Enabling KDE Plasma Netbook Workspace on OpenSUSE 11.4

Update: After many years away from RPMs, I still cannot stand them and have uninstalled OpenSUSE. Also, Unity-2D is available through the base repositories. While this is closer to the 10. Unity than the 11. Unity, it's fine. I'm still sticking to KDE4 on the netbook though, but using Kubuntu instead.

Since the arrival of the resource-crazed Unity 3D interface with 10.10, I knew my poor little Acer Aspire A110L netbook would never again taste the pleasure of another Ubuntu Linux installation ... even though I did still have two options:

  1. Install Ubuntu 10.04 Remix again
  2. Install Unity 2D

Although I enjoyed 10.04 remix, I wanted something new.
Regarding Unity 2D, I'm surprised that it was not included by default with the Ubuntu releases and was not prepared to install it ... even though it is a dead-simple process.

So, I decided to go look for some excitement in the form of KDE 4 and old-school RPM dependency-hell.
You just wait until old-school makes it return again... hopefully ;-)

Prior to my current liking for Gnome, I went through a very long (flux|black)box phase where I also enjoyed other minimalistic environments.
I believe the last KDE that I may have installed on any of my own boxen could very well be roughly version 1.1.2

However, I really wanted to check out KDE 4 and specifically their KDE Plasma Netbook workspace.
Having heard a lot of good comments regarding OpenSUSE and KDE4, I decided (against my better judgement) to go along and download the DVD.

Coming from a slackware/gentoo/ubuntu background, it is and will always be my view that RPM distributions are mostly bloatware. Sorry.

For some reason though, I stuck with my decision of OpenSUSE and after completing the installation, I found the default KDE4 environment pretty comfortable on the netbook (although a bit slow).

I knew I had to enable the Plasma Netbook Workspace but unfortunately had no idea how to do so.
Googling for an answer brought up numerous short+vague responses that lead me to sections/pages/components that didn't seem to exist.
I can only assume that either OpenSUSE has renamed their menu items, or OpenSUSE 11.4 comes with a newer KDE4 with menu items that differ to the answers found during Googling.

This blog entry is dedicated specifically to anyone whose installed OpenSUSE 11.4 and wants to enable the KDE Plasma Netbook workspace ... without getting frustrated!

Assuming you are using the default application-style launcher menu:

  1. Click on the Applications tab at the bottom
  2. Scroll down and click on Configure Desktop
  3. Look under the Workspace Appearance and Behaviour section and click on Workspace Behaviour
  4. Click on the Workspace option within the scroll window on the left
  5. Finally, change the Workspace Type from Desktop to Netbook

To be honest, I'm flabbergasted that OpenSUSE runs like a dream on my netbook without any performance hits.
Maybe I'll post another update sometime, but for now, I'm going back to fiddle on the netbook that was given a breath of fresh air :-)

[side note: No RPM dependency hell yet, nor any other issues]