Trouble with KDED on Debian - input appreciated

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Wed Sep 9 11:57:00 BST 2009

Hi all,

Over trying to play with/upgrade components to find out what's behind
the bug, it seems that one
of the "boiler room" components of KDE developed issues that are not
being reported upwards, but affect the entire KDE desktop.

Here is how the problems manifest, the phenotype, if you will:

 - Delay in starting the KDE components that are not standalone, such as
   the krunner (both when called over menu or ALT+F2) or Kontact. When
   typing things into the krunner, the delay strikes again after the
   first character, then disappears for this instance of the krunner.

 - Kmail complains about some of the certificates of servers it is
   connecting to, because KDE does not have the root
   certificate, apparently. So I accept them forever, but that forever
   only lasts until the application is started the next time, and
   sometimes not even that long.

   So clearly the "accept it forever" is not being stored.

 - The screen cannot be unlocked, the kscreenlocker needs to be killed
   with -9 from a console to get back to the screen. It is likely that
   it waits for the erratic timeout to display the password dialog, by
   which time the password timeout has already run out, and so the
   password dialog is not even displayed anymore.

 - knetworkmanager is not working, the system log showing

    "NetworkManager: <WARN> connection_get_settings_cb(): Couldn't
     retrieve connection settings: Did not receive a reply. Possible
     causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the
     message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout
     expired, or the network connection was broken.."

   (Note: At first I was thinking about the dbus causing issues, but it
    seems to work fine, and the NetworkManager seems to work (it
    connects to the wired network over DHCP). So I assume it is the "the
    reply timeout expired" part of the above message that is responsible
    for the issues.)

 - The delay does not affect components like the system monitor, or even
   the system settings - unless specific components of the system
   settings are being called. Components affected include KDE Resources
   and KDE Service Manager. But when trying to enter the KDE Service
   Manager, there is finally an error message:

            "Unable to contact KDED."

Now that would appear to be a potentially good reason for all of the
above, only that "ps uaxw | grep kded" shows

  greve    11626  0.1  0.8 154824 18084 ?        R    12:30   0:00 kdeinit4: kded4 [kdeinit]
  greve    11965  0.0  0.5  32524 10204 ?        S    12:31   0:00 kded [kdeinit] --new-startup

which seems to imply that the KDED was started, and ought to be running,
although the status of the kded is sleeping for unknown reasons.

All of this is on Debian sid/experimental, and there have been numerous
libary updates, including for the glibc, so I have been thinking this
might be an odd result from some incompatibility, causing me to
reinstall the libraries that contain the KDED, namely


which did not help. Attempting to recompile from source and subsequent
reinstallation of 


also did not resolve the issue, in fact kded now refuses to start with 

        kded: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/ undefined symbol: _ZNK18KUniqueApplication9classNameEv

which is odd considering that this library is part of the same
kdelibs4c2a package that kded itself is packaged in. Somehow the
recompilation managed to create binary incompatibility between a library
and the corresponding application, it seems.

So I've reinstalled the latest pre-packaged versions, which again allows
to execute the kded, but KDE does not seem to be able to talk to it.

Any input you might have to help with this issue would be appreciated.

Best regards,

Georg C. F. Greve                                      <greve at>       
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