For graphics editing of some special graphics formats I am using a java program called imagej. This has the annoying bug that one special function tends to kill KDE's window decorations if it has too many images open. At the moment I solve this by switching to a tty and restarting the kdm service. The downside of this solution is that I am kicked out of my running X session which may result in some lost work if there were still unsaved files open.

Is there another way to restart my window decorations without getting logged out of my current X session?

As it may be of importance:

  • Kubuntu 12.04
  • KDE 4.10 from the kubuntu-ppa/backports repo. Same problem already occurred with the stock KDE 4.8.5 from kubuntu 12.04

2 Answers 2


try kwin --replace or DISPLAY=:0 kwin --replace if you're not in X.

  • 1
    Thanks a lot, that works. Only one short addendum: it's useful to put an ampersand & behind the commands if one does not want to block this console for the rest of the session. Apr 19, 2013 at 12:13
  • you're right, or you could just run the command in krunner if you have access to it.
    – d-cmst
    Apr 19, 2013 at 13:13
  • Decades pass but KDE reliability never changes, it still crashes many times a day, like 11 years ago... But it manages to be so great otherwise that we keep tolerating this... I just wonder how many KDE generations will the problem survive... :-)
    – Ivan
    Feb 3, 2018 at 4:59
  • 1
    @Ivan It's a feature ;-)
    – d-cmst
    Feb 3, 2018 at 18:27

Here is the updated answer for KDE 5:

kwin_x11 --replace
  • 2
    kwin is a symbolic link to kwin_x11 (Or vice versa) in kubuntu 18.04 , so either should work now
    – michael
    Aug 16, 2018 at 10:07

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