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Problems when Configuring the Login Screen by the KDE4 Login Manager

Submitted by h2b on 14. May 2010 - 19:34
KDE 4.3 / KDE 3.5 / KDM
openSUSE 11.2 (x86_64)

Settings taken by the KDE4 login manager have no effect on the login screen.

After updating a KDE3-based Linux system (in my case openSUSE) to a new version based on KDE4, it may happen that the login screen cannot be changed by the login manager of KDE4 (System Settings|System|Login Manager) anymore. Even though the settings taken there are stored correctly at the dedicated location


it has apparently no effect. In contrast, a configuration by the login manager of KDE3 is still possible; however, after installation of KDE4 this one is only callable from command line by

kcontrol &

(and then System Administration|Login Manager).

To carry out such configurations by the KDE4 login manager, in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager the entry


has to be set. (If the value is simply equal to "kdm", the system apparently calls the KDE3 version always.) With openSUSE, the simplest way to set this value is to use YaST: choose System|/etc/sysconfig Editor and then Desktop|Display manager|DISPLAYMANAGER (enter kdm4 manually here, if it is not available by the selection list).

With this, the KDE4 login manager should work. However, if you want to change the design of the login screen also, with openSUSE in addition the default entry


in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager has to be replaced by


which again can be undertaken by YaST: System|/etc/sysconfig Editor and then Desktop|Display manager|DISPLAYMANAGER_KDM_THEME (enter an empty value here).



While the distribution upgrades to openSUSE 11.3 and later 11.4 did not require further adaptations, when upgrading to openSUSE 12.1 (along with KDE 4.6 to 4.7) the settings were reset again. The latest upgrade was done using “zypper dup”.

To remedy, the measures taken above were effective again.