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I'm running Debian Sarge. Just installed the nvidia graphics drivers, and played some Doom 3 last night. (which was simply awesome) This morning however, I had the nasty surprise of getting a Gnome session. I logged out, selected KDE session, logged back in, but it was no use: I can't get KDE, only Gnome. How do I fix this? I recently installed the 2.6.8-1-686 kernel, as Doom 3 recommends it.
I had this exact same problem with Fedora Core 2: If you had Gnome installed, you couldn't run KDE.
SOME UNINFORMED RANTING:
And for me, it IS a problem. I've installed linux on 6 different computers, ranging from 7-year old clunkers to hot-rod gaming machines. I've used different distributions*, video cards, and motherboards. And it's always the same thing: KDE runs smoothly, Gnome consistently causes errors within minutes of logging in.
While writing this message I've gotten "The Application "nautilus" has quit unexpectedly" multiple times. The Gnome panel has also died, it flickered on and off for a while and then I got: "I've detected a panel already running and will now exit." In my experience, this isn't bad for Gnome. On Fedora, it would periodically freeze the computer and corrupt a bunch of system files, making it impossible to reboot without a rescue CD.
But I have no strong preference one way or the other; if Gnome actually worked**, I wouldn't need KDE. So an alternate fix to my problem would be to tell me what I can do to make Gnome more stable.
*Red Hat 9, Fedora Core 1 and 2, Debian Woody, Debian Sarge
**For longer than 10 minutes
I know with fedora and few other distro's that I have used changing /etc/sysconfig/desktop settings to desktop=KDE does the trick. In that same file desktopmanager=kde will also set kdm as the default desktop manager. I do not recall if debian uses the exact same file /etc/sysconfig/desktop, but if it doesn't. I believe it is pretty close. Hope this helps. KDE 3.3X is really strong.