QuadKonsole on KDE4

Under KDE 3 I’ve made major use of the wonderful quadkonsole, from Simon Perreault. It’s a lovely thing, allowing you to embed 4 (by default, other permutations possible) konsoles in a single window, with them all resizing together. Kinda hard to explain, but very useful in some situations.

KDE 4 comes along and, finally, is about ready for day to day use. Many improvements, some drawbacks, but on balance I’m now ready to use it in anger for real work. The KDE 4 konsole is quite nice. And it even pretends that it can do something similar to quadkonsole. Which it can only very very slightly.

So us KDE 3 quadkonsolers demand that quadkonsole run under KDE 4! And so it does…. read on.

Well, it does with a little jiggery-pokery. Here’s an overview of the steps to follow, performed on an install of Kubuntu 8.10 (updated from 8.04) I’ve not detailed every last URL and command – email me if you get stuck:

  • Get the code tarball from Simon’s page (link above)
  • Unzip/untar. Running “configure”, though, will fail miserably.
  • The configure fails since the KDE 3 development libs are missing.
  • apt-get install kdelibs4-dev
  • This installs the dev libs for KDE 3 and deinstalls various dev libs for KDE 4
  • You should now be able to configure, make, make install no problem.
  • quadkonsole will not yet run, though.
  • First, undo the damage from above: apt-get install kdelibs5-dev
  • This will deinstall kdelibs4-dev and reinstall the stuff you chucked out earlier.
  • Now go find a .deb for Ubuntu KDE 3 konsole. e.g. http://packages.ubuntu.com/hardy/konsole
  • Unpack it (using “ar -x packagename.deb”, or even KDE’s own ark tool), then untar the data portion and locate the libkonsolepart.* files in usr/lib/
  • Copy them to /usr/lib/kde3/
  • ldconfig
  • Run quadkonsole

Hopefully there’s enough there to get you going. I’m guessing that the average quadkonsole user is probably not totally afraid of the cli! If nothing else, it might assure you that you can get quadkonsole working under KDE 4 relatively easily.

– Nov, 2008

UPDATE: 1st April 2009 (No, not an April Fool…!)

Simon Perreault and I had an email exchange, and he had some very interesting information. Triggered by a comment below, asking for a packaged version of this, I asked Simon if he had considered porting QuadKonsole to KDE4 and offered, if he had not, to do the job myself. His response was that he had done it but the results were “unsatisfactory” due to bugs in KDE4. Given the painful birth KDE4 has had I can well believe this!

He went on to say:

Instead I switched to Terminator (http://www.tenshu.net/terminator/) and found it to be much better than QuadKonsole. Maybe you should try it.

And I did try it and he’s probably right! It’s nominally a Gnome application, but it’s not tightly coupled to Gnome, so don’t let that put off us KDE-ers. So I guess we should bid QuadKonsole a fond farewell and move on. Apart from having been a great little tool, it also (amongst others) served as inspiration for Terminator itself, so its genes live on. 🙂

Thanks to Simon for this information, and for allowing me to publish it.

4 comments to QuadKonsole on KDE4

  • somekool

    a deb file for quadkonsole on kubuntu would be appreciated… instead of this “jiggery-pokery” as you name it.


    • Indeed… a package would be nice. However the method I outline here to get quadkonsole running is very hacky, and I wouldn’t want to package that!

      Porting quadkonsole properly to KDE4 is probably not that big a deal. (Famous last words…) To that end I’ve emailed the original developer and asked him if he is interested. And I’ve said that I’m happy to do it myself if he’s too busy or just otherwise not keen. I’ll see what he responds with and we’ll take it from there.

      • Interesting update!! Just about to place an “EDIT” in the original article with details of the response from QuadKonsole’s developer!!

  • mark

    This is bad guys…. we wanna stick to KDE, and quadkonsole was so cool… 🙁

    But I can understand Simon, he probably also would lack the time to polish quadkonsole.

    It would be so cool if the KDE team one day thinks about having quadkonsole running in konsole tabs, because I would love this ability. I could jump to different konsole tabs, and have the first tab harbour a split dual or quad view (quadkonsole)

    This feature would so fucking rock!