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Unfortunately uninstalling such a complex software like KDE is not straight forward. So I'd like to encourage everyone to use urpmi.recover before installing KDE4 or any other big piece of software. Your life will be much easier.

As for uninstalling it now There is topic about just that somewhere in the club forum but I just can't find it. It includes some command line magic.

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Can anybody tell me how I can completely rid my 2008.1 installation of KDE4? I first tried deleting the meta package but that did nothing, I then went through the 'installed' packages and deleted everything with 'kde4' in the title but still, every time I try to update my system I am presented with a whole bunch of KDE4 updates and I just cant get rid of them. If I were at home I wouldn't bother, I would update them and forget about it, but I am away from home and have a limited bandwidth available and I can't afford to waste it on useless updates for a program I have no intention of using.


Any ideas?


urpme libkdecore5 kdebase4-runtime kdebase4-workspace should do it

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Dexter/ffi, thank you both for those replies.


I tried the commands that ffi proposed but I just got the response that the files were unknown, so I guess I have already deleted them.


Dexter, your 'urpmi.recover' command sounds very interesting but it is something I have never heard of can you give me any links as to where I might read more about it?


In the meantime I have come up with my own workround to this it simply consists of copying all the KDE4 update file names into /etc/urpmi/skip.list. They now no longer bug me.

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Urpmi.recover is not installed by default. Here's what rpmdrake writes about it:

urpmi-recover - A tool to manage rpm repackaging and rollback​ 

urpmi-recover is a tool that enables to set up a policy to keep trace of all packages that are uninstalled or upgraded on an rpm-based system, and to perform rollbacks, that is, to revert the system back to a previous state.

It's 9KB so it shouldn't be a problem to install even on low bandwidth systems.
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Sorry to keep harping on about this but it is really puzzling me. Despite having copied a couple of dozen kde4 file names into urpmi skip.list, I am still getting kde4 files offered for update (not the ones that are in skip.list, but others). The puzzling thing to me is that none of these files actually exist on my system. I have searched for them with both kerry beagle and locate and they simply don't exist (or if they do then those two programs can't find them) so if they don't exist why do I keep being offered updates for them? Surely the basis behind updates is to offer newer versions of installed programs, not newer versions of programs that don't exist?



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Finally I've found something in my docs which could be useful to you. Beware in contains some command line magic.




I made the mistake of installing kdevelop from the Software Management box. I merely wanted to play around with it a bit and do some testing. But installing it brought with it a whole gamut of dependencies and debuggers and took several hours to download almost a gig of packages.


When I finally decided it was not for me (way too complicated for my needs) then I went back to Software Management and uninstalled it. But it uninstalled only kdevelop, and left behind not all the zillions of packages that came with it. What's with it?



You can use the urpmi_rpm-find-leaves command in this situation. It lists all packages on your system which nothing else depends on. You have to be careful as some of them will be 'false positives' though - packages which you actually want.


I actually had a similar situation to you the other day. This was my approach to dealing with it. It's not especially elegant, but it gets the job done, and it will teach you some neat shell stuff you may not already know. Smile


rpm -qa --last lists all packages on your system in the order in which they were installed: most recent at the top, oldest at the bottom.


the 'head' command is used to only display the top X lines of some output; you usually pipe other commands through it. So:


rpm -qa --last | head -10


displays the last ten packages installed. This much in principle is all you need if you haven't installed anything since kdevelop, but if you have, you can use tail, which does the opposite of head:


rpm -qa --last | head -10 | tail -5


displays from the tenth-last package you installed, to the fifth-last.


So what I did was play with the value of head until I had the first package in the set of packages which came along together (in my case, it was KDE 4). Then, if you also installed packages since then, use tail as well, and play with the value of tail till you nail the last package in the group. (You should be able to see the packages that came along as a group from the timestamps).


Now you have a nice clean list of the exact packages that came along as a group. You could, if you really wanted, painstakingly remove them all manually. That's no fun, though, and it's not teaching us anything new. Smile So let's do it the clever way.


First we just want to have package names, so we need to strip the timestamps out of the output. Coincidentally, last week's Distrowatch Weekly covered this exact operation, in fact. You want to add the 'cut' command to our string. Cut lets you only display certain characters in each line of your output, with various different ways to identify exactly what you want. So you'll end up with something like:


rpm -qa --last | head -10 | tail -5 | cut -d' ' -f 1

the -f 1 puts cut in 'field' mode, where it considers each line of output as a set of fields, separated by a delimiter. -f 1 tells it to only display the first field. By default the delimiter is tab, but that's not what we want, so the -d' ' tells it to use space as the delimiter instead. (Space is a bit tricky to work with - that's really just a single space, in between ' quote marks so it can be properly parsed. If the delimiter were a normal character instead, the command would look less odd - it'd just be -da or something). You don't need to adjust this to your system, you can use it exactly as I wrote it:


cut -d' ' -f 1


is always right for this situation (getting just the package names out of the rpm -qa --last output).


So this will give you something that looks a bit like this:


[adamw@lenovo elisa-plugins-bad]$ rpm -qa --last | head -10 | tail -5 | cut -d' ' -f 1
[adamw@lenovo elisa-plugins-bad]$


which we can work with! The final step is to extend the command to feed that output back into rpm -e. You need to be root for this one:


rpm -qa --last | head -10 | tail -5 | cut -d' ' -f 1 | rpm -e

and boom, all the packages in the output get removed.


Why rpm -e not urpme? Well, in this situation it provides insurance against mistakes. rpm -e will only work if removing the packages won't cause dependency issues for any others on the system, so if you got something wrong, rpm -e is likely to barf and not run. urpme , by comparison, will be 'helpful' and also offer to remove any packages which won't work if the packages in the group you specify aren't present, so if you screw up and feed it the wrong list of packages, it will ask you (Y/n)? and then happily remove a ton of stuff you probably wanted.


Okay, so that might have been a bit more complex than you were prepared for, but it works, it's kinda cool, and you get to learn stuff Smile.


We do actually have a system for letting you 'roll back' urpmi operations in a 'simple' way, but you need to set up a recovery point before hand. It's called urpmi.recover . I've not played with it myself, but RJ has. RJ, are you reading this thread? Can you let Bamm know how to use it?

Edited by dexter11
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From what I have seen of KDE 4, I'm on the bubble. Part of me really wants to have the latest and greatest, but a larger part of me wants to wait.


I suppose if I really wanted to, I could install it alongside kde 3.5 that I'm currently running just to check it out.


I, for one, really like the Kickoff menu. It's the default in Sabayon's KDE installation so I've been using it for a little over a year now. Once you get used to where things are, it's really intuitive.










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Hey dexter11, I would like to thank you for doing that bit of research on my behalf. Your 'urpmi_rpm-find-leaves' command was very interesting, not something I have ever heard of but very useful for me. I didn't proceed exactly as per your post but it certainly did help. First I ran the command. It came up with a huge list of 'leaves'. I started out by copying the file names into MCC 'install and remove software' one at a time (because I am cli phobic), but this quickly became very tedious as there were so many of them (and an awful lot of them were KDE4 related). I then remembered that MCC 'Install and Remove' has an option in the 'View' menu called 'leaves only sorted by install date'. I called this up and the list it presented enabled me to quickly sort through it by looking in the subtitle for the words 'KDE4 library' (or similar). I deselected all of these and got rid of a vast amount of KDE4 related programs in one go. I then ran your 'urpmi_rpm-find-leaves' command again and deleted any that the previous method had missed. Of course I don't know if I have finally eradicated it or not, but I must be pretty close by now and I never would have begun to get this close if you hadn't posted that reply. So thank you once again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It is surprising what you find if you look hard enough. My general sense of dismay about KDE4 led me to have a look at alternatives. I have used Gnome and I don't really like it, so today I installed xfce. What a surprise! I wasn't expecting much, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It is just as configurable as KDE and unlike the last incarnation of KDE4 that I tried it actually works very well. It is supposed to be faster than other desktop managers and when it comes to starting up I guess that is true, although I don't see it in other respects, although I don't mean any criticism by that. If KDE4 does not improve then I will be quite happy to replace it with xfce once KDE3 is no longer supported, in fact I am using it now as a default desktop manager and although it took a little bit of time to configure (not long considering this is the first time I have used it) I really like it. My only problem with it at the moment is that I can't find a way to replace the window decorator with any other colour than blue. I know I could download another theme, but I don't actually need one, I only want to replace the default title bar colour. My favourite in KDE is KDE2 with desert red colour but nothing similar seems to exist for xfce (or at least I can't find it).


Anyway the message in this post is that if anyone else is feeling dismayed at the direction that KDE4 is going then don't despair, because xfce can fill the gap. If you are a Gnome fan then you can even make it look like that as well (in fact the default xfce 4.4 is more Gnome like than KDE like).


I still hope that KDE4 pulls out the stops and provides a desktop that I might actually want to use, but if it doesn't then at least I won't feel hard done by.


Congratulations to the xfce devs.

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XFCE4 is neither Gnome-like, nor KDE-like. It's just GTK2 based, and as such having all the GTK2 annoying shortcomings (e.g. browsing your /usr/bin folder using thunar -or Nautilus- takes AGES, while doing the same with Konqueror/Krusader/Dolphin takes a couple of seconds, while using Midnight Commander it takes no time at all...).

But it's currently my desktop of choice. It's not perfect, but much faster, and much cleaner than Gnome... and while its config is not exactly trivial or complete (e.g. you can't disable the trashbin without patching sources and recompiling), it offers almost anything an experienced user can ever wish.

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I agree it is not exactly KDE or Gnome like but it can be made to look like either of them and it resembles Gnome more closely by default because it has a top and bottom bar like Gnome (version 4.4 I am talking about here). The top bar was one of the first things I got rid of.


The second thing I did was to add a launcher to my system tray and put an entry in it to launch Krusader so I can honestly say that I really haven't used Thunar at all. I can't comment on MC because afaik it is a command line utility and every time I use the command line I come out in a rash :lol2: .


Anyway, overall I can only agree with you it is a damn good desktop manager.


If you are a regular user perhaps you can help me with a small problem I had with it. I found out last night when I watched a dvd that the Fn key on my laptop does not work with it (I couldn't alter the volume with f3/f4). It does work with KDE, do you happen to know any fixes for that?

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