Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fedora 15: Switch to KDM

I still can't live avoiding KDE and its KDM.
In fedora 15 default Display Manager when installing both KDE and Gnome is GDM. Gnome3 is near sexy to KDE4 but GDM really sucks.

To switch from default GDM to KDM in fedora 15 do as follow

su -c 'echo "DISPLAYMANAGER=\"KDE\"" >> /etc/sysconfig/desktop'
su -c 'echo "DESKTOP=\"KDE\"" >> /etc/sysconfig/desktop'

You can also try an alternate method by opeing the file /etc/sysconfig/desktop

then add the following lines or make appropriate changes if they exist


  1. I don't know where did you find "desktop" file, it does not exit in my Fedora 15...

  2. IF that file doesn't exists, then create it. Be root to create the file

  3. Works perfect thanks

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This works well with the 32 bit version on my old machine, but my 64 bit machine refuses to go to the KDE login screen. Both are running FC 15.

    Also, with what I do with my machine, I was constantly needing to go to SU mode for so many things, I now log in as root at all times, and am very frustrated that unlike older versions of Fedora, as root, the system does not remember the previous desktop. Either that, or KDE as default desktop for root desktop. I'm not picky.


  6. In further research, I found that my 32 bit machine is not going to the KDM login screen, but the default XDM login screen with the new "desktop" text file.

  7. I answered my own question by just looking at script files. I'm not sure why the "desktop" file did not work with the 64 bit machine, but found two scripts where it was being referenced.

    The first script is at /etc/X11. The "prefdm" script is used to select the destop manager. The variable "preferred=" is blank in the default script, and is defined in the nested "IF" statements that follow. If you like KDE as I do, simply add "/usr/bin/kdm" to the end of the "preferred=" line, and delete or remark out (#) the multiple lines of "IF" statements, including the "fi" commands, as they are the indicators of the end of an "IF" statement.

    The second script is at /etc/X11/xinit. In the Xclients script there is a nested "IF" statement near the top to select the desktop. The variable "PREFERRED=" can be set permanently, and either delete, or remark out the "IF" statement lines as above. Simpler yet, following the two statements for "GSESSION=" and "STARTKDE=", enter the command "exec $STARTKDE", and comment out all the nested "IF" statements to the "XCLIENT_D" area.

    The selection of desktops will still be at the login screen. You will always be able to select another desktop, and it will become the default desktop. I am still working on that, because I want KDE to always be the default desktop. At least as root, I can log in to my previous desktop now without the default being Gnome.

    All of this was done on the 64 bit machine. I will check out the 32 bit machine, and post the results later.

    I also figured out that Red Hat/Fedora modified the KDE login, and is why it doesn't look like the login screen at the KDE website.

    Hope this helps.

  8. The script files are the same between 64 and 32 bit versions, so the changes hold true for both.

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  10. Nice, works a treat with FC 16 as well.
    system-switch-displaymanager doesn't add the DESKTOP line, and it fails to put the quotes around KDE.