can not start any sessions from kdm

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Tue Mar 22 00:24:44 GMT 2005

LeVA wrote:
> Hi!
> I have kde-3.4, and in kdm I can choose from sessions 'default', 'custom', 
> 'kde' and 'failsafe'. All of these choises leads to one end: an xterm window 
> opens, and nothing more... I can start 'startkde' from that xterm window, and 
> than kde starts, and it is fully functionable, but it doesn't matter which 
> session I chose from kdm's dropdown list, I always end up with just an xterm 
> window instead of starting kde (or the apropriate, selected window manager).
> I have XFree 4.3.0.dfsg.1-10 installed from debian sarge, but I've compiled 
> kde-3.4 myself, and it is in it's default dir (/usr/local/kde).
> In my homedir:
> .xinit -> .xinitrc
> .xsession -> .xinitrc
> $ cat .xinitrc
> startkde
> (^^^ this is for the "custom" session)
> I can see from /usr/local/kde/share/config/kdm/Xsession file, that
> choosing failsafe would start the xterm progeam only,
> choosing custom is parsing my .xsession file, and
> choosing default is starting /usr/local/kde/bin/startkde.
> It seems, no matter what I choose, kdm always starts the failsafe mode, and 
> opens up an xterm window only.
> I can not see any error messages in my kdm.log or XFree's log files (regarding 
> this issue).
> I've installed xdm, to see if it works, but after typing my login name and 
> password, and hitting enter, my screen flickers, and I get back xdm again, 
> with cleared login name and password fields.
> Can someone help me configuring my system right?

Somehow the selection process in the Xsession script is failing.

For debugging and as a temporary fix, add this line:

	exec startkde

just ahead of the line:

	case $1 in

Reboot and see if it works.


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