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Need help with KDM/X11 guts...

I've done a botched dist-upgrade of an old machine that was running Sarge 
before Sarge released.  I forgot to change the apt source from "testing" to 
"sarge."  I wound up with a mess, so I went ahead and changed it over to Sid 
and dist-upgraded it all again.

I've spent the last six hours wrestling with KDM (and GDM and XDM) and I'm 
stumped.  I've uninstalled, purged, and reinstalled hundreds of packages 
(everything related to X11 and KDE), I've tailed logs, I've compared files on 
a different (working just fine) Sid box, I even seriously contemplated taking 
a sledge hammer to the machine to see if I could discover anything that way.

Nada.  Rien.

So here's the problem.  KDM is up.  I log in as somebody, pick any session 
type, but let's just use KDE here, so I log in with a KDE session, KDM bows 
out and passes control over to something.  I'm not sure what that something 
is, internally.  That something causes a stream of happy looking X11 is doing 
good things messages to appear in the logs (X.org.0.log probably, but I'm 
watching so many logs I'm starting to lose track of which window is what.)  
Then, nothing.  Poof.  Back to KDM.

Something is breaking after the happy X11 messages, and I can't figure out WTF 
it is.  Reinstalling umpteen packages didn't fix it (including running dpkg 
-i --force-confmiss on every .deb in the cache), but maybe I can fix it by 
hand once I know what I'm supposed to tinker with.

(If I log in at the console and do an xinit /usr/bin/startkde then I can run 
KDE just fine, incidentally.  Problem is my users will never tolerate 
anything that "complicated," so I have to spend all this time trying to save 
them from having to type a little bit.)

As an added side benefit, I've also somehow attained a glorious state where 
the ctrl-alt-F? keys no longer switch between virtual terminals.  I'm having 
to do all this monitoring from another box, because KDM is effectively 
rendering this machine useless from its own console (as a consequence of 
whatever deeper X problem is breaking KDM, obviously.)

I realize this is only barely on-topic here, but I think it *is* barely 
on-topic here.  If you beg to differ, I'll take it to whatever other Debian 
list you suggest.  This is the only one I'm subscribed to at the moment.

In the meantime, maybe if I get the source to KDM I can figure out what the 
devil this "something" control is getting handed off to is.

Tomorrow.  Gack.  What a day.

Michael McIntyre  ----   Silvan <dmmcintyr@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek;  registered Linux user #243621

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