OK…finally got it all done! Have been testing both CentOS Stream 8 ‘n 9, off ‘n on, for the past couple of weeks. Was unable to even get the NVIDIA driver on Stream 9, and it seemed to have never heard of KDE Plasma DE. Stream 8 was easier, but AlmaLinux 8.5 KDE Plasma dominates the race to replace CentOS 8. I am not going to cover the entire process in this review…basically, I recommend using AlmaLinux ‘n refer to the AlmaLinux 8.5 KDE Plasma post.

However, I have worked hard to get the NVIDIA driver & KDE Plasma DE installed onto CentOS Stream 8 ‘n wanted a record of it…at least for myself.

DNF ‘n YUM ‘n ?!?!?!

A problem I have had wid RHEL-based Linux OSes is their command lines in different package managers. So, as I test Fedora, AlmaLinux, Oracle, CentOS Stream, Springdale Linux, Rocky, VzLinux, etc. I’m having to do a lot of ‘Winging‘ it of the command lines in order to get ‘Thangs working on different Distros. Add these same Linux OSes making changes, upgrading, updating, moving to new kernel, etc. and then differences are compounded by who knows how much!?! There are over 3001+ versions of a Linux OS, but most people just say around “600 Distros.”

“Desktop” Linux is for ‘Technical people‘ such as Developers, Programmers, IT Specialists, Maintainers, etc. For various reasons there are a dwindling few “normal people” who use Linux full time as their primary Desktop/Laptop OS…they are basically Linux Laboratories’ unpaid testing critters. 🙄 Me? No, I’m human. More of a Linux Critic ‘n amateur Linux Advisor ‘n OS hobbyist.

  • Yes, Linux makes a great secondary or companion or ‘Specialty‘ OS, but it is not meant to be a primary OS for “normal people“.

Changes Breaking ‘Thangs

I just mentioned that changes ‘n such in a Linux OS can be problematic to some degree.

Here’s one example – I started using Fedora Cinnamon SPIN 32 around mid-2020, and then moved to version 33 without any problems. However, when I tried to moved to Fedora Cinnamon SPIN 34 & 35 I ran into sound settings issues, like this:

                                              Fedora 33 sound settings in ‘root‘ section.

 

                                             Fedora 34 sound settings in ‘root‘ section.
  • Note: 1) Everything shows correctly in the Fedora 33 pic. However, no listed Device ‘n nothing shows correctly in the Fedora 34 pic (I believe sound did play tho??) 2) There are no sound setting problems in the standard ‘Password Dependent‘ user section, but I am a Fulltime Linux Root User on my own computers, and not some Linux Laboratories’ unpaid testing critter being forced by the Linux ‘Nanny to use annoying “Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords’.

Another example – Distros like AlmaLinux ‘n CentOS Stream use the Gnome DE, which I don’t care for; however, GNOME Shell extensions offered the Dash to Panel extension that gave a Windows or KDE Plasma or Cinnamon look, and that made me happy until a new Gnome version showed up and apparently broke it!?!?

I could run a full time Linux blog on ‘Thangs that break Linux OSes. 😠

NVIDIA Drivers

For RHEL-based Distros I still try to get RPM Fusion installed on them, but some of them don’t seem to accept it. Never had any problems wid Fedora Cinnamon SPIN or AlmaLinux, but other RHEL-based Distros can be tricky to seemingly impossible.

I still use an old Fedora 32 article as reference – How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Fedora 32. I had been using Fedora Cinnamon SPIN for some time, and then suddenly the Nvidia driver stopped working. Trying to get the drive reinstalled led me to that article, and this excellent ‘Tip‘:

Right, “driver re-compiling every-time there is a new kernel update” is the last thing I want to be doing wid a Linux OS! Never had any more Nvidia driver issues on Fedora after that ‘Tip‘! Used the same method on old CentOS. Still use that method wid AlmaLinux, but it gets tricky wid CentOS Stream 8, especially when you you want to install KDE Plasma as the DE.

Kept having problems getting the KDE Plasma DE and the Nividia driver installed together on CentOS Stream 8. I was installing the KDE Plasma DE first, i.e. right after the CentOS Stream 8 Gnome DE installation. That’s the way I had done wid the AlmaLinux 8.5 KDE Plasma installation, and there were no problems.

On the next attempt, I tried something different, to install the Nvidia driver right after the CentOS Stream 8 Gnome DE installation. Some minor issues, but wid some ‘Winging‘ it (Yes, I am that good…for a ‘Newb‘ anyway 😁) I did manage to get it installed. It required a combination of the How to install the NVIDIA drivers on Fedora 32 article ‘n also the Graphical RPM Fusion method via Firefox. The command lines from that article for enabling both the free ‘n nonfree RPM Fusion version were causing error messages, so I used the Graphical RPM Fusion method whilst still in GNOME to get them enabled. Then, I went back to the command line mentioned in step 4. Rebooted and got this:

Still in the GNOME DE:

OK…Nvidia driver installed ‘n working properly!

KDE Plasma DE

Methods I used to install the KDE Plasma on AlmaLinux 8.5 didn’t work, and it took quite awhile to find a reliable method. After hours of trial ‘n error, failed attempts using “How to” articles ‘n Docs, I finally found a method that worked reliably – How to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on CentOS 8 Stream.

After days of ‘Winging‘ it & trial ‘n error this method was accurate, and I didn’t need to alter the command lines at all. Well, I work in the ‘root‘ section, so tossed everything out that was connected to “sudo” or “sudo whoami” or “su” and went wid that.

However, it won’t hurt to just copy ‘n paste their command lines as it, in case you want to be sure to get them all entered. When you reach “reboot” then hopefully it all worked for you, and you just enter reboot. Refer to the AlmaLinux 8.5 KDE Plasma: *NO* annoying “Authenticate” popups or other ‘Pesky Passwords’ =’s my new #1 Linux OS post during reboot if needed.

Here’s the new KDE About:

Yep, 5.23.3 Plasma version ‘n correct Graphics Processor.

Here’s the new KDE Plasma DE:

Ditto on ‘Da “Yep” as the NVIDIA X Server Settings panel icon is already in place.

Conclusion

AlmaLinux 8.5 KDE Plasma is the Top Distro to replace the old CentOS 8 wid, and it’s not even close, IMHO. If they are that good at creating a ‘Desktop Duty‘ Linux OS, then I suspect they are even better at Servers ‘n the Cloud stuff.

However, CentOS Stream 8 offered a lot of positives, after some work, and I give lots of points to a Distro that offers the ‘root‘ section option. Also, points for the speaker sound settings working in the ‘root‘ section..

Negatives: 1) Their download site/s during installation were unpredictable and seemed very slow at times, which would cause a “Failed” installation error. If the install looks slow, then wait until another time. 2) I am posting this without watching it perform for a month or so, which is more my fault than Stream 8’s.

CentOS Stream 8 is headed to the Karmi’s Top 10 Linux Distros page…probably to the #4 spot in Tier One. Also headed to the Distros w/ *NO* “Authenticate” popup or other ‘Pesky Passwords’ page @ the #4 spot, and to the RHEL-based page.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!