At times I’ve felt like KDE 4 is a little bit on the sluggish side on my desktop PCs. On a netbook’s Atom processor? I wouldn’t even have considered switching from Gnome if I hadn’t seen this video on YouTube.

We’ve known the Plasma interface was coming for quite some time, and it finally made its debut in Kubuntu 9.10. After watching the 2-minute demo on a real, live netbook (the Asus Eee 1005Ha) I can’t wait to give Kubuntu another shot. The transition effects and animations run very smoothly, and the interface looks right at home on the 1005Ha’s 1024×600 pixel display.
Check the video after the break!
If you’re using (or have tried) Kubuntu 9.10’s Plasma interface on your netbook, share your experience in the comments!

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.

12 replies on “KDE Plasma netbook interface demoed on Asus Eee 1005Ha”

  1. Hmm…this KDE is different from the normal desktop one. I it just the KDE 4? Or is it what I’m looking for–designed for netbooks?

  2. Hello, I’m writing to you now from an ASUS Eee 1005HA with Kubuntu 9.10 Netbook remix. It works great, save for one thing – there is a bug in the network wireless driver, ath9k. After some time or when coming out of hibernation, the WPA2 wireless connection drops, the signal strength becomes very low. I wrote this little script to remove the driver from the kernel and put it back in. When you run it, the signal strength of your wireless connection is strong again.

    [email protected]:~$ cat
    sudo modprobe -r ath9k
    sudo modprobe ath9k
    [email protected]:~$

    I hope you find it useful.

    I’ve added quite a number of screenshots in the Norwegian Free Software group on Facebook –

    I’m particularly pleased with the combination of the genealogy program GRAMPS and the webcam program Cheese. Adding pictures immediately has never been so easy – people sit down before the Eee, smile when they see themselves and you get a nice picture to add to their entry in GRAMPS. 🙂

    I just had to have one of those new Mandelbulb images, and used a patched version of POV-Ray 3.6 and Kpovmodeler 1.1.3 (image saving doesn’t work without the patch) to produce this 3D fractal on the Eee. A 4000×4000 image took 27 1/2 hours, but since most software does not use the processor, I could still do other work.


  3. >>”KDE4 is much faster than GNOME on PCs with adequate graphics.”

    >This statement is absurd. That’s backed by installing both on dozens of different machines.

    There is nothing absurd about it. KDE4 exercises the GPU heavily, and if your target system and its graphics driver is not up to scratch, then it won’t perform. However, on systems where the GPU and the graphics driver IS OK, particularly for 2D hardware graphics acceleration (which, BTW, excludes most nvidia systems and nvidia binary driver versions), then KDE4 is fast. Very fast.

    Faster than GNOME.

    For example, Intel drivers are OK with KDE4 except for the Poulsbo chipset, and except for Ubuntu/Kubuntu 9.04 and 8.10.

    So, for example, on the same netbook Kubuntu 9.10 and later will be appreciably faster than Ubuntu 9.10, unless it is one of the few models of netbooks that has an Intel Poulsbo graphics chipset or a Nvidia Ion graphics chipset.

    1. Which is goofy because nVidia has the best Linux support of all, yet KDE 4 doesn’t work well with it. Go figure…

      1. nVidia had very poor support for XRender, which caused the performance issues in KDE4. Even though I think nVidia drivers work very well KDE4 is not to blame for this issue.

  4. “KDE4 is much faster than GNOME on PCs with adequate graphics.”

    This statement is absurd. That’s backed by installing both on dozens of different machines.

  5. KDE4 on my netbook? Absolutely that is what I run, with Debian Sid; even on my EeePC 701 with the 700MHz Celeron processor it runs great. I’ve not yet seen the Netbook interface other than this video, however.

    But I wouldn’t trust Kubuntu to deliver a good KDE experience, ever, which is very unfortunate.

    1. I’ll go further – DON’T judge KDE on the basis of Kubuntu, the latter is broken for a long time.

  6. There must be something wrong with your desktop PCs (perhaps they all have nvidia graphics?). KDE4 is much faster than GNOME on PCs with adequate graphics.

    By adequate I mean any graphics with a GPU and a decent Linux driver. Open source drivers are best, as they have been benchmarked at a few time faster than closed-source proprieatary binary blob drivers. To get open source drivers you will need either an Intel GPU, and older ATI GPU (R500 or earlier), or any ATI GPU after kernel 2.6.32 is released later this year.

    Since Qt 4.6 has just been released with performance improvements, and new Intel drivers with performance improvements have also just been released, and Linux kernel 2.6.32 with performance improvements is at rc8 stage just now, then KDE4 performance on Intel Atom/Intel graphics netbooks will step up another notch again next year when Kubuntu 10.4 (LTS) will be released.

    Your Kubuntu netbooks will really fly then.

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