Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (946 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] KDE 4 / 11.2 black widgets (WAS: root login not allowed from kdm)
  • From: Tejas Guruswamy <masterpatricko@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2010 12:28:27 +0100
  • Message-id: <4CB6E95B.5040201@xxxxxxxxx>
On 13/10/10 18:02, Roger Oberholtzer wrote:
Having exhausted all other routes to a solution, I can consider this...
I have an earlier thread on this list, and the opensuse-kde list (August

Here is what I first reported:

For regular KDE users, many screen components are not drawn. They are
black. This includes the panel, KDE menus (like the kickstart menu or
the knofity message window.) The result is often black text on a black
background - which is impossible to read. The desktop folder shows icons
and a title. But there is no window decoration at all. It is like some
facet of rendering is not working. It makes no difference if I have
rendering on or off. It happens on most system installs we do. The
computers are different. Some are nvidia, others ATI. They are not
installed by the same person or from the same media.

Here is the strange part: it looks ok for root. So I can only conclude
that the correct software is installed.

So, the first thought was that some files needed are not accessible by
the average user. Will Stephenson has spent a bit of time looking in to
this, suggesting possible places where permissions could be a problem.
We have found nothing. I used 'find' to try and locate things in the
various kde directories that cannot be read by a non-root user. There
were no violations. It seems that the users can at least read all system
files - which is all they should be able to do.

This has happened on 11.2 systems:

* as on the original DVD
* after upgrading (newer KDE)
* with KDE 4.5.2

This is not a cosmetic issue. Some parts of the system are virtually
unusable as a result. We have reinstalled, and tried other variations on
the install, like:

* install
* update
* user logs in for first time


* install
* user logs in
* update


* no updates


We have deleted the user's .kde4 and .config directories, as well as
temp files in /tmp and /var. It makes no difference.

I do not have the luxury of trying 11.3 on these systems. But as the
problem happens with three versions of KDE4 (including 4.5.2), I am not
sure what that would show.

The last release known to work on these systems is 10.3. But we do not
want to make any new systems with this release. 11.2 is the one we have
tested the most in all other facets related to our use.

I have a few screen dumps to show what I mean. I can send them along to
anyone interested so they can see what I am trying to describe. A couple
of users want to run off with their systems, and are a bit disappointed
that the GUI is such a problem.

Given the frequency and nature of our problem, it is absolutely
surprising that we are the only ones to experience this problem so many

Hmph, a tough one, especially since you seem to seeing this on a range
of machines whereas I have never seen it on any of mine.

Here's my braindump of everything that could be involved, ordered from
maybe to probably not (I know that you've already ruled some of this
out, just bear with me)

KDE Plasma Desktop Theme
* Make sure an actually installed theme is selected in System Settings.
Try switching themes.
* Try downloading a new theme from khotnewstuff (the "Get new Themes"
button) and using that.
* Try installing one of the Plasma theme RPMs, e.g.
"plasma-theme-glassified" from KDE:Extra and using that.

KDE Plasma
* Does "plasmapkg -l" give a reasonable list of the installed plasma
applets? Are all the ones you expect there?
* Does "plasma-windowed launcher" show the application launcher menu?
Any errors?
* Does "plasma-windowed desktop" show an empty desktop (right clicking
should give you "Desktop settings")? Any errors?
* Does "plasma-windowed folderview" show you a folderview of ~? Any errors?
* Try running with "plasma-netbook"

KDE Widget style
By default this is Oxygen.
* Try switching to a different widget style, e.g. Plastique.
* Try fiddling with the settings in the "oxygen-settings" application
when you are back to oxygen
* Does the "oxygen-demo" application look OK?
* Try switching the window decoration widget style also.

* Try running with a different WM, e.g. metacity, openbox.
* Disable/enable overall desktop effects
* Disable/enable individual desktop effects

KDE Desktop Colour configuration
Based on what you said, it seems to be happening by default even on the
first login, so it's unlikely that it is a bad user setting.
* Try explicitly setting the color configuration for each user.
* Try fiddling with the global settings in /etc/kde4/share/config and

* Make sure you're not installing off slightly corrupted installation
media (look for rpm errors in the installation log)
* Make sure no "-branding-upstream" packages are installed and all
"-branding-openSUSE" packages are installed.
* Make sure all packages are consistent, ie. no mixed Factory/Qt4.7
packages - which I assume you've not got since you're using vanilla
11.2. But this goes for updates as well, if you install any updates,
make sure they are _all_ installed. With only standard 11.2 repos, make
sure a "zypper dup" and a "zypper ve" doesn't want to change anything.
* Make sure all package architectures match (all i586, or all x86_64)

Video Drivers
* On a nVidia system, try with nv, with nouveau, and with nvidia.
* On a ATI system, try with radeon, radeonhd, and fglrx.
* Try running with just the framebuffer driver (vesafb?)
* Make sure the modules are not being loaded with any special options
(look in /etc/modprobe.conf.d)
* Make sure xorg.conf doesn't contain anything but the bare minumum.
* Make sure that users are members of the "video" group and that
"/dev/video0" and "/dev/fb0" have reasonable permissions (660 root:video)

Hard Disk
* Make sure to have lots of free space, esp. /tmp and /var/tmp
* Make sure the symlinks in ~/.kde4 point to the right places that
aren't full or non-writeable

tejas@hobbes:~/.kde4> ls -l
total 16
drwxr-xr-x 2 tejas users 4096 2010-09-02 16:53 Autostart
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 23 2010-08-26 14:35 cache-hobbes ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 23 2010-08-26 12:16 ->
drwxr-xr-x 2 tejas users 4096 2010-08-28 16:31 env
drwx------ 8 tejas users 4096 2010-09-24 17:33 share
drwxr-xr-x 2 tejas users 4096 2010-09-02 16:53 shutdown
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 18 2010-08-26 14:35 socket-hobbes ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 18 2010-08-26 12:16 ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 14 2010-08-26 14:35 tmp-hobbes ->
lrwxrwxrwx 1 tejas users 14 2010-08-26 12:16 ->

Hope this helps,

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