Friday, January 6, 2012

Minor Kubuntu issues and their workarounds

I have already mentioned several times that I love Kubuntu and how much it progressed in the last couple years. In my opinion, it went from being a weak KDE distro not that long ago, to becoming a solid contester to lead the way on KDE land today. Take Kubuntu 11.10, an awesome release which, at last, incorporates the best from Ubuntu. An incredibly cool installation wizard, plenty of applications and dedicated PPAs or great support from a huge and ever growing community are features that Kubuntu users could already enjoy, but the latest implementation of Muon and its social features (application ratings, comments, etc.), make Kubuntu even more interesting.

Nothing is perfect, though, so during my time using Oneiric Ocelot I have stumbled with a number of issues that, while minor, can get in the way of a great user experience. Let's look at them and how I found ways around them.


I know some other people have experienced this one as well. The idea is that one starts Kubuntu, logs in and as the session starts, Kmix volume is muted. I tried some of the fixes that I found out there, but none would help.

Trying to find what was causing the problem, I was messing around with Kmix settings and I found one parameter that I thought could be related to this problem.

When I had the problem, the option "Restore volumes on login" was ticked, so fixing it was as easy as unticking it.


Not exactly sure if this problem came after an minor KDE upgrade, but somehow the reboot and shutdown buttons from the main menu stopped working. I did a bit of research and found a workaround that fixed it for me. From a terminal window, type the following commands:

cd /etc/kde4/kdm

sudo kate kdmrc

Once the file is loaded, find the [Shutdown] section and complete the following changes on the HaltCmd and RebootCmd parameters:

HaltCmd=/sbin/shutdown -h -P now

RebootCmd=/sbin/shutdown -r now

Save your work and reboot.


Amarok can do lots of things very well, but it is clearly not the lightest of audio players. This is obviously not an issue specific to Kubuntu, but since Amarok comes as its default audio player, it is good for Kubuntu users to ensure it doesn't bite more resources than it should.

The default Amarok settings have many plugins and services enabled that may or may not be useful for end users. In my case, a vast majority of them are not, for I am solely interested in playing my local collection. If this is your case as well, there are lots of resource-eating options you can live without. Simply untick them as I did in the screenshot above, then restart Amarok.


  1. Like most linux users I'm looking for the right distro for me, I was into ubuntu until unity and gnome 3 arrived, now there's no much I like about it, even with fallback mode I can't help feeling gnome slow, so I turned my eyes to kde, I'm undecided between pclos and kubuntu, read your king of distros article and it's great, just a couple of questions about pclos, how do you stop listening to the sound from your microphone, everytime I want to record something I have to hear my self, and the other, to install something is just to choose one repository and that's it?? is every mirror the same? or do I need a different depending on what I want to install?? thanks

  2. Hi Jorge,

    The microphone bit, I am not sure, to be honest, as I have never tried to record myself like that. Any audio recording in Linux I do with Ardour.

    PCLOS is one of the distros that requires less repository tweaking. Everything (almost) is on the default repos, why would you want to add anything else?

  3. Well, just asking, since I come from ubuntu decided to give kubuntu a try, since it also comes with kde 4.7, and for all the things you mention about it I think is a good bet, been trying it out for a day setting up apps and everything I use and have to say I'm really happy with it, no major issues, mic worked right away with no tweeking and have been able to install most of my apps (minus qt-recordmydesktop, but settle with recorditnow), so far I'm liking it, better than gnome 3, that's for sure. Thanks for all your great articles and reviews, they are of great use for me. By the way, are you latin? cause I'm from Mexico my self.

  4. Thank you Jorge, glad you find my blog useful.

    I am particularly happy with Kubuntu myself, it rocks!

    Soy Español, por cierto! ;-)

  5. Hi there, ive changed the shutdown and reboot commands in kdmrc, but the problem still persists, Kubuntu 11.10 wont shut down or reboot. Any help? Thanks in advance. :)

  6. Hmmm... Have you tried those same commands from the CLI? If they work and kdmrc was correctly updated, then I wouldn't know how to get past that issue...

  7. @ Chema - The commands work when typed in Konsole, but after saving the changes to kdmrc, the problem still remains. Could this be a hardware issue?

  8. I doubt it could be hardware related. Hardware issues are usually consistent, so the response would be the same regardless of whether the command is run from GUI or CLI. My guess is that something may be broken in your KDE installation...

    It's totally your call, but I would try reinstalling. If there was something along the way through your KDE updates that got broken, a reinstallation could fix it. If reinstalling does work, though, I would recommend sticking to the stable repositories as opposed to rushing it with the update ones.

    Good luck!

  9. @ Chema -Hey thanks for your help, i reinstalled Kubuntu 11.10 with Win XP dual boot, it's working fine now, so the hardware part is clear :D Really appreciate the quick replies man. Peace :)

  10. Glad it worked out at last, buddy!

    Thanks for stopping by.