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Enable and disable window dimming in KDE

When I make changes in OpenStreetMap, I often need to extract the object colour from a picture or a video, as example for a building, bench or a roof. This collides with a feature in KDE which I really like: Dim Inactive Windows.

The setting is in the KDE settings, under Desktop Effects -> Dim Inactive. As the name implies, it dims (makes them a bit more dark) all non-active windows - which makes it visually clear which window is currently active. Quite useful.

For picking a colour from a picture/video I'm using KColorChooser, which provides the colour in Hex code - exactly what I need in OSM.

However when KColorChooser is the active window, and all other windows are dimmed, it extracts the wrong colour from the picture/video - the colour which is already dimmed. Not what I need. Therefore when I do OSM edits, I temporarily disable this feature.

At first I went into the KDE settings, twice, but this is too many clicks. Then I figured out the commandline arguments to disable and enable this feature.

Disable "Dim Inactive":

kwriteconfig5 --file kwinrc --group Plugins --key diminactiveEnabled false
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure

Enable "Dim Inactive":

kwriteconfig5 --file kwinrc --group Plugins --key diminactiveEnabled false
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure

Now all I need to do is execute a small script which is in my personal ~/bin directory. Let the edits continue.

Note: I wish JOSM would have an integrated video player which also allows to pick colours. But so far I haven't found any such plugin.

How to reset your KDE (without deleting everything else)

I'm a (more or less) happy KDE user, ever since the KDE 3 days. Before that, I used fvwm2 for a long time, but that is a different story. It also happens that I never really reinstalled my home directory - the oldest files I can find are from 1997, and that is pretty much when I switched from an old Slackware system with self-compiled updates, to something with a more modern distribution. That means, that all the time from 1997 to today, I carry the same /home/ads across my computers. The home directory grew from a few MB to 133 GB today (maybe I should clean it up, but then again it's cheaper to buy a bigger harddisk).

It also means, that I never deleted my KDE config, even when upgrading to KDE 4 or Plasma.


Continue reading "How to reset your KDE (without deleting everything else)"

konsole in KDE 4 with fixed size

The (for me) most annoying "feature" in KDE 4 was the konsole behaviour: every new window was opened in the last saved size. Those who (like me) open dozens of terminal windows each and every day will understand the annoyance of this non-deterministic behaviour. In addition, early KDE 4 versions always ignored the default settings for the window size (and also ignored the according commandline parameters), priority was given to the saved session data.

In the meanwhile (KDE 4.3) the software was improved and with some manipulations konsole can be forced to start with a fixed size.

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Start multiple ssh sessions with KDE konsole

I have shell accounts on different servers. Sometimes - especially if new Debian/Ubuntu/Redhat/Fedora updates are available - i have to open a ssh session to each server. That takes time and too much keyboard clicks and being a lazy admin i thought this job can be scripted.

Last year i switched from my long-time favourite windowmanager fvwm2 to KDE. Given the fact that most of my work is still done using a terminal i decided to give "konsole" a chance and found that this tool has some nice advantages compared to the simple xterm which i used before. One lovely feature is the tabbing functionality, another one the integrated scripting which can be used with "dcop" (Desktop Communication Protocol).

Continue reading "Start multiple ssh sessions with KDE konsole"

Remove entries from "Run command" history in KDE

Sometimes i use the "Run command" functionality in KDE (Alt+F2) to start a program - that's faster than clicking all the way through the menu until i found the entry and given the fact that the dialog is saving a history i usually only type one or two characters and have the full command line available. But the command history grows by and by - and sometimes i want to remove old and no longer used entries (like gaim which is pidgin now). That's not possible *ouch* at least not in the "Run command" dialog or in the preferences. The Mozilla/Firefox-way (shift+del) also does not work.

Time to descend into the personal .kde directory and dig in some config files ...

The file in question is: ~/.kde/share/config/kdesktoprc and if you open the file in your favoured editor you can see (among others) a section named "MiniCli". Remove the no longer needed items from CompletionItems and History and save the file - but take care that KDE is not changing the file in the meantime. My own background changer (which set's a new background every minute) is such a candicate - so KDE is updating this file and your saving would overwrite the file.

The changes take effect after the next login.