KDE Fails to Start

Probably after auto-updating Kubuntu (12.04), something broke. A friend’s machine, so I couldn’t do an in-depth debugging, instead needing a quick, DTSTTCPW fix. KDM does work, we get a login screen, but then an empty X root window, or later, probably a crash that takes us back to KDM.

The first step is, obviously, Googling.


  1. Googling doesn’t produce a conclusive answer, or a known bug, just similar, ancient, reports.
  2. Reinstalling kubuntu-desktop solves the problem — desktop now loads. Weirdly, this adds two “plasma” options to KDM’s menu which previously only offered “default” and “failsafe”. This was apparently the solution in two recent (2012-07) reports in KubuntuForums, blank screen after updates, and another, titled similarly.


  1. Wanted to try GNOME anyway, but, which package(s) to install? ubuntu-desktop (meta, depends on everything), gnome-desktop-environment (meta, depends on applications), gnome (not installed with Unity?).
  2. apt-get install ubuntu-desktop fails with “E: unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages”. WTF? apt-get check doesn’t report any such problems. And this installs successfully from GUI.


  1. KubuntuForums, UbuntuForums
  2. Linux Questions
  3. Bugs in Ubuntu

Remote access

  1. Dynamic IP: daemon to sync DNS at DynDNS.com.
  2. SSH
  3. krdc, or VNC, RDP, NX…


Comments are closed.