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Monday, September 29th 2008, 5:49am

KDE applications without KDE itself?


I have been using KDE 4 almost since it was available. A few months ago, I started using the xmonad tiling window manager. I was able to configure xmonad so that it co-existed pretty well with KDE 4 (e.g. showing the KDE task bar, launcher, etc., but using xmonad's window management facilities instead of kdm). In this configuration, my environment was basically full KDE4 minus the window manager.

But after I while I got more hooked on the xmonad way of doing things, and I changed my approach so that none of KDE 4 was showing at all. I had a simple text-mode status bar (courtesy of xmobar), and I launched applications using the dmenu launcher of xmonad. When I start a session, I start it by launching my customized xsession. My .xsession file does little more than launch xmonad (see below). In this configuration, I couldn't really say that I'm running KDE at all.

But I still like to run quite a few KDE4 applications. For example, amarok and k9copy. But since I am no longer launching KDE proper, many of these applications work poorly, if at all. Among other things, I get lots of complaints about missing dcopserver, or problems with ownership of .ICEAuthority. Applications crash, and it often seems that it's because they are expecting certain infrastructure that doesn't exist.

I have two vague ideas of how I could accomplish better KDE application support while still preserving my minimal-appearing xmonad setup. (Note: I am not primarily concerned with eliminating "bloat" in terms of running processes. I just like a very sparse, keyboard-driven user interface.)

1) Keep using an xsession, but add invocations of necessary executables to my .xsession script. What would be the minimum set of KDE-specific processes that I must launch? How do I launch them without launching kde itself? I've tried invoking kdeinit from my .xsession before launching xmonad, but this doesn't improve anything.

2) Invoke KDE instead of xsession, but configure KDE to use xmonad as the window manager (which I already know how to do), don't show a KDE status bar or launcher (I suppose that's as easy as deleting it), and showing the xmobar status bar instead (don't know how).

I lean towards option 1), since this seems like the leaner approach. But maybe you will tell me that by the time I get everything I need to run KDE apps well, I've pulled in most of KDE anyway.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. If it helps, here is my .xsession file. It's very simple. As you can see, I've already made some amateur attempts to make KDE things work:


Source code

export PATH=/usr/lib/kde4/bin:$PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/kde4/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

# This is a system tray application
trayer --edge top --align right --SetDockType true --SetPartialStrut true \
--expand true --width 10 --transparent true --tint 0x191970 --height 12 &

# How much blacker can you get? The answer is none -- none more black.
xsetroot -solid black

xscreensaver -no-splash &

# And this is the window manager, which in turn launches the xmobar status bar application.
# And that's all there is!
exec xmonad



Posts: 1

Location: Southern California

Occupation: Student

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Thursday, November 13th 2008, 5:30am

I'm wondering the exact same thing, because I also recently started using xmonad instead of KDE. But I still like to use KDE4 apps, like klipper, konsole, krusader, and okular. These all work mostly, but some features don't work, like recently opened files lists aren't maintained, and settings aren't saved.

On my system, when I start konsole, the following processes are started automatically: kdeinit4, kded4, knotify4, and kwalletd.

My .xsession is basically the same as timcrews's, except I don't have the exports at the top.