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Need Help With Installing X11 and KDE

My apologies for the cross-post; I don't know which list is most appropriate
for this topic.

I have a fair amount of UNIX experience but am new to GNU/Linux (I've been
playing with the Knoppix live CD for a couple of weeks). Yesterday I
installed Debian 3.1r2 ("Sarge") on my Windows PC. I installed the base OS
just fine but am having trouble with X11 and KDE.

For my original installation I chose the "desktop" task package installation
(I don't remember the exact name) which installed GNOME and KDE. I then
booted into GNOME with no problems (other than low screen resolution,
800x600). However, I wanted KDE, not GNOME , and spent several hours trying
to disable GNOME before I gave up and reinstalled the base OS again with no
additional packages.

I then installed and configured kde-core, kdm, and x-windows-system-core (I
want to start with a minimal environment and add to it). KDE didn't start
automatically so (assuming that I missed something) I installed the entire
kde package, which didn't solve the problem. I saw a note somewhere about
starting X11 with "xstart"; I tried that and got an error (listed in

     Cannot open device /dev/input/mice

It seems that X11 doesn't like my mouse (it's a PS/2 trackball). The mouse
worked in Gnome yesterday (although it was auto-detected; not specifically
selected) and works with Knoppix (using the same device: /dev/input/mice).

I uninstalled all KDE packages and re-installed x-windows-system-core but
the problem persists.

My assumption is that I need to be able to see X11 processes running and/or
be able to run "xstart" manually before proceeding with installing KDE
again. Here are my questions:

1. How can I get X11 to work and verify that it's running correctly?

2. Once X11 is working, is there any reason why I can't install just
kde-core and kdm to start with (as opposed to the full kde package)?


Steve Grace

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