @Dmitri:
    Well, it's not too difficult to make KDE work on a Raspberry Pi: in fact, KDE packages are present in the Debian official repository. What I did was just installing only the plasma-desktop minimal package, and then added other useful stuff. For example, in this image there is no semantic desktop, because it uses too much resources and on a Raspberry it could not be so useful.

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  8. If you are still on it, I have an idea how you might get compositing to work.
    AFAIK the Pi does not support "desktop" OpenGL, only OpenGL ES. Well, there is an OpenGL ES version of KWin, which actually tends to perform better even on desktop systems in my experience. The package is called:
    kde-window-manager-gles
    on Kubuntu, and the executable should be called kwin_gles: run
    kwin_gles --replace

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  9. OpenGL ES is a good idea, and I will consider it for a possible next release of Debian KDE for Raspberry.

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  10. I've tried downloading using wget and chrome and the connection closes at the 2GB mark. It's not on my end, fs is xfs and ulimit -f is unlimited, and I have many files larger than 2GB. I'm not positive about chrome, but the 2GB limit was fixed in wget years ago. What's going on?

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  11. I don't know: I never tried to download the image using wget. Seems other people were able to download this file, so I think there is some particular problem in your case.

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  12. I've been trying to download it as well, via wget, curl, and every web browser out there - all downloads quit just after the 2GB file size. I wonder if the hosting provider has an issue with the filesize? Is there any other website that one can download this from. I've tried downloading it to both a Mac and a Linux box. I'm not sure what else to do, as I do know that the filesystem [and browsers] support larger than 2GB files, as I have downloaded 4GB DVD images before.

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    Replies
    1. FYI, here's a screenshot that shows curl failing: https://skitch.com/vjl323/ejtdp/download

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    2. I'm trying to understand what's going on: waiting an answer from my provider.

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  13. Similar results here, and I'm sure it not on my end. I can successfully wget files larger than 2GB from other sources. Every app I've tried downloading with has the connection unexpectedly closed at byte 2147483647. It's as if the web server at the other end has a 2GB limit. It's confusing that anybody at all can download the file.

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  14. Ok, it turns out that my provider has now a limit of 2GB for download: I'm trying to find a solution (maybe using FTP, since it has not the 2GB limit).

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  15. Thanks for looking for a solution, I'd love to try your image. If you don't find a simple solution to the size limit, you could rar it into 2 files, or even just split it, so both files are under 2GB.

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  16. Now the file has been uploaded at the address http://www.zorbaproject.org/raspberry/debian-raspberry-kde.zip
    Tell me if you are able to download it.

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  17. I was able to download it, thanks! Unfortunately it doesn't work, it gets stuck while booting in an infinite loop of mmc0: Timeout waiting for hardware interrupt. If I plug anything into USB, it also loops forever resetting a USB device. Oh well! I'd love to find any DE that's actually usable, raspbian isn't, but at least it runs nicely without a DE. Thanks for your efforts, and I'll keep watching in case something changes!

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  18. Strange, it seems to work good for both my two raspberrypis...

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  19. Strange indeed. It does the same thing with both mine. So just FYI in case anybody else has the same behavior.

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  20. I was able to download it just fine - thanks! I will be giving a try later this evening and see if it works on my Pi. I'll report back tonight with the results. Thanks very much for zipping the file up and for creating this! :)

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  21. I downloaded it without issue yesterday. I then bought a 16gb flash card and used dd to copy the image to the card.

    I inserted the card into the Pi and turned it on. Nothing happens. The red power light is on but the indicator that the flash card is being read change.

    The raspbian image I have works.

    I've looked at the contents of the flash and it looks like everything is fine and in working order.

    Any ideas as to why it would not load on my model b Pi?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know. The only thing that comes to my mind is that I prepared the image for a 4 GB card: try to use a four GB SD.

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    2. I'm having he same problem. I have a 4GB which wont fit for some reason. and a 8GB so I installed it on there. It doesn't do anything at all.

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  22. Is there a way to limit dd process to a single core? 4GB image is a slight overkill, and the above command caused my computer to hang completely for a good hour before I decided to reset it. And by 'hang completely' I mean I couldn't even enter a TTY session, move a mouse or generally do anything.

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    Replies
    1. On my computer dd does not cause problems... anyway remember that if your system is blocked, you can kill the biggest process using Alt+Stamp+f.

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  23. First of all, thanks for your work!

    I got my PI today and want to use your KDE image.

    My question: Is your distribution updated?

    I mean, how new is it right now?

    I also own a 32GB Kingston SD and would like to know if it will work.

    Would like to use your distri this evening. :-)

    Thanks a bunch

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    Replies
    1. Actually it's kinda outdated... anyway if you want to try it there should be no problems. I'm working on a version of Antico/RazorQt for Raspberry, which should be better.

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    2. Hmmm, alright.

      So you mean you are working on a derivate of this:

      http://raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=11541

      ?

      This is the distribution I tried first, but unfortunately it is very slow and barely useable.

      Anyway, wish you all the best for the new distri!

      Thanks again

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  24. Hi , can you please upload it to a different free server ? , i cant download it from this link the speed is 0KB .
    thanks

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, actually this image is unmaintained. I decided to stop working on it because now it is really easy to install KDE on an official Raspbian distro, so there is no need for the image I created.

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    2. How do you install it from official Raspbian distro?

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    3. Just open the package manager (e.g.: aptitude) and search for kde metapackages.

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  25. Hi! I burned the img file on sd-card to my raspberry but when i power on the raspberry with debian kde the raspberry no work.
    Which is the solution??
    Thanks, sorry but my english is not perfect.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about it, maybe the file is damaged, or the SD card is not 4GB. Anyway, today debian-kde for rapsberry is not longer mantained because it's not necessary: you can just install raspbian official image and then add the kde packages using aptitude.

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    2. I installed kde on raspbian 2014-01 but kde run very bad and it have short speed - I'm trying kde with 2012-12. If i can run kde fast I will write you to say it.
      Sorry but my english is not perfect

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  26. Has anyone got this to work? It is exactly what I need. I downloaded the zip and wrote the image to a 8gb SD and nothing happens when I boot the PI

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    Replies
    1. Hi, as I already wrote in other comments, this image is no longer mantained. In fact it's not necessary, since with a normal Raspbian image you can easily install KDE packages (using aptitude package manager).

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    2. Opps, sorry. I have Okular, a PDF reader. I read on their support that in order to write comments and save to the pdf that I would need the latest version of KDE. Can you tell I'm a newbie on Raspberry PI and Linux.....

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