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This article contains various sections to help KDE users troubleshoot their systems.

Opening GUI programs as root when signed in as another user

It could be a very bad idea to start GUI programs with root privileges. Only use kdesu when absolutely necessary!

KDE, along with other desktop environments, include a special command in order to start graphical programs with root privileges. For KDE the command is kdesu. It can be used in the following manner:

user $kdesu <program>

Be sure to substitute <program> in the command above with the name of the program. A pop-up window should be displayed containing a text box for the root password. Enter the password and boom: happiness.

Get rid of the KResource Migration Tool pop-up

There have been reports that the KResource Migration Tool pops up on every login. There is no proper solution yet for this, but a workaround is available in bug #353200.

Rebuilding the application database

If the KMenu lacks any application or the whole application list, the KDE application database probably needs to be rebuilt. This is also a possible fix for any KMenu related issues, like missing icons.

user $kbuildsycoca4 --noincremental

Akonadi complains about the MySQL config

Start by checking the permissions in /usr/share/config and /usr/share/kde4. If they're 700, update them to 755 recursively.

root #chmod -R 755 /usr/share/config
root #chmod -R 755 /usr/share/kde4

If that doesn't solve the error, open the akonadi configuration and change the default MySQL config. If the tray is not running, start akonaditray, select "Akonadi Server Configuration", activate "Use internal MySQL server" and then press the test button. To use the MySQL server and not the embedded executable, make sure that MySQL is running.

KDM fails to start

Start by checking the permissions in /usr/share/config. If they're 700, update them to 755. Check the previous section.

If that doesn't solve the error, check if KDM fails to start with a message like:

CODE Error message for KDM in /var/log/messages
gentoo kdm[2116]: X server startup timeout, terminating

If that is the case, uncomment the ServerTimeout line in the kdmrc file, which can be located on the system as follows:

root #grep kdmrc /var/db/pkg/kde-base/kdm-4.3.1/CONTENTS | cut -f2 -d " "

Be sure to increase the timeout - 60 should work.

Also be sure that the following services are started:

root #/etc/init.d/dbus status
root #/etc/init.d/consolekit status

If not, enable them by replacing status with start, and use rc-update for every one of them to add them to default runlevel:

root #rc-update add dbus default
root #rc-update add consolekit default

Finally, KDM could fail due to errors in xorg.conf. Take a look in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log and /var/log/kdm.log logs and fix xorg.conf accordingly. For additional help, reach out to the Gentoo KDE team on IRC at #gentoo-kde on Freenode.

The battery applet or solid notifications don't show the relevant info

Make sure to have D-Bus and ConsoleKit running so that the battery applet or other solid notifications can show the relevant info:

root #/etc/init.d/dbus status
root #/etc/init.d/consolekit status

If not, enable them by replacing status with start, and use the rc-update command for every one of them to add them to default runlevel:

root #rc-update add dbus default
root #rc-update add consolekit default

Double-hibernate or crashes after hibernate

KDE 4.6 handles "sleep button" events on its own, and the system correctly hibernates. Disable any other program that would handle these events (such as acpid) as this might lead to double hibernation and/or system instability.

See also bug #363363.

Shutdown, reboot, logout does not work

There is some strange interaction between the sound system and the logout mechanism going on. Open the system settings, and disable the "logout sound". Afterwards, logging out will likely work.

See also bug #326393.

The desktop background covers all windows

In rare cases, after working with several screens the desktop settings are not cleaned up properly. The result is that the desktop background seems to cover all windows. More details plus some manual workarounds can be found in KDE bug #260360.

See also bug #365623.

No login possible, hangs at splash screen

After playing with unstable GNOME applications, an incompatibility might come up which results in KDE logon failures as long as net-libs/glib-networking is installed. Unmerge that package to fix the situation.

See also bug #365637.

Unable to mount devices using KDE Plasma Device Notifier

If the error message "You are not authorized to mount this device." is being displayed when trying to mount devices by clicking them in the KDE Plasma Device Notifier (USB-stick-like icon in the system tray), add the following file to your configurationː

FILE /etc/polkit-1/rules.d/10-udisks.rules
polkit.addRule(function(action, subject) {
	if (action.id.indexOf("org.freedesktop.udisks2.filesystem-mount") == 0 && subject.isInGroup("plugdev")) {
		return polkit.Result.YES;

This will allow all users who are members of the plugdev group to mount devices using the Device Notifier.

Use the following command to add users to this groupː

root #gpasswd -a <username> plugdev

NOTEː a reboot may be required for the changes to take effectǃ

See also