Running Fedora 17 with the default Gnome 3 and hate it? Perhaps you’ve figured out how to get KDE to be the default display manager, but just can’t seem to get rid of the Gnome Login Manager? I have some answers for you here.

I installed from the LiveCD which doesn’t give you the option of KDE or Gnome3. It defaults to Gnome3. To make KDE available to you in this situation, you need to install it. The most user-friendly way to do this is the following:

  1. Run Add/Remove Software
  2. Click on Package collections
  3. Scroll down the list until you see ‘KDE Software Compilation’
  4. Select it and Click the apply button
  5. KDE will start installing in the background. Let it finish and log out.
  6. In the Login dialog when entering your password, you should now have a dropdown that allows you to select KDE as the desktop.

If this above worked, you should now be able to enjoy KDE. However, if you’re like me, you may experience a few more issues, so I’m hoping that my pain and learning can help you along quicker.


1. KDE doesn’t save your display settings

I’ve read about all sorts of issues here, but here are the problems that I experienced. I have a dual monitor setup, and after configuring the monitors to not be clones of each other, setting the correct resolution and position, I happily clicked Apply and then Save Configuration. A few hours later, I rebooted my machine, logged back into the system only to find that both my monitors where cloned again. Try as I may, the settings were seemingly not persisting.

If this sounds familiar, then here is a solution that will not only solve the problem AFTER login, but for the login screen as well:


  1. Check that the file ~./kde/share/config/krandrrc exists
  2. Assuming it does, do a cat ~./kde/share/config/krandrrc and look for the line that starts with StartupCommands=
  3. Copy everything after the = sign into the clipboard. In my case, I ended up copying the following:
    xrandr --output DVI-I-1 --pos 1680x0 --mode 1920x1200 --refresh 59.9502\nxrandr --output DVI-I-2 --pos 0x0 --mode 1680x1050 --refresh 59.8833\nxrandr --output DVI-I-1 --primary


  4. Finally, run: rm ~/.config/monitors.xml.

What we want to do now is create a script that executes those ‘Startup Commands’ when X11 starts up. To do this, we need to add a script to X11′s script folder in /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/. I created a script called, but you can call it whatever you want. (I used vim in this process, but you can obviously use any editor you prefer).

  1. Execute: sudo vim /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/
  2. Paste the line you copied out of ~./kde/share/config/krandrrc into this new file.
  3. Save and exit
  4. Run: sudo chmod +x /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/


What will happen on your next reboot is that when X11 starts up, it will execute your new script and configure your display settings immediately. Give it a go now and come back if you want to know how to make KDE the default display manager (even for the login screen)…


2. I have KDE as my display manager, but I’m still using the GDM to login… Help!

Yeah, that was my problem too. I believe it is related to doing an install to hdd from a LiveCD. Everyone else on the forums mentioned that they had the option of selection KDE or Gnome3 during the install so I assume they used a stock standard install disk.

This one is a little trickier because we need to clean up any trace of scripts that cause us to default to GDM, and then create a new file to force us into KDE.

  1. In your home folder, look for any files that match the .Xclients* pattern. I had two of them, namely .Xclients and .Xclients-default.
  2. Delete them or move them into a temporary folder. Just get them out of your user home folder.
  3. While you’re at it, you can delete .xsession-errors* as well. We ain’t gonna be running Gnome3 ever again!
  4. You now need to create the /etc/sysconfig/desktop file. This file is referenced by one of X11′s startup scripts to determine which display manager to use. (If you’re interested in seeing the script, refer to /etc/X11/prefdm).
  5. Make sure that the contents of /etc/sysconfig/desktop is the same as below:
  6. That should be it. Reboot your machine, and your login should now be handled by KDM instead of GDM.



I’ll update this post as I hit new issues and find solutions to them… Hope these 2 helped in the mean time.