Rescuing a messed up Plasma desktop

Paul Kaplan pkaplan1 at
Mon Oct 31 18:13:05 UTC 2011

I had something similar happen several kde versions ago. I traced it as far as the desktop effects configs, but never bothered to figure out which one. I've never seen the problem with the default kde config, only after some customization of the effects. 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nigel Ridley" <nigel at> 
To: "Kubuntu user technical support" <kubuntu-users at> 
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 2:03:47 PM 
Subject: Rescuing a messed up Plasma desktop 

I just had a slight major problem: I had just closed Firefox and the window turned white but did 
not close. The close button was unresponsive so I pressed 'Alt + Ctrl + Esc' and got the 'skull 
and crossbones' which I then moved into the [white] Firefox window and clicked - apparently 
Firefox wasn't actually there - but the Plasma desktop was! I killed the Plasma Desktop and no 
matter what I tried - logout; reboot; cold reboot - the desktop wouldn't load - just a black 
screen :-( 
So I did a 'Alt + Ctrl + Delete' and got the 'Leave' options; logged out and then a 'Alt + Ctrl + 
F1' to get to TTY1; logged in and then 'mv .kde kdeOLD' - logged out, 'Alt + Ctrl + F7' and 
logged into a brand new Plasma desktop :-) 
I then spent half an hour getting my dektop the way I like it, then I copied my new .kde to 
another folder, renamed it .kdeGOOD and copied it back into my home folder. Now if I managed to 
mess things up again I can just rename my .kdeGOOD to .kde and everything should be good again.... 

Hope this helps someone else. 


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