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Hello, I'm a newbie to Debian and recently switched from sarge to etch by completely doing a clean install because I had no data accumulated. I had both gnome and kde running fine in debian sarge on my IBM Thinkpad r51, 1.5Ghz Pentium M, 256 mb of RAM. When I installed etch, gnome worked fine, but I have a preference to kde, so I installed it using aptitude. I used 'update-alternatives --config x-window-manager' to change my default window manager from metacity to kwin, and 'update-alternatives --config x-session-manager' to change my default session from gnome to kde. KDE seemed to start up fine upon typing 'startx' as a normal user, but when the desktop appeared, the mouse slowed down to the point that I couldn't really do anything. The startup music played slowly and choppily if it at all. I was forced to switch back to the console using ctrl+alt+f1 and kill the xserver. If I switch back to gnome, I have no problems whatsoever. What could the problem be?
That's really strange--I also switched from Sarge with KDE3.4 to Etch with KDE3.5. I didn't ever notice any performance issues; if anything it got a bit faster. Two of my workstations have 256megs of RAM; one of my workstations is only a 564mhz Pentium III.
Maybe this is one of those things where something "bad" slipped into testing and you were unlucky enough to install that "bad" version.
sorry, i dont have suggestions/solutions for you. I have this same problem, just that my machine configuration is considerably low. Sarge + KDE gave me an acceptable performance. But once i upgraded to etch, the performance was really slow. I reverted to Sarge.