Intro – how Plasma went “kaboom”

I have been running Manjaro as my main Linux distribution for some time now, and until recently never had an issue. This week though, after a major update to KDE Gear 21.04, things broke and I could not log into KDE Plasma anymore. What happened was that I ended up with a mix of proper latest release KDE packages and a couple of (outdated?) git-based community packages, so libraries mismatched.

I suspect the root cause was that I seem to have installed some git packages earlier that now received a proper release and the versions got mixed up. PEBKAC, as usual oJO.

The up-side was that I was forced to spend some time outside my belowed Plasma and KDE Gear, and went back to basics with a leaner set-up for a few days.

Anyway, I fixed my botched-up KDE update, but thought my fall-back set-up might still be worth blogging about.

Back to basics – i3 & friends

For the past decade or so, when I am not on Plasma, my fall-back has always been a tiling WM. And after much trial and error, a few few years ago I settled for i3 – but never got around to tweaking it much. This changed today!

So I dusted off my old super-simple i3 config file and added a few bells and whistles like translucency (through picom), a better application launcher and window switcher (rofi), backlight and volume control including OSD, etc.

The other big program I was missing was KMail, so I needed a capable, but not too difficult to use e-mail client1, preferably in the console. So I took a stab at aerc and it seems to mostly meet my needs.

For caledar use, I had my hopes up for calcurse, but I did not manage to sync it up with my Nextcloud server yet, and for local ToDo lists, it seems it does not handle projects/tree view well at all – it is hard to find something to replace Zanshin. As a result, I relied on my phone (and browser) for calendars, and for a short period it worked OK. Still, am very much looking forward to trying it out in the future – that is a project to look forward to!

Now, all of this needs to run from a terminal emulator, and when Konsole and Cool-Retro-Term are out of the question (both depend on KDE Frameworks), my go-to terminal emulator as of late is Terminology.

Dotfiles – or where can I get these tweaks?

All of these, of course, have their own configuration “dotfiles”, and while several years ago I blogged about my dotfiles in Git, I have since extended that by using GNU Stow to manage my dotfiles.

You can find my dotfiles and the instructions on how to use them (through Git and Stow) in my GitLab “dotfiles” repository.

There are some Fish Shell settings and functions stored there as well, and I really should store and upload more functions … perhaps a new Fish-related blog is due ;).

hook out → yes, yes, I should blog more often, I know …


  1. I’m too stupid for Mutt – I tried several times! And while I grew up on Pine, I find it too simplistic. 

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