Graphical login only gives a bare blue xterm window

I had a very peculiar problem: after I did a fresh installation of Leap 15.5 and while I could log in from sddm, I only got to an x-session without a desktop environment but only with a blue xterm window. I could start x applications (e.g. Firefox) but there were no window decorations, I could not resize the window etc.
When I hit Ctrl+D in the blue xterm window, I was logged out and dropped back to the greeter again. The same happened when I installed Leap 15.6RC1.

I could not find a solution here Common problems and their solutions | Start-Up | openSUSE Leap 15.5 which is why I want to write the solution to this post in case someone else experiences this problem.

The key detail here is that I used a home directory from a previous installation (Leap 15.3) and imported the user settings in the course of the installation process.

First thing to try is using a fresh user. Then you check if it is in the files you copied from 15.3.

And what desktop should be started when it should work?

The reason I got this, as I eventually figured out, was that I had used zsh as the login shell in my previous configuration but zsh was not installed automatically during the installation process.

So what I did to fix this in the end was just to install zsh:

sudo zypper in zsh

After this I could log in again to the (Plasma 5) desktop environment.

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I had tried adding a fresh user. The login was not possible to any desktop environment. I had also tried xfce, e.g.

Strange, but I see it is fixed.

I see that often. That’s because my shell is “csh”, which is not on the install DVD.

This only happens because, as part of the install, I tell it to import users from a previous system. If I had done a clean install, then I would have started with “bash”, and everything would work. Eventually, I would install “csh” and change shell to that.

Because I instead import the users, I started with a user shell of “csh” which wasn’t there.

It’s actually a rather nice setup that it at least gives that “xterm” as a fallback. It’s enough to su to root and:

zypper install tcsh

I then logout. On next login, I get a good session.


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