I was curious, so I installed kde alongside gnome (which I use primarily, for the matter).
I am running arch linux, and I installed kde using yaourt, by the following command:

yaourt -Syua # update databases
yaourt -S kde --force # install kde itself

I installed everything yaourt suggested for kde, and I didn't get any errors.
So, I rebooted the computer, selected kde plasma in the gdm environment select menu. I entered the password and gdm accepted it.

However, when gdm starts kde, I see a wallpaper with a white transparent rectangle with a picture of a hard disk on the left. The mouse is visible and I can move it, but that's it. Nothing happens after that.

Is this normal or do I have to re-install kde ?


This is not normal, it is clearly a KDE configuration problem. Unfortunately, most linux distributions doesn't works a lot configuring its KDE, practically that are only compiling that and uploading into their package archive without any deeper test. It is not in their main scope. :-(

Although in most cases you can easy handle such problems. KDE is only a collection of a lot of X programs, mainly the kwin window manager and the tray application, and yet a lot of them. They all are using the Qt toolkit which is a very powerful and interesting technology. Fortunately, we have also a trivial script which starts all of the needed tools to a KDE session from a command line. This is named as startkde. It is wasn't started by your gdm (probably it wasn't configured properly), you can do this by hand.

Open a character console with the same user as your X user (alt/ctrl/f1), and enter a DISPLAY=:0 startkde & command. This startkde initiates the normal KDE boot sequence from command line.

If it further doesn't work, I am waiting your comments. If it works and now you want to automatize that, I am waiting your next question.

If there are problems, there is a simpler way if you start only kwin instead of startkde. It will open only the window manager, not a whole session, but it will maybe work.

Alternatively, you could try another distribution with real KDE support (I suggest OpenSUSE or Mint).


KDE works great for me. Using Arch for years. Im not familiar with yaourt anymore. In case try re-installing with pacman directly. $sudo pacman -Syyu kde and read in the wiki on kde. If your using gdm it should just work. Might have a minor tweak somewhere. Also read up on .xinitrc it should work fine. Perhaps after adjusting .xinitrc and using $startx from login terminal you'll have better luck. KDE and Arch are a great combo

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