Continuing problem (not) running kde3 from kdm

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Mon Mar 8 02:27:57 GMT 2004

Steve King wrote:
> Hello
> This is a problem I reported a while ago. That was setting up a nother
> PC, but after recovering from a disk failure, I am getting the same
> problem on my PC. I've had a good go at solving this, but no luck.
> If I log on through kdm, instead of getting the desktop I get what I
> think is an xterm window. In tjhis window, I can type "./.xsession" and
> my desktop comes up fine, so I suppose there is a connection betwen kdm
> and .xsession missing?
> If I use xdm for logon, then I do get to hte kde desktop no problems
> (but the xdm logon does not have a closedown option, which confuses the
> children).
> If I start from a text screen and type "startx -- :1", then I get my kde
>  desktop no problems.
> Anyone know why kdm is not running my .xsession? Or if that is a red
> herring, anyone know what the problem actually is?
> I am running kde 3.1.4 on Suse 7.3.

This is a common problem apparently caused by a misunderstanding of what 
happens after you login in the KDM GUI login dialog.

What happens, and absolutely all that happens, is that an: "Xsession" 
script is called.  It is called just as if you called it with a command:

	Xsession <session type>

where "<session type>" is the *exact* string that you selected in the 
dialog list box: "Session type".  KDM does not call: "~/.xsession" and 
using an: "~/.xsession" script is *NOT* the proper way to specify your 
desktop with KDM.

So, the problem is that your: "Xsession" script is running (otherwise you 
wouldn't get any X session at all) but it is failing to execute: "startkde".

If you installed from source and you want to risk using the default KDE: 
"Xsession" script, go to: ".... /kdebase/kdm/kfrontend/" and as root execute:

	./genkdmconf --no-old


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