keeping configuration files for both kde 3.5 and kde 4.3

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Tue Aug 31 04:22:38 BST 2010

borenstein bernie posted on Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:01:04 -0700 as excerpted:

> BernieWe would like to upgrade our linux desktops from Opensuse 10.2 to
> Opensuse 11.2.  Currently we are using KDE 3.5 and setting KDEHOME to
> $HOME/.kde_3.5 and modifying kdeglobals [PATHS] to point to
> a<br>different desktop and trash folder<br> <br>kdeglobals
> entry<br><br>[Paths]<br>Desktop=$HOME/.kde_3.5/Desktop_3.5<br>Trash=
> it appears that KDE 4 is using $HOME/.kde4, I figured that none of the
> configuration files would overwrite each other and each desktop could
> run independently -<br> what I mean is that I could login to a box
> running Opensuse 11.2 and Kde 4.3 and everything would work and then
> login to the new box with Opensuse 10.2 and Kde 3.5<br>and none of the
> configuration files would clash.<br><br> After using the Opensuse 11.2
> box with KDE 4, I went to login to my old box and it would not log in
> and apparently the Kde 4 configuration files had overwritten <br>some of
> the Kde 3.5 files and I couldn't get into the old desktop.  Please
> note that when running Opensuse 11.2, I make sure the KDEHOME variable
> is NOT set (I don't know if Kde 4 uses that value anyways).<br>
> <br>Any help with this configuration issue would be
> appreciated.<br><br>Bernie <br>

First, please turn off the HTML.  Many list regulars choose not to use 
HTML parsing clients for security or other reasons, and seeing all those 
formatting codes gets annoying quite fast.  Annoying the folks who might 
be able to help is generally not the reason most people post requests to 
the list, making HTML posting generally counter-productive.  OTOH, many 
don't realize they're even doing it until they're asked to avoid it, thus 
my request.  With that now dealt with...

While keeping separate kde3 and kde4 installations both working without 
interfering is possible, and in fact, that's how much of the early kde4 
work was done, before kde4 actually became usable enough to use as one's 
main desktop, the process isn't exactly easy, and does have a number of 
"gottas", one of which you've apparently hit.  As such, it's definitely 
for the more "advanced" user or developer, not the folks who "just want it 
to work" (tho IMO, simply due to kde's "expose the config to the user who 
may want to tweak it" attitude, compared to gnome's "we know better than 
you do what you want and thus won't bother you with a config for it" 
attitude, the "just work" users are more likely to be scared of kde and 
attracted to gnome, anyway, so in general, the kde user is by very 
attitude of the project itself likely to have the more advanced users).

I believe there's instructions for doing so on the kde techbase, if you 
want to try.  I'd suggest trying that.

Meanwhile, one of the helpful suggestions was that you not use the same 
user account for both.  Use a different user, with different home dirs, 
for each.  

Given Linux permissions, one way to do it would be to setup a group for 
the pair of user accounts (making it the default group for that user, in 
the least work case), and set default permissions user-writable, group-
readable for both users, so each one can access the other's files, but 
can't write to them without deliberately setting the permissions on that 
specific file or subdir to allow it.

The separate user account isn't absolutely mandatory, but it /does/ 
significantly simplify the general setup otherwise, while reducing the 
risk of screwing things up.  Of course, a backup's a good thing to have in 
any case, but I'd certainly be sure I had one if I were going to try the 
single user method, because as you found out, it's quite easy to screw 
things up that way, thus more likely you'll find yourself needing that 

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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