So, I've installed KDE in Arch Linux using the kde package, as well as phonon-xine from pacman. Maybe it's because I had GNOME before, maybe it's because I did something wrong, but when I log in from KDM, all I get is a small white terminal in the bottom right corner.

Now, from this terminal, I can launch plasma-desktop, and from the actual launcher I can get a konsole session open, and then I can start KWin or compiz and KDE4-Window-Decorator and have a usable desktop environment.

I don't think this is expected behavior, though. How do I get it to launch all this stuff properly (and anything else I'm forgetting) when I log in from KDM?

Also, since I've installed KDE, GNOME is all messed up - but one thing at a time, and if I like KDE enough I'll uninstall GNOME anyway.

1 Answer 1


When you log in using KDM, there's a menu called "session type", which you can use to choose which window manager or desktop environment to start.

It sounds like in your case the "xterm session" or "fallback session" is selected. If you select KDE instead, it should start up correctly.

  • 1
    Huh. So I guess that's what those little glassy buttons are for on KDM. Thanks for your help on what turned out to be a pretty simple fix.
    – Shane
    Dec 30, 2010 at 23:05

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