My KDE-Centric Linux Laptop Setup – Part 1

The following are my notes on how I like to set up my Linux systems, specifically my primary laptop (Dell XPS 13). These are notes more for myself, for future reference. But others may find it useful for their systems as well. Part 1 covers the software I like to install for various purposes. Part 2 will cover configuration file changes, including for power and performance.

This is currently based on running KDE Neon. Other distros will be slightly different based on pre-installed packages and installation methods available.

Software Changes

Prerequisites

Desktop

  • Install Latte Dock for a beautiful top bar:
    • sudo apt install latte-dock
  • Install Yakuake to provide a quick access drop-down terminal:
    • sudo apt install yakuake
    • Note: Add an entry in Auto Start to have it load on login.
  • Install additional wallpapers:
    • sudo apt install plasma5-workspace-wallpapers
  • Install Redshift to reduce eye strain:
    • sudo apt install redshift
    • Note: Additionally, install the Redshift Control Plasma widget from the KDE Store.
  • Install libinput-gestures and required packages to allow for touchpad gestures:
    • sudo apt install xdotool wmctrl libinput-tools
    • sudo gpasswd -a $USER input
    • mkdir ~/.bin
    • cd ~/.bin
    • git clone https://github.com/bulletmark/libinput-gestures
    • cd libinput-gestures
    • sudo ./libinput-gestures-setup install
    • libinput-gestures-setup autostart

Peripherals

  • Install HP Linux Imaging and Printing with the full GUI package to provide networked printing and scanning capabilities for my printer:
    • sudo apt install hplip-gui
  • Install Skanlite to provide a scanning application:
    • sudo apt install skanlite

Multimedia

  • Install simplescreenrecorder to easily produce screencasts:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maarten-baert/simplescreenrecorder
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install simplescreenrecorder
  • Install Peek to easily create screencast GIFs, useful for bug reporting and blog posts:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peek-developers/stable
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install peek
  • Install screenkey and required packages to provide an on-screen display to keyboard input for screencasts:
    • sudo apt install slop python-gtk cairo fontawesome-fonts python2 python-gtk2 python-setuptools python-distutils-extra
    • cd ~/.bin
    • git clone https://github.com/wavexx/screenkey
    • cd screenkey
    • sudo ./setup.py install
  • Install Kdenlive for video editing:
    • sudo apt install kdenlive
  • Install Audacity for audio editing:
    • sudo apt install audacity

System Maintenance

  • Install Ukuu to easily upgrade to a mainline Linux kernel:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install ukuu
    • Note: From within Ukuu, install the latest mainline kernel when complete.
  • Install htop to improve process management:
    • sudo apt install htop
  • Install neofetch for screenshot information display:
    • sudo apt install neofetch
  • Install PowerTOP to provide power usage insight:
    • sudo apt install powertop
  • Install TLP to provide laptop power management services:
    • sudo apt install tlp
  • Install KBackup to provide a backup GUI:
    • sudo apt install kbackup
  • Install Filelight to provide graphical insight into disk usage:
    • sudo apt install filelight
  • Install KDE Partition Manager to easily adjust device partitions:
    • sudo apt install partitionmanager

Productivity

  • Install the Fresh version of LibreOffice and the Breeze style for it:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install libreoffice libreoffice-style-breeze
  • Install Virtual Machine Manager to run VMs with QEMU/KVM:
    • sudo apt install virt-manager
    • sudo apt install virt-viewer
    • Note: virt-viewer is the recommended client by the virt-manager team, especially for SPICE connections (which I use).
  • Install Nextcloud synchronization client and Dolphin integration via a PPA:
    • sudo apt install nextcloud-client
    • sudo apt install nextcloud-client-dolphin
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nextcloud-devs/client
    • sudo apt update
  • Install Kate to provide additional text editing features over the included KWrite:
    • sudo apt install kate
  • Install KRDC for Remote Desktop usage:
    • sudo apt install krdc
  • Install Krita for basic image manipulation:
    • sudo apt install krita
  • Install Kolourpaint for quick image annotation:
    • sudo apt install kolourpaint

Gaming

  • Install Vulkan drivers for gaming:
    • sudo apt install mesa-vulkan-drivers
  • Upgrade to the latest graphics drivers with the Oibaf PPA:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt upgrade
  • Install Steam from Flathub:
    • flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam
    • Note: This is required because of package incompatibilities with the Oibaf graphics driver upgrade. You can’t install the native Steam package via apt.
Advertisements

9 thoughts on “My KDE-Centric Linux Laptop Setup – Part 1

  1. Thanks a lot for this post

    Even if it’s out of curiosity we ( users ) always love to peek inside other people’s systems.

    Genuinely curious: how is Neon + Ukuu working for you ? how much time have you been using it this way ?

    There’s been a fair degree of bashing on Ukuu on forums over the last year that i know of… and while i’ve never experienced the nightmares some people talk about was wondering if you ever run into any particular situation that required you to spend a significant amount of time fixing things the old fashioned way .

    Coming from you this would be probably a much more interesting feedback.

    Looking forward to part 2 already 🙂 , thanks agin for the initiative .

    Like

    1. A note for any readers: I know it sounds weird to run a mainline kernel on an LTS-based distro. I only track mainline since this is a new laptop (with NVMe), and the power savings patched in for that, and other laptop-centric issues in the latest releases are important to me. If this were a desktop machine, I probably wouldn’t bother.

      That said, it’s been working great. Probably 6 months now with Ukuu, upgrading my kernel every minor release.

      Like

  2. This comes just in the right moment.

    For the first time I started to use a Linux distribution, Kubuntu specifically, on my main laptop.
    After 7 months, I wanted to change to Neon to receive all newest features from KDE, and take care of the software I really want to install and use.

    As mentioned in the first comment, it’s always good to know what other people are using, and better if it’s from a KDE Developer!.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s