Install Qgtkstyle

Since I haven’t found any proper debs of qgtkstyle around, I’m just going to tell how to compile it from source.

If you don’t know what Qgtkstyle is, Qgtkstyle is a Qt theme engine that uses your GTK theme directly.

First thing to do is to enable the Backports repository since you need Qt 4.4 which is in the Backports in Hardy.  You can do this by going System→Administration→Software Sources, then going to the Updates tab and enabling the “Unsupported updates (hardy-backports)” repository.

Software Sources
Software Sources

Click Close and then click the Reload button when prompted.  Now to install all the development packages needed to compile Qgtkstyle.

sudo apt-get install build-essential libqt4-dev libgtk2.0-dev subversion qt4-qtconfig

This is optional if you want to install with Checkinstall

sudo apt-get install checkinstall

Now to get the code

svn co svn://

There should be a folder in your home directory called gtkstyle. Now enter that directory

cd gtkstyle/

Now compile it


Now here you have a choice. You can either just install it directly with

sudo make install

Or you may like to build a deb out of it for easy removal later if need be.  In that case do

sudo checkinstall

and follow the instructions.  They’re pretty self explanitory.

Now if you go under System→Preferences→Qt 4 Settings you can choose GTK from the drop down menu.

Qt 4 Settings
Qt 4 Settings

Then do a File→Save and enjoy Qt applications with a nice GTK integration. 🙂

Also if you want to see a little Easter Egg move that preview window around. Yes you can actually move that. I won’t spoile the surprise. It gave me a little laugh when I first found it. 😉

Why the hate for Qt?

I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot of “ZOMG it’s Qt! Oh Noes!” going on and I just don’t get it.  I think the reason is some confusion and lack of understanding.  Now I’m not talking about the programming languages behind Qt and GTK, I’m talking about the typical end user’s experience.  People seem to assume that Qt == KDE, Qt requires a lot of KDE libs, and/or Qt looks ugly and doesn’t integrate well in a GTK environment.

First, a Qt application doesn’t always mean it’s KDE.  Yes KDE is based on Qt, but there’s a huge difference between a pure Qt app and a KDE app.  An application that is written in pure Qt has nothing to do with KDE whatsoever.    Some of these include SMplayer, KeePassX, VLC (0.9.2), VirtualBox, and many others.  KDE apps will depend on a lot of KDE specific stuff that will have a lot of dependencies.  This goes on to the second point.  A pure Qt app does not require a tone of KDE libs since it has nothing to do with KDE.  All it usually needs libqt.

Finally to put this integration mess to rest.  Qt integrating into a GTK environment used to be an issue.  This is no longer true.  This argument is deprecated.  Qgtkstyle (which will come bundled with Qt 4.5 😀 ) is a Qt theme engine that uses your GTK theme directly.  It does not try to emulate a GTK theme or anything like that.  It actually uses the GTK theme.  So now it can’t be argued that Qt doesn’t integrate with GTK anymore.  You pretty much can’t tell the difference.

SMplayer Preferences
SMplayer Preferences

You almost can’t even tell those are Qt applications.

So I just don’t understand all the Qt hating going on.


2 Years with Ubuntu

This post is long overdue. It should have been made back in June, but anyways….

I have now been using Ubuntu for 2 years.  I started back with Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake.  Looking back now I realize how far Ubuntu and Linux in general has come in 2 years.  When I started with Ubuntu, install codecs required a lot more work as some of the repos were not enabled by default like they are now, installing the Nvidia drivers was very tricky.  Now it’s a very easy process all automated by Jockey.  It’s pretty incredible.  And that’s only some of the differences.  There’s a lot more improved aspects such as detection and installation of printers.  Now if you have a supported printer it should be automatically detected and installed.  I remember when Compiz and Beryl existed as separate projects and both were hit or miss if they worked or not.  XGL was almost a must if you wanted to use either.  Now Compiz Fusion has become very stable and works for a lot of people now.

As for my experience it’s been great.  I’ve learned so much in the past 2 years and still learning stuff.  I probably know more about Linux now than I ever knew about Windows back in my Windows days.  I started out knowing just as little as any other new user to the Linux world.  I had a hard time trying to install Java. 😛 When it comes to hardware I always say to do your research first.  If you do your research first and don’t go out and buy random hardware, you almost can’t go wrong.

If you’re a new user, my advice is to stick with it.  It may seem difficult and even frustrating at times, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes like second nature.  Not to mention the gratification that you get when you figure something out.  Linux can be very rewarding. 🙂

I think the future looks bright for Ubuntu and I’m looking forward to continuing to use it.  The advances the Open Source world makes are incredible and very fast.  I’m still amazed by the fact that a lot of people get involved with Open Source and Linux for nothing other than passion.  Ahh, community, that’s incredible. 🙂  And, well, that’s about it.  I’m eagerly looking forward to Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex. 😀

Also as a side note, I hope to get back to blogging soon.  I haven’t posted anything in a while. 🙂