KDE - changing the way you use Qubes

just looking at this years posts, makes me hope its Xfce4 forever. K.i.s.s

No, not security. Because part of the main devs (mostly Joanna Rutkowska if I remember correctly) decided that KDE is too “bloated”. Partly it was the case at the time (nowadays it is not).

There was a tense discussion on the github with arguments why migration from KDE to XFCE was not a good idea, but the discussion was stopped and locked, KDE was replaced with half-dead XFCE without further public discussion.

Then Joanna Rutkowska left the project, don’t know if she uses Qubes OS herself anymore or not.
And we were left with a DE that is not even capable of remembering windows positions of starting applications.

Me, too.

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Bloated and ugly, I believe,

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team.
When I comment in the Forum I speak for myself.

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What’s pulseaudio doing there at all? It’s been replaced with pipewire
in 4.2
I cant speak to your (unidentified) small bugs, but I find KDE
works fine in 4.2. And is still better than Xfce.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team.
When I comment in the Forum I speak for myself.

Ugly? I do not remember it, though.
I mean, I do not care much about beauty/ugly myself, but consider KDE to be ugly? Compared to not-actively-developed half-dead Xfce with no proper icon alignment, awful HighDPI support, terrible animations, useless similar themes, and defective GTK components? That was a funny argument to make for dropping KDE for Xfce.

The best would be to have choice when it comes to desktop environment, there is no need to argue about each other’s preferences :slight_smile:


I am not sure, that is completely true. The logic is this: different people like different look of interface, different colors and stuff. I can believe that there are people who consider Settings Manager of Xfce to be looking not ugly but even better that one of KDE. And that is where I agree with you - no need to argue about that.

But we can argue when something functional is replaced with something less functional, like was in this case. KDE has better windows management, custom windows rules, that can be useful for Qubes OS. It was allowing users to set windows positions, windows initial state (like maximized) for applications of different qubes. It has better high DPI support and etc.
Xfce cannot do that. Even with third-party (also semi-abandoned) software like devilspie.

=> Users lost some features that they cannot revert it. And users were not listened to. I mean, what bad would have happen if dom0 still was KDE-based? I see no objective difference from any perspectives, except lacking features and lacking settings of current state. The size of DE with extra 100 MiB for dom0 is not a factor, not in memory, nor on disk. Not a sufficient price for loosing basic features and flexible settings.

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KDE Plasma will certainly drop X11 very soon, qubes os will need to figure how to use wayland if they want to keep KDE working, even if it’s not available out of the box :confused:

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That’s a good question.

My installation has both (and no I didn’t specifically install pulseaudio in dom0, it was just there) and they constantly conflicted with each other. There’s a thread out there advising people on how to shut off pipewire so their audio will work.

[edit that Unman won’t see: If we’re really supposed to be getting rid of pulseaudio rather than pipewire, then what should I install in a minimal template to get pipewire working?]

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Well that completely doesn’t work. No service running in the appvm even though the packages are installed (I checked), and any attempt to start it or status it leads to messages that the service isn’t found. No wonder people are still mucking about with pulseaudio. Worse, apparently dom0 must still use pulseaudio and pipewire actively interferes with it (yet it tries to run by default).

Audio works for me when I install pipewire-qubes in freshly installed debian-12-minimal template.
What template did you install it in?
If the template was upgraded from Qubes OS 4.1 to Qubes OS 4.2 then maybe there are some conflicting packages or configuration left after upgrade. Then try to install fresh debian-12-minimal template and test it there.

Fresh install. I did not upgrade in place.

One thing that could make a difference, maybe, is that dom0 is my audio qube and apparently it still has to use pulseaudio. Perhaps pipewire only works with sys-audio having pipewire installed?

(I spent something like 100 hours wrestling with sys-audio back in version 4.1 and never could get it to work…so I really don’t want to screw around with it now. I get an eye twitch even thinking about it.)

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I have dom0 with pulseaudio as my audio qube as well.

Maybe you can try to reinstall the debain-12-minimal template.

That wasn’t necessary. But what I did have to do was also install pipewire-pulse.

I am using salt with “no install recommends” (or actually: install_recommends : False).

Installing pipewire-pulse explicitly under those circumstances adds: libpipewire-0.3-modules pipewire-bin pipewire-pulse libpulse-0 (as well as others, I am sure) and at least one of those is necessary to get the appvm to show up in the audio list on dom0. And without that it won’t work. I suspect it was pipewire-pulse that is needed; it sounds like something that would be useful to connect pipewire in the qube to pulseaudio in dom0.

The bad news: neither firefox nor clementine actually work even though their qubes show up in the dom0 pulseaudio list. I’m going to post this, then reboot to see if that clears things up.

EDIT: Reboot did not help.

I’m going to go back to the way I had it before. I am sick and tired of blowing hours trying to debug audio issues; first sys-audio, now this.

  • pipewire + pipewire-pulse + pipewire-qubes (and systemctl --user status pipewire-pulse.socket should be running)
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In my case I have a good useful workaround. Continue to use pulseaudio. So why spend time mucking around with this? Besides, I do not have and do not WANT a Micro$haft github account.

Using KDE and loving it.
Only problem, and sorry if I missed it, is that some widget icons stay white in the taskbar.

Networkmanager, element, sound manager from sys-audio of qusal.

Is there a known solution here to fix them properly that I missed?

@Insurgo seems to be a known bug, not sure of fix: KDE - changing the way you use Qubes - #135 by unman

Yes I have the same white boxes all over my sys tray… usb, net…