Re: how to fix non-starting kde in user account
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sibu xolo posted on Thu, 05 Jan 2012 10:46:53 +0000 as excerpted:
> I am using a computer with LINUX-2.6.35/kde-4.4.5. One account has
> developed a fault. I can login via kdm and the machine then attempts to
> start kde. This then fails and the screen goes black.
> I miss the use of this account mostly because of email addresses stored
> in kmail. Does anyone know of a way to replenish kde so that I can
> access kmail for instance.
You know that's ~1.5 years outdated for both the kernel and kde, right?
Current kernel is the just-out 3.2, and current kde is 4.7.4 or 4.7.95
(4.8-rc1, what I'm running) or 4.7.97 (4.8-rc2, in tagging freeze since
Tuesday, should be announced/available today).
Additionally, kde 4.5 contained enough fixes that I'd definitely
recommend upgrading to the last in that series, 4.5.5 (but with kdepim
4.4.10 or whatever as it didn't ship a 4.5). Beyond that isn't as
critical and 4.6 uses new udisks/upower/etc instead of hal so it'd be a
much bigger update, but 4.5.5 was what really should have been 4.0, with
everything before 4.5 (and early 4.5 as well) not yet release quality, so
I'd definitely recommend updating to 4.5.5 at least.
But of course it's up to you and your distro. Thanks for reporting kde
version in any case, as that can make a difference.
Based on your description but I'm just confirming, you know it's that
user config, as other users on that computer work fine, correct?
In general, most of kde's user config is stored in $KDEHOME, which if
unset, defaults to ~/.kde as shipped by kde, but some distros change that
to ~/.kde4. So without kde running (as that user anyway), you can move
that dir elsewhere for backup, and see if that helps.
If it's a user config issue the $KDEHOME move will most likely clear the
bad config, but if it doesn't, also try $XDG_CONFIG_HOME, which if unset
defaults to ~/.config.
Once you find the directory it's in, use the classic bisect method,
repeatedly splitting the known bad config roughly in half each time,
until you get down to the subdir and then the individual file that's
causing the problem. This is accomplished by (again with kde not
running) deleting the config that the last test left and copying the half
that you know is good from the previous test back in place, along with
half of the remaining bad config. If the problem appears, you know it's
in the half of the bad config you copied in. If it doesn't, you know
it's in the half you left out. In either case after removing the stub
bits that the last test created, you can then copy in the good half and
half of what remains of the bad half and repeat the test.
To speed up the process, there's generally two dirs of interest in
$KDEHOME, share/config, which contains individual files, and share/apps,
which contains subdirs for each app. So after confirming it's in
$KDEHOME, simply test with either apps or config in place and the other
removed to see which one it's in, and go from there.
Once you get down to an individual file (or for that matter you can stop
before that if you don't care about losing all the customizations in the
bad section that's left), you can either stop there, or continue using a
text editor, first narrowing it down to the section of the file, then the
individual line. I personally like going all the way, since I learn more
about kde's config that way, and find the line that caused all the
problems, but that does require quite some patience, and if you're OK
with losing the customization in what remains, you can stop at any point
and just recustomize anything you need to.
The first time you do this is hard and boring, but the second time goes
easier, and by the fourth time you try this bisect thing, you'll probably
find that you're starting to understand both the bisect process better,
and kde's layout, so that you can guess at what files are bad and
shortcut several rounds of the bisect, thus making it far easier. =:^)
Hope it's useful! =:^)
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman
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