Recently, Plasma Network Management applet gained ability for bluetooth tethering. The initial support was only for DUN (Dial Up Networking), but not for PAN (Personal Area Network) or NAP (Network Access Point).
Sat a whole day staring at KDE networkmanagement code and GNOME network-manager-applet to figure out how to extend this to NAP (my phone seems to support that); and with help of Lamarque, a few lines of code did the job.
The patch to implement this is under review. It has had only limited testing from my end. Note that this will work only if you have applied patch for Solid to support bluetooth devices in kdebase-workspace. I’ve updated the kde-plasma-networkmanagement and kdebase-workspace RPMS and uploaded here. Binary RPMs are only for x86_64; for other architectures, rebuild the SRPMs. If there are brave souls out there to test it out, here’s the procedure:
kdebase-workspace with the above ones
- Run “
/usr/libexec/kde4/networkmanagement_configshell create --type bluetooth --specific-args "A1:B2:C3:D4:E5:F6 nap“. Replace
A1:B2:C3:D4:E5:F6 with the hardware address of your bluetooth device (can be found out easily from BlueDevil).
- That’s it, the connection should automatically be set up and appear in Plasma NM.
Update: The patch is upstream. Lamarque has adapted and integrated it.
There are much detailed reviews of KDE SC 4.6 elsewhere, like full of awesomeness or finding new directions. How to get KDE Plasma Workspace 4.6 in Fedora 14, check Rex’s blog.
The most notable change has been removing dependency on HAL, switching to UDev/UPower/UDisks backend. That helps me with being able to eject USB disks/DVDs from Dolphin/Devices Applet in Fedora 14 (the newly attached devices are mounted by udev and I had to use Nautilus to safely remove them, in pre 4.6 era).
But, that is not all. Couple of very nice things surprised me.
One, very nicely organized device hierarchy in Kinfocenter:
Two, BlueDevil – deprecating kbluetooth. (You have to enable kde-unstable repository to install bluedevil).
Three, and this being my favourite, the highlight of 4.6 – the awesomeness of the panel auto-hiding. I always auto-hide my panel, and hope that it would spring up when a window needs my attention.
Well, it never did. So far. 4.6 brings me great joy – now when a window (a chat window in which someone sent a new message) needs attention, the panel auto-rises! Big thanks to Aaron for fixing it for good. The screenshot below shows panel raises itself when one of my friends ping me.
Ever since KDE 4 NetworkManager introduced, I’ve been playing with it. knetworkmanager was fairly usable then, but with various limitations including lack of support for mobile broadband devices. Knetworkmanager has been deprecated, and the replacement is kde-plasma-networkmanagement applet.
Lamarque Souza has been working on incorporating the mobile broadband support, and integration of ModemManager into Solid, the KDE hardware library. During the recent Solid Sprint, he has implemented the Mobile Connection Wizard (which is familiar to the NetworkManager-gnome users) and has called for help with wider testing. (kde-plasma-networkmanagement has been updated for F14 with this snapshot).
Yesterday I have built the networkmanagement trunk and tested Tata Indicom (Photon+) [India] device, and found that it crashes on finishing the wizard. I grabbed the backtrace from GDB and sent it over to Lamarque, who quickly fixed the issue and enabled CDMA support today. Checked out this latest version and tested it, and now mobile broadband connection works like a charm. Here’s a screenshot of the same.
I could say that now KDE NetworkManager is feature complete, as Wired, Wireless, Mobile Broadband and VPN connections work fine.
For people using Fedora 13, I have built RPMs for the latest version and uploaded in fedorapeople.org. Note, there are no translations present at the moment, and it is only 64 bit. If you’d like to build for other architectures, please rebuild the SRPM.
Update 1: Rex Dieter has updated Fedora 14 RPMs, which I have re-spun for F13 and can be found at the above URL.