Weird issue with background covering almost all windows

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Sat Jun 11 02:28:16 BST 2011

Richard Hartmann posted on Fri, 10 Jun 2011 23:26:13 +0200 as excerpted:

> recently, I switched from a dual-monitor setup to a single-monitor
> setup.
> Ever since then, the background, i.e. the wallpaper, is displayed above
> all application windows. If I alt-tab, the outlines of the windows are
> displayed, but that's it.
> The only windows that are displayed above the background:
> * alt-tab overview of applications * kwallet's password prompt * the
> lougout window I access with ctrl-alt-del * system activity (i.e.
> ctrl-esc)
> If I create a new user, there is no problem.
> As I put a lot of effort into customizing KDE to my needs and as there
> are several Konqueror instances I need the data from, I would like to
> avoid deleting ~/.kde.
> Did anyone ever experience this? Does anyone have any idea how to debug
> this?
> If you need any information, just tell me.
> Any and all help appreciated as my user is de facto useless, atm.

I'm a heavy customizer myself so I know the feeling...

Please check the archive for the kde-linux list, where I earlier this 
week described the troubleshooting technique known as bisecting, in a 
thread entitled "Loosing keyboard in KDE" (yes loosing, someone mixed up 
loose and lose).

Very briefly, the idea is to backup your $KDE_HOME dir (~/.kde), then 
while not logged into kde as that user, delete roughly half of the 
working dir (thus the backup), then login and see if the problem is still 
there or not, which tells you whether the problem is in the half you 
deleted or the half you didn't.  Using that information, you repeat, 
splitting the bad half each time, until you find the problem file.  If 
you wish, you can then switch to a text editor and continue the same 
process into the file, until you find the problem section, and then the 
problem line.  Of course you can stop at any time if you believe the 
hassle recustomizing what's left will be less hassle than continuing the 
bisect further, but I generally continue it since it's useful to know 
what the problem was if it ever happens again.

But to speed up the process, the two main config dirs under $KDE_HOME are 
share/apps, which contains application specific subdirs, and share/config, 
which contains individual files.  So I'd make the assumption it's one of 
those, backup and delete the other, and see if that's it,  If not, try 
the other one.

The other thread has a more detailed description of the bisect method.

But we can probably speed the process even further, as from your 
description, the problem is very likely kwin or plasma related.  So after 
getting your backup, try deleting just the kwin files under both of the 
dirs above, and see if that cures the problem.  If not, try the plasma 
files, but I'm suspecting kwin so try it first.

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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