KDE 4.8.2 Maintenance Release Out — Grab it!

First week of the month is typically when the KDE team releases its maintenance updates. These releases are nothing to get excited about — but they still hold water for us users. Why? The project steers clear of the glitches introduced with point zero releases towards stability, by squashing bugs and adding minor feature improvements.

Looking at the changelog, there are 5 feature improvements attributed to two specific utilities — Kwin window manager, and KGpg encryption tool. Now you can encrypt multiple folders at once using Kgpg from within Dolphin — neat feature for the privacy conscious folks amongst us.

Meanwhile, the remaining four enhancements are related to xrender support in the KDE window manager, obviously in the areas of desktop effects. While most of us use the OpenGL compositing (KDE defaults to that) in place of xrender, those of us who face issues with desktop effects (generally due to proprietary graphics drivers) can give xrender a try and see if there are any improvements. We’d really like to hear about it — personally, I don’t remember needing to using xrender since KDE 4.1.x days. [In case you're wondering where it's at -- open System Setting --> Desktop Effects --> Advanced tab.]

Anyway, the rest are all bugfixes — the most important of which is a fix for the annoying bug #296965. It’s like this: Insert a disc, do whatever you have to; and then when it’s time to eject it using the Device Manager widget (most of us eject discs/USB keys using it), the eject button would just sit there as if its just an image and not a button.

Eject button in Device Manager just sits pretty doing nothing

Eject button in Device Manager just sits pretty doing nothing

It would gracefully eject/umount USB keys on the other hand. Anyway, this has been sorted in this release.

That’s about it to report. If you’re already running KDE 4.8.1 (or 4.8.0), I guess it’s time to grab the updates — provided packages are available in your distro’s package repository. If you’re still using KDE 4.7.x, maybe it’s time you upgraded too.

While latest updates are already available in openSUSE’s KDE stable repo and Arch’s Extra repo, the Kubuntu Backports PPA is yet to populate with the latest updates.

Of course, if you’re running KDE 4.7.x on openSUSE 12.1 or Kubuntu 11.10 with the default set of repos running a distro upgrade won’t fetch you these.

Follow these steps…

In Kubuntu, run:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

And then:

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

In openSUSE 12.1, run the following command as root to add the repo.

# zypper ar http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/Release:/48/openSUSE_12.1/ KDE48

And run a distro upgrade:

# zypper dup

Do make sure you don’t have any incompatible repositories, because that might bork your system (or worst case scenario, render you DE useless). Just to be doubly sure, before you proceed in openSUSE, read this. I insist, because I’ve had issues in the past just because I had added the UpdatedApps and Extra repos before KDE 4.8.0 was released in January, and when I added the 4.8 repo later, I simply forgot to remove the those. End result? KDE kept crashing right after entering password in KDM :-)

Here’s a screenshot — yes, it looks pretty much the same as expected :-P

Shiny new KDE 4.8.2

Shiny new KDE 4.8.2

Let us know of your experiences with the update in comments below.

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