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KDE's June 2020 Apps Update

It always a joy when the KDE family grows, that’s why this month we are especially happy to welcome backup manager Kup and a whole new packaging effort: Homebrew.

New releases

Kup 0.8

Kup is a backup tool you use to keep your files safe.

It was previously developed outside of KDE, but this last month is has passed the Incubation process and joined our community, becoming officially a KDE project. The lead developer, Simon Persson, has celebrated with a new release.

Here are the changes you will find in the new version:

Kup can backup using rsync or do versioned backups with the Python tool Bup. Bup currently only works with Python 2 which means this option won’t be available on many distros, but a port to Python 3 is in the works.


Kup

To find out more about Kup, Average Linux User did a review and a video on Kup not long ago:

Krita on Android Tablets

Thanks to the hard work of Sharaf Zaman, Krita is now available in the Google Play Store for Android tablets and Chromebooks (but not for Android phones).

This beta, based on Krita 4.2.9, is the full desktop version of Krita, so it doesn’t have a special touch user interface. But it’s there, and you can play with it.

Unlike the Windows and Steam store, they don’t ask for money for Krita in the store, since it’s the only way people can install Krita on those devices. However, you can buy a supporter badge from within Krita to support development.

To install

Notes


Krita on Android

Incoming

KIO Fuse made its first beta release this month.

Bugfixes

Bugfix releases came out for

App Store


Homebrew

While in Linux we are gradually getting used to being able to install individual apps from an app store, the reverse is happening in the world of macOS and Windows. For these systems, package managers are being introduced for those who like one source to control everything on their systems.

The leading open source package repository for macOS is Homebrew, managed by a crack team of developers including former KDE dev Mike McQuaid.

This month the KDE Homebrew project, which has been running external to KDE for a while, moved into KDE to be a full part of our community.

You can add the KDE Homebrew repo for macOS and download KDE sources complied ready for you to run.

We caught up with lead dev Yurii Kolesnykov and asked him about the project.

Tell us about yourself, what’s your name, where do you come from, what’s your interest in KDE and mac, what do you do for a living?

My name is Yurii Kolesnykov, I’m from Ukraine. I have a passion for Free Software since I first heard about it, approximately in the end of high school. I think KDE is simply the best DE for Linux and Unix systems with many great apps. My interest in Mac comes from my main job, I develop iOS Mobile Software for living.

What Is Homebrew?

Homebrew is the most popular package manager for macOS, just like apt or yum. Since macOS is Unix and Apple provides good compiler and toolchain for it, people decided to create package managers for it, so you may install much free and open source software on Mac. Homebrew also has a subproject, called Homebrew Cask, which allows you to install many binary applications, i.e. proprietary or GUI ones. Because GUI apps are hard to integrate with the system if they are installed via Homebrew.

What KDE packages have you made for Homebrew?

I just ran grep on our tap, and I see that we have 110 packages in total, 67 of them are frameworks, and approximately 39 apps. We already have most popular apps, like Kate, Dolphin and KDevelop, because of users request.

As a Mac user what do you need to do to get apps installed?

At first, you need to follow Homebrew installation guide if you don’t have it yet, it’s available at brew.sh. Then you need to tap our repo with the following:

brew tap kde-mac/kde https://invent.kde.org/packaging/homebrew-kde.git

Unfortunately a lot of KDE packages doesn’t work out-of-the-box, but we created a script that makes all the necessary hacks, so after tapping you need to run the following command:

"$(brew --repo kde-mac/kde)/tools/do-caveats.sh"

Good question. Unfortunately we haven’t setup any analytics yet, I will add it to my TODO list. But given the fact that Homebrew is the most popular package manager for Mac and it requires users not to mix it with other similar projects to install software on same Mac, due to conflicts. So, yes, I think it’s quite popular.

How much work did you need to do to get KDE apps working in Homebrew?

During creation of current packages, we already addressed many common issues, so bringing new software is relatively easy. I promise to write a How to for this, users are already requested it many times.

Currently, packages need to be compiled locally, will you have pre-compiled packages available?

Homebrew allows you to install software via Bottles, i.e. pre-compiled binary packages. But the process of creating bottles is tightly integrated with Homebrew infrastructure, i.e. we need to run CI with tests on every package before it get bottled. So we decided to integrate as many packages as possible into the main brew repo to eliminate maintenance burden.

Is there much other desktop software available in Homebrew?

Yes. In general, if an app is popular and has a channel of distribution outside of Mac AppStore, then there is a very high chance that it’s already available to install via a Brew Cask.

How can KDE app authors help get their software into Homebrew?

Apple hardware is very expensive, so getting a Mac for every KDE dev will be not a good idea. So as for now, they are welcome to create a Feature Request in our repo. Then maintainers or users of Homebrew KDE report bugs if something isn’t working as intended. And we are trying to provide as much information as possible upon request of KDE devs. But as for now we have a lot of pending tickets for KDE apps with small, but very annoying bugs. I hope that we will be more integrated with KDE infrastructure, i.e. we may link bugs in our repo with upstream projects. We had already migrated to KDE Invent and I hope KDE Bugs will be migrated from Bugzilla to KDE Invent soon.

The other way to get your KDE apps built for Mac is with Craft. How does the Homebrew build apps compare to ones build with Craft?

I still think that Homebrew is more friendly to end users. Its install process is as easy as run one-liner. To add our repo and start installing apps from it, you need to run another two lines.

Thanks for your time Yurii.

Releases 20.04.2

Some of our projects release on their own timescale and some get released en-masse. The 20.04.2 bundle of projects was released today and will be available through app stores and distros soon. See the 20.04.2 releases page for details.

Some of the fixes in today’s releases:

20.04 release notesPackage download wiki page20.04.2 source info page20.04.2 full changelog

Stores

KDE software is available on many platforms and software app stores.

Flathub Snapcraft Microsoft Store Chocolatey Homebrew