How to Install Amarok 1.4 on CentOS 5

Update 2014-11-11: I have fixed the instructions as I discovered the old instructions no longer work smoothly. This worked for me earlier today when I needed a fresh Amarok install.

How to Install Amarok 1.4 on CentOS 5

I love CentOS 5 particularly because of KDE 3.5, which I just can’t seem to get on without, and Amarok which is a great music player. Here’s how to install it with all the bells and whistles, including mp3 support..

  1. yum install gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly –enablerepo=rpmforge
  2. yum install xine xine-lib –enablerepo=rpmforge
  3. yum install amarok.x86_64 –enablerepo=epel

As you can see, you’ll need the EPEL and RPMForge repositories for CentoS 5.

These simple steps worked for me out of the box on a CentOS 5.10 x86_64 KDE Desktop OS install.

Note I personally disable all third party repos by default to avoid conflicts with CentOS packages hence the ‘enablerepo’ arguments. No ‘yum priorities’ were used on the repos.

Note also on an x86_64 install you might start getting i386 package dependencies installed which are not really needed hence I installed with a ‘.x86_64’ suffix where needed in the commands above.

CentOS 5 + KDE 3.5 = A nice, productive desktop

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

In my travails to find a nice KDE 3.5 (as opposed to KDE 4) desktop, I’ve finally landed on CentOS 5 and, with a little tweaking, I think I can finally live with this distribution.

I can’t deal with KDE 4. Not yet. I just hope KDE brings it up to the standards of KDE 3.5 and I hope the distros polish it quite a bit more.  Unfortunately, it has some regressions in the key areas that really affect me (konsole, kedit/kwrite/kate), etc.

One little nitpick against CentOS’s KDE which I never experienced in Gentoo’s KDE: Window focus issues. These issues come up seemingly randomly when switching between konsoles. Try quickly ALT-TAB’ing between konsoles. Quite quickly it gets “stuck”. This cascades into a mouse cursor and keyboard input problem. Clicking around the desktop or taskbar eventually gets you back but it happens frequently enough to be annoying.

But, I found an alleviation to this problem that fixes most of the issues: KDE’s Desktop Settings Wizard. Just run it and it will reset all your desktop settings (you’ve been warned). Select KDE behaviour when it asks. It does seem to have fixed window focus issues. At least they don’t happen as often as they used to.

So, if you’re a KDE 4 refugee looking for a KDE 3.5 desktop like I was, try CentOS 5. It’s probably the last long-term support distro to ship with KDE 3.5. Get it while you can!