Appendix B. Superseded profile setup procedures

Setting up a KDE login profile

These instructions cover how to setup the profile required to ensure your computer can login to your newly-built KDE Plasma™ desktop. kdesrc-build will normally try to do this automatically (see the section called “Automatically installing a login driver”). This appendix section can be useful for those who cannot use kdesrc-build's support for login profile setup. However the instructions may not always be up-to-date, it can also be useful to consult the file included with the kdesrc-build source.

Changing your startup profile settings


The .bash_profile is the login settings file for the popular bash shell used by many Linux® distributions. If you use a different shell, then you may need to adjust the samples given in this section for your particular shell.

Open or create the .bash_profile file in the home directory with your favorite editor, and add to the end of the file: If you are building the qt module (you are by default), add instead:


# Act appropriately if LD_LIBRARY_PATH is not already set.
if [ -z $LD_LIBRARY_PATH ]; then


or, if you are not building qt (and are using your system Qt™ instead), add this instead:


# Act appropriately if LD_LIBRARY_PATH is not already set.
if [ -z $LD_LIBRARY_PATH ]; then


If you are not using a dedicated user, set a different $KDEHOME for your new environment in your .bash_profile:

export KDEHOME="${HOME}/.kde-git"

# Create it if needed
[ ! -e ~/.kde-git ] && mkdir ~/.kde-git


If later your K Menu is empty or too crowded with applications from your distribution, you may have to set the XDG environment variables in your .bash_profile:


Starting KDE

Now that you have adjusted your environment settings to use the correct KDE, it is important to ensure that the correct startkde script is used as well.

Open the .xinitrc text file from the home directory, or create it if necessary. Add the line:

exec ${install-dir}/bin/startkde


On some distributions, it may be necessary to perform the same steps with the .xsession file, also in the home directory. This is especially true when using graphical login managers such as sddm, gdm, or xdm.

Now start your fresh KDE: in BSD and Linux® systems with virtual terminal support, Ctrl+Alt+F1 ... Ctrl+Alt+F12 keystroke combinations are used to switch to Virtual Console 1 through 12. This allows you to run more than one desktop environment at the same time. The fist six are text terminals and the following six are graphical displays.

If when you start your computer you are presented to the graphical display manager instead, you can use the new KDE environment, even if it is not listed as an option. Most display managers, including sddm, have an option to use a Custom Session when you login. With this option, your session settings are loaded from the .xsession file in your home directory. If you have already modified this file as described above, this option should load you into your new KDE installation.

If it does not, there is something else you can try that should normally work: Press Ctrl+Alt+F2, and you will be presented to a text terminal. Log in using the dedicated user and type:

startx -- :1


You can run the KDE from sources and the old KDE at the same time! Log in using your regular user, start the stable KDE desktop. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 (or F1, F3, etc..), and you will be presented with a text terminal. Log in using the dedicated KDE Git user and type:

startx -- :1

You can go back to the KDE desktop of your regular user by pressing the shortcut key for the already running desktop. This is normally Ctrl+Alt+F7, you may need to use F6 or F8 instead. To return to your kdesrc-build-compiled KDE, you would use the same sequence, except with the next function key. For example, if you needed to enter Ctrl+Alt+F7 to switch to your regular KDE, you would need to enter Ctrl+Alt+F8 to go back to your kdesrc-build KDE.