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I just installed KDE under Arch Linux. Problem is, nothing is starting up right with it - no window manager, no panels, nothing. All I get is a small terminal window in the bottom right corner of the screen, which I'm assuming is konsole. From that single window I can do things like start kwin or launch programs whose names I happen to know (like chromium or firefox), but I don't have a panel for starting programs or switching between programs. Even Alt+F2 doesn't bring up the normal dialog.

It doesn't matter whether I start kdm through inittab or manually by typing # /etc/rc.d/kdm start. KDM looks great, but once I log in as my normal user I just get a console window with no decoration.

Is there a startup script for KDE somewhere that needs to run, and usually has a bunch of programs by default - like a window manager, panels, widgets, and all the normal background programs that run in an ordinary GUI? If so, can someone show me the default script so I can work from there with a window manager, decorator, launchers, etc.?

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i know how to do this with gnome and xfce, but i'm lost on kde – RobotHumans Dec 30 '10 at 2:33

Last time I looked, the script was called startkde.

Are all the kdebase-* packages installed?

See also: SLiM documentation.

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KDM calls startkde as you log in, if I'm not mistaken. Is there a configuration file I can edit to change the behavior of startkde? – Shane Dec 30 '10 at 7:25
What are you trying to change? What does it do now and what do you want to make it do? – Mikel Dec 30 '10 at 20:18
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Turns out it was the profile in kdm - it was running the failsafe profile instead of kde-plasma. I didn't realize that the shiny button on the bottom left of the login box allowed you to select profiles.

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