Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry KDEmas everyone!

Lookie what I got in the mail!

It is one of the cards you can get too -- if you help out KDE by the end of the year.

Your gift helps support KDE developers all year long, so head to and give big!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

KDE Developer Guide needs a new home and some fresh content

As I just posted in the Mission Forum, our KDE Developer Guide needs a new home. Currently it is "not found" where it is supposed to be.

UPDATE: Nicolas found the PDF on, which does have the photos too. Not as good as the xml, but better than nothing.

We had great luck using markdown files in git for the chapters of the Frameworks Cookbook, so the Devel Guide should be stored and developed in a like manner. I've been reading about Sphinx lately as a way to write documentation, which is another possibility. Kubuntu uses Sphinx for docs.

In any case, I do not have the time or skills to get, restructure and re-place this handy guide for our GSoC students and other new KDE contributors.

This is perhaps suitable for a Google Code-in task, but I would need a mentor who knows markdown or Sphinx to oversee. Contact me if interested! #kde-books or #kde-soc

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Happy 20th birthday, KDE!

KDE turned twenty recently, which seems significant in a world that seems to change so fast. Yet somehow we stay relevant, and excited to continue to build a better future.

Lydia asked recently on the KDE-Community list what we were most proud of.

For the KDE community, I'm proud that we continue to grow and change, while remaining friendly, welcoming, and ever more diverse. Our software shows that. As we change and update, some things get left behind, only to re-appear in fresh new ways. And as people get new jobs, or build new families, sometimes they disappear for awhile as well. And yet we keep growing, attracting students, hobbyist programmers, writers, artists, translators, designers and community people, and sometimes we see former contributors re-appear too. See more about that in our 20 Years of KDE Timeline.

I'm proud that we develop whole new projects within the community. Recently Peruse, Atelier, Minuet, WikitoLearn, KDEConnect, Krita, Plasma Mobile and neon have all made the news. We welcome projects from outside as well, such as Gcompris, Kdenlive, and the new KDE Store. And our established projects continue to grow and extend. I've been delighted to hear about Calligra Author, for instance, which is for those who want to write and publish a book or article in pdf or epub. Gcompris has long been available for Windows and Mac, but now you can get it on your Android phone or tablet. Marble is on Android, and I hear that Kstars will be available soon.

I'm proud of how established projects continue to grow and attract new developers. The Plasma team, hand-in-hand with the Visual Design Group, continues to blow testers and users away with power, beauty and simplicity on the desktop. Marble, Kdevelop, Konsole, Kate, KDE-PIM, KDElibs (now Frameworks), KOffice (now Calligra), KDE-Edu, KDE-Games, Digikamkdevplatform, Okular, Konversation and Yakuake, just to mention a few, continue to grow as projects, stay relevant and often be offered on new platforms. Heck, KDE 1 runs on modern computer systems!

For myself, I'm proud of how the KDE community welcomed in a grandma, a non-coder, and how I'm valued as part of the KDE Student Programs team, and the Community Working Group, and as an author and editor. Season of KDE, Google Summer of Code, and now Google Code-in all work to integrate new people into the community, and give more experienced developers a way to share their knowledge as mentors. I'm proud of how the Amarok handbook we developed on the Userbase wiki has shown the way to other open user documentation. And thanks to the wonderful documentation and translation teams, the help is available to millions of people around the world, in multiple forms.

I'm proud to be part of the e.V., the group supporting the fantastic community that creates the software we offer freely to the world.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Kubuntu 16.10 is released today

Kubuntu is a friendly, elegant operating system. The system uses the Linux kernel and Ubuntu core. Kubuntu presents KDE software and a selection of other essential applications.

We focus on elegance and reliability. Please join us and contribute to an exciting international Free and Open Source Software project.

Install Kubuntu and enjoy friendly computing. Download the latest version:

Download kubuntu 64-bit (AMD64) desktop DVD    Torrent

Download kubuntu (Intel x86) desktop DVD            Torrent

PCs with the Windows 8 logo or UEFI firmware, choose the 64-bit download. Visit the help pages for more information.

Ubuntu Release notes
For a full list of issues and features common to Ubuntu, please refer to the Ubuntu release notes.
Known problems
For known problems, please see our official Release Announcement.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

2016-2017 Season of KDE begins

Do you have a project in mind which will help KDE? Whether you are an experienced developer who would like to mentor someone as part of that project, or a less-experienced person who wants a mentor to help you create the project, Season of KDE is for you.

KDE Student Programs today announces the 2016-2017 Season of KDE for those who want to participate in mentored projects which enhance KDE in some way.

Projects from past Seasons of KDE include new application features, the KDE Continuous Integration system, new reporting for developers, as well as a web framework, porting and a plethora of other work.

Successful mentees earn a certificate of completion along with  a very cool tee shirt and other goodies. Any person who wants to complete a project is eligible to enter.

Those who want to mentor are asked to add ideas here: The sooner the better, please!

Students are asked to begin discussion about your ideas or those on the various KDE mail lists and IRC channels even before applications open. The more consultation is done with the team you want to work with, the more likely you are to succeed.

The schedule this year will be:
  •  7 October to 31 October:  Student and mentor applications
  •  1 November: Official coding period begins. Students can start work after once mentor and student agree on the project scope and the timeline
  •  28 February : End of coding period
To apply as a mentor or student, please visit

 Photo by Erik Drost, Mentor Marsh Nature Preserve through a Creative Commons license. Thanks!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Snowden -- see this film!

You've seen the news stories, and maybe the documentary. The film Snowden will still scare and inspire you. Oliver Stone has made a film that will draw you in, engage you, and even feel anxious about Snowden's safety. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazingly like the man you've seen on TV or Youtube.

Imdb says about Snowden: Its performance during its opening weekend was the lowest opening of Oliver Stone's career for a film playing in over 2,000 theaters. So go to a theater near you, and see it!

Then come home and join the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF). And thank goodness you still have the freedom to do these things.

I'm so happy that the time I've spent working with KDE and Kubuntu support freedom and privacy too. These issues grow more important as the attacks on both grow more frequent and bold.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book reviews: Eleanor Roosevelt, and Bog Bodies Uncovered

Eleanor Roosevelt, Vol. 2: 1933-1938, by Blanche Wiesen Cook

What a fantastic ride this biography is, seeing the world through the eyes of ER, born in 1884 into one of the oldest New York families, niece of the President of the United States, but also daughter of an alcoholic, and orphaned by age 10.

Always insecure because of her childhood, she rose to be one of the world's most beloved and respected women, surviving almost unbelievable challenges along the way. Because of her class and mores of the time, she was able to help her husband and distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt become a New York State legislator, Governor, and US President all while he battled the after-affects of polio, even as she recovered from his betrayal of her with Lucy Mercer.

She went on to build a life of her own in parallel to his, both holding "courts" of power, both having other lovers and deeply intimate friendships while supporting one another in their pursuits of what was best for the United States and the world as another world war loomed.

It is hard for me to believe after about ER's accomplishments, that we as a culture are still evidently not willing to give women direct power when they are qualified and willing to take on the difficult job of governing the US. I hope I'm wrong in my gloomy assessment of the US cultural landscape.

Now that part three of this biography has been published, I have it on hold at my local library.


Bog Bodies Uncovered: Solving Europe's Ancient Mystery by Miranda Aldhouse-Green

I borrowed this from a friend (thanks, Christine!) after I became absorbed in it up at our cabin in the mountains. The drawings and photos are great, and the analysis is good, if a bit speculative. I see that Nova has a documentary on the bodies; I'll try to check that out. Slim book, well worth the time. We can learn so much from these ancient mummies.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kubuntu beta; please test!

Kubuntu 16.10 beta has been published. It is possible that it will be re-spun, but we have our beta images ready for testing now.

Please go to, login, click on the CD icon and download the image. I prefer zsync, which I download via the commandline:

~$ cd /media/valorie/ISOs (or whereever you store your images)
~$ zsync

UPDATE: the beta images have now been published officially. Rather than the daily image above, please download or torrent the beta, or just upgrade. We still need bug reports and your test results on the qatracker, above.

Thanks for your work testing so far!

The other methods of downloading work as well, including wget or just downloading in your browser.

I tested usb-creator-kde which has sometimes now worked, but it worked like a champ once the images were downloaded. Simply choose the proper ISO and device to write to, and create the live image.

Once I figured out how to get my little Dell travel laptop to let me boot from USB (delete key as it is booting; quickly hit f12, legacy boot, then finally I could actually choose to boot from USB). Secure boot and UEFI make this more difficult these days.

I found no problems in the live session, including logging into wireless, so I went ahead and started firefox, logged into, chose my test, and reported my results. We need more folks to install on various equipment, including VMs.

When you run into bugs, try to report them via "apport", which means using ubuntu-bug packagename in the commandline. Once apport has logged into launchpad and downloaded the relevant error messages, you can give some details like a short description of the bug, and can get the number. Please report the bug numbers on the qa site in your test report.

Thanks so much for helping us make Kubuntu friendly and high-quality.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kubuntu needs some K/Ubuntu Developer help this week

Our packaging team has been working very hard, however, we have a lack of active Kubuntu Developers involved right now. So we're asking for Devels with a bit of extra time and some experience with KDE packages to look at our Frameworks, Plasma and Applications packaging in our staging PPAs and sign off and upload them to the Ubuntu Archive.

If you have the time and permissions, please stop by #kubuntu-devel in IRC or Telegram and give us a shove across the beta timeline!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Happy 20 Years, KDE

Just got this email as a KDE e.V. supporter, from Lydia Pintscher, e.V. President, and thought I would share:
We are celebrating 20 years of KDE. The actual anniversary is on 14th of October but we are starting the celebrations now already at QtCon. We have put together several things that might be of interest to you:
* A book: "20 Years of KDE: Past, Present and Future" is a collection of short essays by present and past contributors to KDE including KDE's founder Matthias Ettrich. They give insights into the history of KDE and the motivation of its contributors. A paperback version is available for ordering and a PDF can be downloaded for free. You can find out more about it at
* A timeline: This timeline gives an overview of the past 20 years of KDE and highlights the most important events in the history of KDE. You can find it at
* Anniversary celebrations: We are doing dinners and parties in several parts of the world. Signup and planning is happening at (Seattle party-planning is underway) 
You can find coverage from QtCon at and we are collecting pictures from the conference at Thank you for your support over the years that made so much possible. I hope you'll be with us for the next 20.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kubuntu Alive and Thriving at KDE Akademy

Having come a quarter away around the world in part to meet up with my Kubuntu colleagues, it was surprising to hear that some people thought (at a KDE meeting?) that Kubuntu is dead.

Not a chance. We're having elections right now for some Kubuntu Council positions that end this year. We have four candidates for three positions, which seems very healthy to me. By the way, if you are a Kubuntu Member and have not gotten your ballot, please contact Aaron Honeycutt, since the vote closes on the 12th of September.

We ended up meeting for more than 4 hours plus lunch yesterday, the first day of BoF meetings. Then Phil had to leave, which still seems sad, as we all miss his gentle, kind wisdom and humor.

During the meeting, we accomplished a great deal, mostly cleaning out the Trello. We now have
one and only one board, which has been mostly evaluated card by card, commented, and tagged. We hope that this will make it much easier to find a task to work on when you have a bit of spare time. If you have a login to Trello, but need inviting to the board, please check with someone in #kubuntu-devel Freenode IRC. Feel free to create cards when needed, and assign yourself and someone else to it. Many of the items on our Wishlist contain things we really do want, but do not have the time or skills to do. So pitch in as you can.

One of the wonderful parts of Akademy is not just that teams get to meet up face to face, but that *many* teams are in the same place. So when we had a question for Harald or Jon, we could pop next door and ask it. When Jon or Devaja got a Dot story mostly ready, I could just bring it up on my travel laptop for a last look for typos etc. and publish. And when I remembered a problem that was in one of our Kubuntu Trello cards that said "contact X about this" when I saw X in the crowd, I could introduce him to our devel who could work with him on getting the newest Kolab packaged and out to our users more quickly. Things like this can happen only at meetings like Akademy.

For those who don't know, Akademy is usually two days of talks, followed by some days of "BoF" sessions. BoF stands for Birds of a Feather and means short meetings and even sprints for each team that schedules one (or more). And alongside Akademy the members of the e.V. gather for their annual  meeting (AGM), which this year was on Thursday.

This year was different because we co-located Akademy with Qtcon, hosted by KDAB, Qt, VideoLAN and the FSFE. While a lot larger and thus more intense, I found it exciting. The service at the bcc at first seemed very posh, but by the end of the three days of meeting felt *essential*. There was coffee, tea and juices along with food or snacks all day. I tried to sit down to lunch with someone I didn't know every day, which was a great experience! Some of the folks had no experience with free software previously; merely using Qt as part of their job. One fellow even asked me, How is all of this organized? My reply: Organized? It is barely controlled chaos! There was a general laugh around the table, because it is so true. I love it!

Thanks again to the Ubuntu Community for sending me here to Berlin to attend this wonderful set of meetings. Kubuntu survives and thrives.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Help a friend?

Hello, if you are reading this, and have a some extra money, consider helping out a young friend of mine whose mother needs a better defense attorney.

In India, where they live, the resources all seem stacked against her. I've tried to help, and hope you will too.

Himanshu says, Hi, I recently started an online crowd funding campaign to help my mother with legal funds who is in the middle of divorce and domestic violence case.

Please support and share this message. Thanks.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Weeeeee! Akademy and Qtcon approaching fast

Thanks to the Ubuntu Community Fund, I'm able to fly to Berlin and attend, and volunteer too. Thanks so much, Ubuntu community for backing me, and to the KDE e.V. and KDE community for creating and running Akademy.

This year, Akademy is part of Qtcon, which should be exciting. Lots of our friends will be there, from KDAB, VLC, Qt and FSFE. And of course Kubuntu will do our annual face-to-face meeting, with as many of us as can get to Berlin. It should be hot, exhausting, exciting, fun, and hard work, all rolled together in one of the world's great cities.

Today we got the news that Canonical has become a KDE e.V. Patron. This is most welcome news, as the better the cooperation between distributions and KDE, the better software we all have. This comes soon after SuSE's continuing support was affirmed on the growing list of Patrons.

Freedom and generosity is what it's all about!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Last push! Let's get KDE fundraising over the line

Hello folks,

As you know, fundraising is sometimes difficult. Enthusiasm is high in the beginning, then interest lags, and it is possible to limp over the finish line without meeting the goal.

But we don't have to end this way! As in a marathon, after a period of slower running, we can get a second wind, take a drink of some energy-fueling stuff, and put on a burst of speed to finish in style! Please share on twitter, G+, Facebook and on your own blogs, and let's finish our KDE summer fundraiser in a generous way. The Randa Meetings were a huge success, and Qt.con is coming up.

We need your help!



Friday, June 24, 2016

Akademy! and fundraising

Akademy is approaching! And I can hardly wait. This spring has been personally difficult, and meeting with friends and colleagues is the perfect way to end the summer. This year will be special because it's in Berlin, and because it is part of Qt.con, with a lot of our freedom-loving friends, such as Qt, VideoLAN, Free Software Foundation Europe and KDAB. As usual, Kubuntu will also be having our annual meetup there.

Events are expensive! KDE needs money to support Akademy the event, support for those who need travel and lodging subsidy, support for other events such as our Randa Meetings, which just successfully ended. We're still raising money to support the sprints:

Of course that money supports Akademy too, which is our largest annual meeting.

Ubuntu helps here too! The Ubuntu Community fund sends many of the Kubuntu team, and often funds a shared meal as well. Please support the Ubuntu Community Fund too if you can!

I'm going!

I can't seem to make the image a link, so go to for more information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rest in peace, Ted Cowan 1926-2016

I've been a bit quiet online lately. A few weeks back, my father had a stroke, from which he seemed to at least partly recover. However, last week we found that he could not recover, and was in fact dying.

He died 12 May 2016. I wrote about that a bit here: . I was holding his hand as he passed, as was my sister. We're both happy that he is free of his pain, but are both grieving that both our parents are now dead.

Grieving is strange. Sometimes life seems normal, but sometimes not. So I will help out when I have the energy and interest, and at other times, withdraw and recharge. Talking about this is fine in open channels or privately, if you want. This is not a sensitive subject; we'll all die in the end after all.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

KDE has been selected as a Google Summer of Code 2016 mentor organization

Welcome, all interested students!

Students, please read before beginning to create your proposal. KDE works in teams; find a team working on software you would love to help create, get to know them, familiarize yourself with the codebase, and start fixing some bugs.

Don't forget to join the Student list.

Mentors are presenting their ideas for students here; remember this is only a starting place for your proposal. Most of your communication should be in the team's preferred channels, but ask general questions in #kde-soc on freenode IRC, or KDE-Soc Telegram group.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Recently a user asked about getting Samba working in the Kubuntu IRC channel #kubuntu. The excellent Darin Miller (DarinMiller in irc) helped:

DarinMiller: This website has a good samba overview:

Do the following: `sudo apt install samba samba-common system-config-samba python-glade2`

After installing, the user still could not get Samba working, even after creating shared folders and setting  up smdb.conf.

DarinMiller: Add a smb group:  `sudo addgroup smb`, then add yourself to the group: `sudo adduser $USER smb`. Then add yourself as a samba user: `sudo smbpasswd -a $USER`

Enable the user:  `sudo smbpasswd -e $USER`

For the next part, either use the GUI: sudo system-config-samba or, manually edit the smb.conf file: kdesudo kate /etc/samba/smb.conf, and change: workgroup = workgroup to workgroup =

Also, change the resolve order as follows:
name resolve order = bcast host lmhosts wins. Order is very important!

The user asks, "do I have to change the network group name?"
DarinMiller: No, you can leave it as work group.
User: do I have to add that to the config?
DarinMiller: Also,  ensure the "name resolve order" is under the [global] section

User: Ok, let me check my smb.conf
DarinMiller:  Yes, typically "name resolve order" must be manually added to the file. To enable anonymous access to windows machines: remove the ";" (semi-colon) from beginning of line "security = user" and below the "security = user" line add a new line:
 map to guest = Bad User
Specific Folder share example (add at the end of the file): i.e. [Downloads] path = /home//Downloads
 comment = "Some comment"
User: can I pastebin my config file? [ed. Good for User! always pastebin rather than flooding the chan]
DarinMiller: writeable = yes

 DarinMiller: valid users = name1, name2, ....
 browseable = yes
 When the you finish editing the smb.conf file, restart samba: sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

DarinMiller: Ensure to add: name resolve order = bcast host lmhosts wins in the [global] section...
 And, do you have a /samba/anonymous directory on your box (that's not a default folder)


  • added the smb user group and your username to the group.
  • Added and enabled your username to the samba group using smbpasswd: `sudo smbpasswd -a``sudo smbpasswd -e`
  • Then, restart samba: `sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart`


DarinMiller: A couple other good links:
My personal notes I keep here for a community Ed class I occasionally teach:

Folks, this is the awesome support people get in #kubuntu and elsewhere in IRC when they ask their question and wait for an answer.