At the office we've been issued laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. Unity is of course the OS default, but KDE is available. I prefer KDE and so have set KDM and KDE as my defaults. However some GNOME things are persisting, such as Guake, and the GNOME quick search (whatever it's called) starts on login. I just had GNOME's archiver open a zip file instead of KDE's. How can I finish converting my account to use KDE components by default?

For clarification I do not wish to uninstall GNOME. I simply want to stop GNOME software from starting in my account. Uninstalling GNOME or Unity would mean other users of the machine couldn't use these programs.

Update: I think I found the origin of the problem of the autostarting applications. There is a whole folder at /etc/xdg/autostart of .desktop files that I think is loading these things. Not sure what needs to be done to disable them for KDE users only.

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    Check whether there is something like "load GNOME services at startup" in KDE, that would cause the applications selected for autostart by GNOME to be loaded as well.
    – peterph
    Nov 21, 2012 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Technically, there is no such thing as “a Gnome program” or “a KDE program”. This is a purely human concept. There are executables linked with Gnome libraries, and executables linked with KDE libraries; in theory, a program could be linked with both, or decide at runtime which one (if any) to load and use.

If KDE desktop environment components don't launch the proper KDE program (assuming that program is installed) when one exists, that may well be a misconfiguration which you should report as a bug to Ubuntu.

You should be able to get rid of many Gnome applications (e.g. the wrong archiver popping up when you click on a zip file) by supplying your own ~/.mailcap referencing KDE applications. Copy the lines referencing programs that you like from /etc/mailcap.

  • doesn't really seem like this is going to help with things like guake and the gnome search stuff auto starting Nov 21, 2012 at 0:09
  • @xenoterracide Right. I don't think there's a magic bullet, you'll have to tune several things, and I don't know the whole list. By the way, Ask Ubuntu is more likely to give you a directly-usable answer on this one. You should mention the Ubuntu version, too. Nov 21, 2012 at 0:33

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