LiFE Exam

Johan Ouwerkerk jm.ouwerkerk at
Fri Oct 16 16:40:17 BST 2020

On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 9:01 PM Thomas Weissel <valueerror at> wrote:
> the project "life-exam" strongly relies on the features and capabilities of plasmashell.
> the kiosk system is at the heart of the project and the sheer number of configuration options this shell provides makes all of this possible in the first place.
> so at first, i want to say thank you!
> sometimes i run into a bug and because you have helped me iron out many of those bugs before i'm trying again - cause this time this bug is a showstopper.
> (it happens not just at first boot but when students switch into the exam environment too)
> for no reason plasmashell randomly RECONFIGURES a perfectly fine setup. but not the entire setup - it switches from "desktopcontainment" to "folder" and all widgets and the wallpaper are lost..
> usually those widgets are preserved (at least on a manual switch) .. it does not create a new activity.. the "default" activity - even the activity icon is still the "original"

A similar (maybe identical) thing used to drive me nuts on this Debian
unstable system. I eventually traced it back to kscreen getting
confused about the proper display configuration, which led it to feed
a new (fresh) config to KDED/Plasma which in turn would respond with
some 'helpful' defaults that effectively reset my preferences. The
system would make a mess of the following configuration:

 - What the "primary" screen should be
 - What the resulting geometry/layout should be
 - In general, the logical ordering of displays (i.e. is the HDMI
connection considered to be display 0, 1, or 2?)
 - And what my preferred desktop containment, background etc. should
be for the affected displays

This seemed to be related to the question of which one of HDMI,
DisplayPort or internal display (eDP) would be probed and found first.
That order isn't inherently stable and apparently it would confuse the
kscreen stack. For context: I have a multi-monitor setup with a laptop
(so on eDP display) and two identical monitors (one connected via HDMI
the other via DisplayPort).

I'm no longer certain which of the following actions eventually helped
to 'fix' that:

 - At a certain point I removed the entire ~/.local/share/kscreen/ directory
 - Upgrading various components. Currently I'm running kscreen 5.17,
plasma-desktop 5.14

Hope it helps.


- Johan Ouwerkerk

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