Just got a new CentOS 5.3 server, trying to get the GUI started. Figured out the command is startkde (I think it is anyway). The KDE loads, and I see my desktop, but when I open folders they don't show up on the desktop, when I click buttons they don't pop up, etc. However, if I open folders, and on my Mac 'split view' all the open apps, I see the opened folder I picked as one, but when I click on it it just brings KDE back. Am I doing this wrong? Anyone know how to properly get KDE working on a general CentOS 5.3 installation?

edit: Here is a more complete story.

Just got the new CentOS 5.3 server today, as I mentioned. I'm trying to SSH into it from my mac on the same network. SSH is fine, but I want to try out the GUI. I've tried ssh, ssh -X, ssh -Y, ssh -XY, and none of those have allowed startx (just throws errors), or startkde (KDE desktop/gui loads in an x window, but everytime i open a folder or click on the start bar, nothing happens on the kde desktop. HOWEVER, if I scatter my mac applications using f3, i can see separate x windows BEHIND the kde desktop that are the opened folders i click on or the kde start bar. so everything i'm trying to open in kde is opening behind my kde desktop x window.) to function properly. And now I'm stumped as to how to get this thing to let me use the GUI.

edit 2: this also happens with gnome when i try to open folders; they open behind the gnome desktop in a separate x window.

  • Can you clarify the Mac part? Are you logging into this server remotely? – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 20 '09 at 12:39

Run a VNC or NX server - this is the better (only correct?) way to remotely access a full desktop environment remotely. An SSH session with X forwarding will generally push individual windows back to you, ie where you run a single application and just want to see that app window.

I can't remember off the top of my head the default vnc server for CentOS 5.3 - yum list "vnc" should help you find it though.


My guess is you have not installed kde properly. Try running

yum groupinstall "KDE (K Desktop Environment)"
  • @abbot: the server came with centos (and kde by extension) installed :(. although i guess that doesn't rule out the possibility of them doing it wrong – Tony Stark Aug 20 '09 at 12:40

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