24 Apr 2011

Blessed by Trinity...

I am long established fan of KDE3 (Trinity). There might be 2 reasons:
1) My first ever Linux was SLAX which is based on KDE3.
2) I prefer old-school menu style with one column in main part with branches for each of them. When I see several columns in main menu I quickly get lost in navigation. It's like Win95 style compared to Win7 style. Or KDE3 compared to Mint Menu or KDE4 in some Linuxes.
That's why every Tux which is blessed by Trinity is interesting for me. That's why I am very thankful to Sirius Lee who gave me some more ideas in the comments to Pardus review.
You can guess now that I'll talk today about KDE3 implementation. But  what will be the root? Never guess! The root of KDE3 will be... Ubuntu! Yes, today my guinea pig is Trinity Kubuntu. It is developed by KDE3 fans from Pearson Computing. These guys produced Trinity images for all Ubuntu versions since Intrepid. My choice is for latest version - Maverick. There are 2 options available: CD (682 Mb) and DVD (1.8 Gb). Decision was made for CD version, which was later "burnt" to USB stick using Ubuntu (Kubuntu) Startup Disk Creation tool. Persistence was requested during the "burning" process.
Looks like everything is ready. Key is in ignition. USB drive is in the port. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

Booting time of Trinity Kubuntu is quick, but not ideal. It takes 1m50s to get functional system booted from USB drive.
Unfortunately, Trinity Kubuntu boots without network support on my Compaq C300 with Broadcom 4311 WiFi card.
Let's try to activate network. There is Network Setting utility in menu. Once opened, it says that changes are only allowed in administrator mode, which is to be activated by a button. But button is not on the screen! Feel baffled? Yes, I was baffled too. But only until maximized the window. Here it is! The button was in invisible part of the screen. And no scroll bars to get to it. Let's press Administrator mode button and try to activate the WiFi card. Any success? Nope. Reason is only visible in dmesg log. It says that firmware for my Broadcom 4311 is not found. That surprises me a lot, because "normal" Maverick supports my WiFi card "out of the box". Has firmware been removed by Pearson Computing team?
As usual, my next task is to add Russian keyboard layout. I am not novice in KDE3, so I know where to go to. Layout was added easily. And even switch option for Ctrl-Shift combination was activated. But... Ctrl-Shift does not work. Is it a bug? Or I do not know something about Trinity Kubuntu?

Let's look under the bonnet and see what is included into the distributive by default.
  • Open Office 3.2 is nicely complemented by other office utilities (KAddressBook, KMail, KOrganizer, KPDF etc). You see that most of utilities are KDE-native, which means nice experience in KDE.
  • List of network (Internet) tools available in Trinity Kubuntu could take half a page if I wanted to put it here. I'll not bore you to death with it. You'll be able to see the list yourself if decide to give Trinity Kubuntu a try. I'll just note that there is no Firefox! But there are lots of KDE-native tools. I think that developers decided to stick to KDE tools as much as possible. 
  • There is not big selection of graphic tools. OpenOffice Drawing is the only editor. Other tools are for viewing, scanning and OCR.
  • Multimedia tools are also not represented with big choice. I fully understand this approach since modern applications are usually multi-purpose combines which can play music, video and streaming at the same time. Developers decided to include only most obvious tools - K3B for burning, Kaffeine and Amarok for playback.
  • I decided not to give you list of Internet tools because it is too long. I will also not list all the system tools and utilities, because their list is even bigger. All the necessary tools are there.
  • There are no games in Trinity Kubuntu. Don't know the reason for this.
You can see from my list above that CD distributive has minimal required set of tools for daily activities. Except for games, there are tools for most usual user needs. But selection of tools is not always big. My guess is that this can be compensated in DVD variant of Trinity Kubuntu. At least, screenshot on download page shows much bigger menu.
My next usual step would be to mount my network drive and to check music playback using files saved there. Unfortunately, this time I cannot run this test: no network connection for my WiFi card, as I wrote above. I could only try to play music on my local NTFS partition. The partition itself was mounted (ntfs-3g) without any issue. But MP3 files could not be played. The reason - decoder for MP3 is not included in Trinity Kubuntu distributive.
Another issue which I noticed in Trinity Kubuntu is windows' size. Some windows appear on the screen in strange size. I have already mentioned Network Settings window which hides Administration button by its own appearance. Another example is Kaffeine. It starts in such a small window that not all the buttons on the start screen are fully visible.
As opposite to bugs mentioned above, I cannot miss nice set of desktop wallpapers in the distributive. One of the examples is shown on the screenshot.
Generally speaking, KDE3 on Ubuntu works fast on my laptop. Could this be expected? Surely yes. Anf Trinity Kubuntu proves my expectations.
If you remember, I created USB drive with persistence option activated. Does it work in Trinity Kubuntu? The best method to validate is to reboot. So... Reboot. Wait for couple of minutes for system to boot. And here we are! All my changes are here again. Persistence works!

Have you ever tried Trinity Kubuntu from Pearson Computers? Do you want to try? If you want, you can use my Buy Linux CDs page to get your copy.


  1. Hi, thanks for this interesting post. I love KDE3 and my favourite part is konqueror file manager, I like it better than Dolphin. I presume you already know that, but just in case, you can easily get a classic menu in KDE4 by right clicking on the menu icon and selecting "classic menu". I haven't tried Trinity yet because I have a debian lenny machine which uses kde 3.5.9. Do you think it would be worth to use Trinity instead? Is it stable?

    I also have a newer (but not so new, a humble athlon64 3200+, 1G RAM) machine with KDE4 on it. KDE4 runs decently but not as good as gnome 2 would. I had tried Arch's, Kubuntu's, openSUSE's, Mandriva's and Debian Squeeze's KDE4. Two days ago, I installed (for the first time) Slackware. Man that distro's got the fastest KDE4 ! And so far, it's very stable too...

  2. @Dimitris:
    I think Trinity is quite stable.
    If you have any doubts, you can still run it in Live mode for couple of days to make yourself sure. With persistence option available for Ubuntu Trinity, this is good idea always.

  3. Love Trinity. One way to get mp3 support is to enable Maverick's Backports repository and install kubuntu-restricted-extras, which provides the Xine codecs Amarok and Kaffeine need, instead of Ubuntu's GStreamer ones.

  4. @RichardG891:
    You're right, there is a lot which can be done in installed version. Although, I was looking at "boxed" Live run...