Request for help with kdm & environment variables

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Sun Oct 12 21:27:26 BST 2003

Robert P. Goldman wrote:
>>>>>>"JRT" == James Richard Tyrer <tyrerj at> writes:

> Thanks.  For lack of a man page for kdm, I've been trying to
> generalize from the behavior of xdm.
You should have a help page but it is out dated.

In Konqueror use the URL:


> But, AFAICT, kdm is not executing the Xsession script, either.
> Here's my ~/Xsession:
Sorry, I meant the system Xsession script which is normally in: "/etc/X11/"

> Note that I'm running Mandrake, so I'm running mdkkdm instead of kdm.
> But I've looked at the source, and AFAICT, mdkkdm runs Xsession, too.
>     JRT> You didn't say which script is supposed to be setting your environment 
>     JRT> variables and when you need them to go into effect.
> It's the ~/.tcshrc that should be setting the environment variables.

OK, but the Xsession script -- normally: "/etc/X11/Xsession" -- which KDM 
calls must be a 'tcsh' shell script for that to happen.

> I want them into effect so that when I invoke a program from the KDE
> "K" menu, that program will get the right environment (otherwise, for
> example, Crossover Office doesn't work right).  Right now I have to
> just avoid the K menu and do everything from the shell.  Since I
> touch-type, this isn't a huge practical issue, but it bothers the heck
> out of me, aesthetically.
>     JRT> With Bash, one solution that usually works is to make the: "Xsession" 
>     JRT> script a login script.  To do that for 'tcsh', change the first line to:
>     JRT> 	#!/bin/tcsh -
>     JRT> or something like that.
>     JRT> Note, if you: "Xsession" script is being run by: "/bin/sh" then it isn't 
>     JRT> going to run the 'tcsh' scripts, it is going to run the Bash ones.  You 
>     JRT> would probably know that since I think you would have needed to write a 
>     JRT> new: "Xsession" script to use 'tcsh'.
> I think what I show above should be right (BTW, the -l is the
> equivalent of - for bash --- makes this a login shell).
Actually, they can both get by with just a '-' but it does lack something 
appearance wise.

> If anyone could suggest how to debug this, I'd be very grateful.  I
> wish I could convince (mdk)kdm to log somewhere what it's trying to
> do, so I could see if it's trying to load my dang file and fails, or
> what....

If you have a script: "/etc/X11/Xsession" that is what KDM is calling.

If you don't have such a script, look at the file:




Look for something like:


which will tell you the file that KDM calls after login.


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