I need a "tweak" for KDE

I installed KDE on my Mint system and am completely blown away by all the options. One complaint I have is the initial splash screen I get when I first boot up. I use dual monitors, and one of them always looks like a touch-screen keyboard for use to log in: not attractive and definitely not needed on a desktop PC with no touch-screen capability. I have searched through the settings options, but have not found a way to change this. Suggestions?

Hey, @PrettyGranny!

Are you referring when you boot up or the splash screen when you login? The first one can be a bit tricky to configure via Plymouth, while the latter is easier and you can do so by installing new splash screens (and full themes) via the settings.

I’m referring to when I boot up. However, now I have a much more serious problem. I spent some time last night tweaking at KDE in hopes to find a solution, and I have broken my entire Mint system. Now when it boots, I get completely blank screens. I cannot log in. Following directions received earlier I was able to open Terminal 3 and log in, but can’t figure out what to do from there to fix this. This is a serious emergency, HEEEELLLLPPP! I’m currently only able to post this because I booted from the Mint installation USB stick. I REALLY don’t want to undo all my hard work getting my system set up and beautifully functional by reinstalling the OS (and losing my data.)

Hey @PrettyGranny,
I’ll first need to know what exactly you tried to tweak so that I can back-track it and help you solve it.

I can’t remember precisely; it had to do with startup or the login screen is all I can remember. Might it be easier to just remove KDE and later reinstall it?

If you are able to get to the terminal, try the following:

sudo apt install --reinstall kde-plasma-desktop

And see if it actually runs a full reinstallation. Once it’s finished, reboot.
Also, when you installed KDE/Plasma, which command did you use? We might need it for a possible purge command. :slight_smile:

I wasn’t able to reinstall kde-plasma-desktop. The program wasn’t found. I remembered that I installed plasma-desktop (no kde), so I reinstalled that instead, which worked, but didn’t fix my problem. I’m still booting from the USB and cannot see my documents. I’m kinda freaking out, here. Not everything was backed up.

No need to freak out, @PrettyGranny!
With Linux, no amount of tweaking can get your files lost. When you boot via USB, open up your file manager and you will find the devices (like your main drive) which you can click on, then go to the home folder. Your files are still there.

K I found an “access-your-private-data.desktop” and a readme.txt that said my files had been unmounted to preserve them. That’s very comforting. If I have to reinstall Linux, though, won’t that destroy them? Won’t it reformat the drive? (I tried to copy that “access” thing to my cloud server, but it wouldn’t go.) What can I do to get back to a normal login screen? Is a Linux reinstall my only answer?

Okay, let’s try to take it from the beginning - as there may be as simple as an X-Server issue. This means that it has trouble booting you into the desktop environment.

First, I’ll need some info on what happens when you boot up from your main drive.

Are you able to reach the login screen?

If yes, does the blank screen appear after you input your username and password?

If you are unable to reach the login screen, then please let me know so that we enter the “Fallback” version of your Mint installation and take it from there.

I don’t get to a login screen, it’s just blank. I tried entering my username and password anyway, but that does nothing.

Okay. Then we’ll go a bit deeper.
When you start your system, tap the Escape button so that it presents you with the Grub Boot Menu. Then navigate (arrow keys) to the Advanced Options, and select the second option that includes “Fallback”.

It will lead you to a set of choices, if memory serves me well. Select to activate network and then drop down to Root Terminal.

If you installed plasma-desktop, execute the following commands, pressing Enter at the end of each line:

apt remove plasma-desktop
apt autoremove
apt autoclean
apt install kde-full
systemctl disable lightdm
systemctl enable sddm
reboot

Please let me know how that goes!

The Advanced options on that Grub Boot menu are really something! I’m impressed!

I didn’t see an option for “Fallback”. I did see several versions of Linux labeled “Recovery”, though, and I have tried them all.

I was able to successfully remove plasma-desktop and run all the commands you listed above. Unfortunately, I still get black screens after seeing the round green LM splash screen. I went back into the Grub Boot menu and removed kde-full also, thinking there might be some incompatibility there; it didn’t make a difference.

While I was there, I tried some of the other options in the Grub Boot menu and saw something under System Summary that concerns me. Under LVM State; Physical volumes: not ok (BAD). Volume Groups: ok (good). Is this indicating a hard disk failure? It’s a practically new solid state 1T drive, I’d be very sad if it is malfunctioning! Could it be causing my problem?

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If you can back up any important data on that drive I would do so. In my humble opinion I would never trust that drive again. Also there are diagnostics you can run after you get the data backed up. If you can verify bad blocks you may be able to take it back for a replacement.

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As @waynetb mentioned, a drive failure at this point would be bad.

PART ONE

In this scenario, it would be best to go back to the Recovery mode (some distros name it differently, yes), and drop down to root terminal. Type in:

lsblk

To see the device name of your SSD. If it’s named sda, look for the one that has the biggest size and is mounted under root (with the / symbol). If it’s sda2. First, let’s perform the drive’s hardware test to see if it’s indeed OK or not.

apt update && sudo apt install -y smartmontools
smartctl -t short /dev/sda

Give it a couple of minutes so that the drive performs its own, quick test. Once done, execute:

smartctl -H /dev/sda

If it produces an error, then you may have picked up a faulty drive and you should have the vendor replace it for free.

If the test comes out positive, without errors, then we’ll need to run a disk check and fix it.

PART TWO

Reboot your system via your USB thumb drive. The reason we’re doing this is to safely un-mount the root filesystem to allow for repairs. Once you boot, drop down to terminal and do another:

lsblk

Your drive should still be present there. Earlier, we assumed it’s the /dev/sda with the bigger partition being the sda2.
So, the command should be:

sudo fsck -y /dev/sda2

If it tells you that the disk is mounted, execute:

sudo umount /dev/sda2

And execute the fsck command again. It will go through the entire drive and execute repairs automatically. Once done, reboot the system normally and see how it goes.

NOTE
If the first one comes with an error, you can still do Part Two and boot normally to fix the current errors. Then, you should copy all your files out before you send that drive for replacement. I truly hope it’s only a Part Two issue and not a Part One. :slight_smile:

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I got errors in Part One. :frowning: Sigh. I bought the drive new from a favorite computer store last September, so it really is very new. It has a one-year warranty. What an amazing learning experience this has been!

I’m proud of myself: I was able to use ssh and scp to transfer my files to the computer that is only used for videos connected to a TV in my office. Hopefully I got them all. Yay for the LMS!

So here’s a question: my favorite computer store comes with a manager who is a good friend and VERY good with computers, but not so much with Linux. He doesn’t really like LInux, don’t ask me why. Any suggestions what I should tell him as I return this disk for replacement?

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That’s a very easy thing. You can tell him:
“I installed this drive as my new system drive, but it ended up not booting. I did the SMART scan (SMART is the actual terminology) and it produced a hardware failure, so I’ll need it replaced, please.”

He won’t lose any money - as he can send it back to the manufacturer and get a replacement too.

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I returned it, got an immediate replacement, installed it & started installing Linux, and EVERYTHING shut down. I think my motherboard may have just died. Sigh. I may be sans computer over the weekend, and in serious withdrawal as a result. The computer won’t boot, not even to the bios.

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Before you look at the motherboard, you might want to check the power supply. That would be my first culprit. If you go back to your friend (who has been great), ask him to hook up your computer to a different power supply to see if it fires up. :slight_smile:

P.S. A faulty power supply could damage the drive too. Though, you don’t need to mention that when you go in for repairs!

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Back in the 90s I was an IT tech… When I would go to someones office that had the same problem I would smell the back of the computer (power supply) If it smelled like burned wire I knew what the problem was and off to the shop I went. replaced the power supply. I learned that from another tech.

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