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XFCE borked KDE

Posted 08-28-2008 at 08:43 PM by trevorparsons
Updated 11-22-2009 at 07:06 PM by trevorparsons (My code tags didn't work.)

Curious to try XFCE again, I fired it up. I already had it installed on my Arch system, and it was up to date thanks to regular runs of pacman -Syu.

Well, I quite liked it. Thunar, the file manager, was agreeably quick and susceptible to being driven by the keyboard. The transparency of the terminal was cool. There were a huge number of window manager tweaks available. I only gave up my experiment because for some strange reason I couldn't get any sound out of the machine any more.

Switching back to KDE, I immediately noticed a couple of odd problems. First, my keyboard layout was wrong, the telltale sign being that " and @ were swapped. Secondly, the keyboard repeat rate was not my usual setting. Hmm. I hit alt-F2, typed kcontrol and found that the KDE Control Centre was blank. Empty. No menu items. The same was true for the main KDE menu (kmenu).

Searching the web for "kcontrol" and "blank" or "empty", I found quite a lot of posts by people that this had happened to before. Some referred to this happening after an upgrade, and some even to it happening after a tryout of XFCE. There were some references to the XDG Base Directory Specification, which apparently is something to do with freedesktop.org

What worked for me was exiting KDE, reinstalling the base packages of KDE -- <code>pacman -S kde3mod-complete</code> -- and just for luck recursively deleting /var/tmp/kdecache-trevor and /tmp/kde-trevorXXXXXX/

Panic over. As you were.
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