Want to run KDE3, unable to get rid of SDDM/KDE5

Hello everyone, hoping someone can help me out here.

I want to run KDE3 on Leap 42.2. I have used the one-click installer and followed the instructions on the official KDE3 page.
However I cannot get rid of SDDM/KDE5 despite having set “kdm3” as the Display Manager in /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager. SDDM still runs anyway on boot and KDE3 literally attempts to run on top of it. Needless to say this produces a raft of errors and results in neither desktop working properly.


How do I get rid of SDDM + KDE5 and get KDE3 running properly?

(And better yet if someone could tell me how to build an install DVD that uses KDE3 by default; but hey, that’s a project for another time.)

when I did this with tumbleweed I installed a light DM (so no plasma, sddm etc) and then installed the kde3 rpm’s from this.

add the kde3 repo

zypper ar -f http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE3/openSUSE_Leap_42.2/KDE:KDE3.repo

install the kdebase3 packages including kdebase3-kdm

zypper in kdebase3 kdebase3-SuSE kdebase3-kdm kdebase3-session kdebase3-workspace kdebase3-apps

then go in yast->etcsysconfig editor
and type kde3 (it might not be available as a selection as kde3 is ancient)
the above image was found via google search and while it has kdm selected you need to put kdm3

another better option is to use Trinity desktop a kde3 fork see this for more info
I’ve never used Trinity but unlike KDE3 that hasn’t been updated in a decade Trinity has active developers (kdm3 might have a different name see Trinity’s documentation and packages)
Trinity does not contain any openSUSE themes or branding but you can use the wallpapers that ship with openSUSE
Do not install both kde3 and Trinity as something will probobly go wrong

I was just googling for Trinity info and it seams they have kdm in
if you don’t have kde4’s kdm and go with trinity you should put kdm or the full path /opt/trinity/bin/kdm in etcsysconfig editor
currently I have plasma 5 and lxqt installed haven’t thought about installing the old kde3

This sounds like a potential workaround… So I assume if you choose to set up initially with say XFCE rather than KDE then SDDM will not be used?

Getting KDE3 installed wasn’t the issue, I had that part done and I had already manually changed the setting in sysconfig/displaymanager. The problem is that when that setting is changed from “sddm” to “kdm3” sddm still runs anyway and causes neither to work properly.

I just did this same operation on an install of OpenSUSE 13.2 and it worked there exactly as described and expected on the KDE3 page. Apparently the change from kdm to sddm is the problem on Leap.

I’ve looked at Trinity before; I very much support that project but I think they should solve the problem of not being able to run Trinity on the same machine with KDE3 and should make it possible to use existing KDE3 branding/schemes directly with Trinity. But I know such projects only have so much time and resources so I’m happy they exist and are doing what they’re doing. Someone has to stand up and say no to newer, uglier desktops. :stuck_out_tongue:

I spent quite a bit of time researching further and found that SDDM seems to cause various issues on other Linux distributions as well. Based on what I read and being at a loss of what to try next, I fully uninstalled SDDM from my test system. This STILL did not solve the problem, and I was still greeted with KDE3 trying to run on top of Plasma as pictured above. So continuing with my experiment I went in and removed some of the main KDE5 Plasma components. Only after doing this am I able to get KDE3 to run by itself, and I still got a popup saying “Plasma cannot load, etc etc.” So it looks like SDDM/KDE5 do not play nice when an attempt is made to change display managers or desktop environments.

Obviously I was not happy with this “dirty/buggy” solution so I decided to set up Leap 42.2 using XFCE/LightDM first instead of KDE5/SDDM as suggested above and then install KDE3. This works better as it eliminates the problem pictured above, but there are still several crashes reported by KDE3 as the desktop loads, the login manager does not seem to be “branded” to match the rest of the desktop environment as it should, and there are graphics glitches (everything opened remains “stuck” on the desktop even after it is closed, and I cannot seem to set a desktop background). Some of these glitches may be due to my testing in a VM, but it doesn’t look encouraging. :expressionless:

You do understand there is very little KDE3 support about. It is entirely possible that no one but you will have any interest to fix anything, KDE3 became a snakes nest and is one of the reasons of KDE4 simplifications

Oh I understand that very well. Story of my life. In the Windows world, I am a Windows 9x diehard. I tolerate XP; beyond that I refuse to go.
I always said that when I could no longer use my Windows of choice online and for everyday tasks I would move to Linux. And I tried that once before, only to find that the “Linux world” in general is even more nutty (IMO) than the “Windows world” about constant updates and change for the sake of change and “this is no longer supported” and “that is no longer supported” ad nauseam. I loved OpenSUSE 11.0 and thought I had found my new home until suddenly it was “unsupported” and I could no longer find the packages I needed to set up a new 11.0 system as I had done with my first.

So here I am again… trying to get a Linux system set up the way I want it. KDE3 is my desktop of choice. I was pleasantly surprised to find that a one-click installer is provided for it. This one-click installer works fine with 13.2 but wait… 13.2 is already unsupported. So I try with the current version only to find it doesn’t work as expected. I posted here hoping that someone who is involved in maintaining the KDE3 page/repository might see it and could help me out.

I always hear people talking about how Linux is about “choice.” But apparently in reality that only extends to choices that are “in the mainstream” - try to use something that is not mainstream anymore and see how far you get. I suppose if I can’t get KDE3 working I may have to look at Trinity or move to a different distro. :\

It’s about the expertise/resources available heavily defining what is possible/practical to support, especially in open source environments. That’s why most move with the times to use actively maintained software. It’s naive to think that it would work any other way.

I understand that; to a point. But only to a point. I honestly don’t care whether or not something is “supported” as long as I can get it to work. I don’t expect “support” as in having active development here. I originally posted in order to get help getting rid of SDDM/KDE5; and ended up having to figure this out on my own anyway.

“Move with the times.” Accept change for the sake of change.
Not trying to be rude or anything but I think I’m wasting my time here. If no one has anything constructive to add (“upgrade” is not constructive) to solving the issue at hand then I will move on somewhere else. Thank you all for your time.

Well, patience may be needed here. We’re not one homogeneous group… we’re all volunteers and for the most part regular users like yourself. So, you may get lucky and someone who can help will be able to provide assistance, but it’s a fact that most have moved on… well past using KDE3. The Trinity project may well be the way to go here.

You may not but everyone really should. If you are running an out of date, unsupported OS your are not simply putting yourself and your data on the line, you are putting others as well. KDE3 has known un-patched security issues that Trinity has been trying to mend in newer versions - ones that can be exploited to give full user, or even system level access to your workstation and turn it into yet-another-****-zombie-machine online.

And yes, that is a problem whether you accept it or not. The same goes for Windows XP - it’s an extremely easily exploitable system with none of the new security features included in 7, 8/8.1 or Win10.

If you are putting one up on the internet, you are doing everyone - including yourself - a massive disservice.

True enough. I will hope someone comes along who is interested. Your post gives me some hope of finding people with a better attitude; in the meantime though apparently the thread has attracted more useless commentary.

Yet another useless post that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I’m not interested in your opinion on how I should use my computer.

Last I checked, you weren’t running this place so I’m free to express my opinion on your ignorance of things.

Oh you can express your opinion all you like. But rest assured it won’t change my opinion one bit. So go ahead and waste your time if you have nothing better to do. In the meantime I’ll still be running my computer with whatever old OS version I choose, and whatever old desktop environment I choose, and still not care what you think.

Now, back to waiting for something constructive to be said.

Returning to I_A’s advice in post #4 and your reply in post #5, I wonder if following the Trinity instructions for Leap 42.2 would be sufficient


For OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 (R14.0.4) rpm --import http://mirror.ppa.trinitydesktop.org/trinity/trinity/rpm/opensuse42.2/RPM-GPG-KEY-trinity
zypper ar -t YUM http://mirror.ppa.trinitydesktop.org/trinity/trinity/rpm/opensuse42.2/trinity-r14/RPMS/x86_64 trinity
zypper ar -t YUM http://mirror.ppa.trinitydesktop.org/trinity/trinity/rpm/opensuse42.2/trinity-r14/RPMS/noarch trinity-noarch
4. Install the Trinity desktop environment zypper refresh
zypper install trinity-desktop
The trinity-desktop package is a comprehensive meta-package. To install minimalist, substitute trinity-tdebase for trinity-desktop, and append trinity-tdm if you wish to use TDM as your display manager.

  1. (Optional) Sets TDM as the default display manager Edit file “/etc/sysconfig/displaymanager” and set DISPLAYMANAGER=“tdm”
    Then reboot your computer.

I can understand the OP’s attitude but think that the reasons for changes need a bit more explanation. KDE3 was getting too difficult to do work on. It did run for a long time so had been modified who knows how many times. Most people who have worked on software are fully aware that at some point rewrites are needed often when it finally does what it needs to do. There is an added complication with open source. The people who maintain it are for ever changing. There isn’t a fixed team of people associated with any aspect of it really. This is why support drops off at some point. The only way that continues is by some one wanting to pick it up once it is no longer supported. When this does happen it’s often because some one who is capable of doing the work wants it. Many changes happen for the same reason. There is also the just what do people want to work on in their spare time aspect. In this case what sort of software. It varies like most things do. For instance I have heard that KDE5 will effectively be a virtual machine which would then make it easier for people to write applications for it. Much like all of those apps that began with K on 3. The people who wanted to do that may or may not be still working on it.

The other problem is that code generally isn’t written in the same style as earlier kde’s were any more

If the OP does want a true virgin kde3 one method would be to look for iso archives. I’d guess he may have to go back to 10.? or maybe 11. One release did have some examples of kde4 in that just fell over when used and didn’t cause any problems. However he may find that it wont recognise modern pc hardware and he will be stuck with apps that are on the dvd and these wont include any patches that were released. Not an option if nothing else is installed on the machine but I have seen virtualbox used to test applications on very old versions of windows to make sure that they will run so it may get round hardware update problems.

:’(Must admit I was disappointed that I couldn’t install kmail3 any more via installing kdepim3. I did but it seemed to be the same as kmail 5 so I installed leap 42.2 all over again. If it was updated who knows it may not have it’s rather well known efficiency and 100% reliability any more.


LoneCrusader wrote:

> Now, back to waiting for something constructive to be said.
I’ve installed leap42.2 with only the ice desktop.
On top of that Iv’ installed Trinity following the instructions from
Before the doing this I installed from
Libaudio2 - required for libaudio.so.2 64bit
libilmimf-2_2.so.22 also 64bit

Up to now everthing seems to work fine.

(For the carpers: plasma 5 is unusable on my 2nd computer)

I haven’t tried this with Leap but I installed 13.2 on an HP netbook to look at kstars plus it’s telescope drive extensions. ;)Some one at the drive end persuaded opensuse to sort it out as they don’t usually support the extensions. I bought the netbook from a largish retailer that was closing down and it had 1/2 the memory HP stated it should have in it. This isn’t a light weight application. I also tried it out on aspects that pc’s usually are used for. The machine was pretty usable far more so than the windows that was originally on it. That crawled - bit of an understatement. It was slow enough to be really irritating, painful in fact. 13.2 was acceptable. It would be using swap to a hard drive at times.

It wouldn’t surprise me if KDE Leap was much the same. In fact when I have time I think I’ll try it more out of curiosity than a need. I just tried something interesting on this machine. One of my hobbies is photography. I just opened a directory full of jpg’s and raw files and hit preview. The changes just rippled through. On 12.3 I had to sit and watch. If I change directory and then go back to the previewed one it’s instantaneous even if I have previewed another. I’m now using slower hard drives for data and application config files. Probably about 1/2 the speed and no apparent effect.

Things do improve in these respects eventually. What I am seeing here is a desktop that is only lightly loading the machine. Just few %. If I use something heavy such as a long kfind file content search that results in 4 cores running at 3.8ghz, 4 due to temperature limitations built into the processor. It doesn’t stop me from opening the files as they are found, browsing the web, playing music, sending and receiving emails etc. All that might do if it takes long enough is drop the processor temperature by a couple of degrees. I didn’t use dolphin for the search because on 12.3 it was slow and also missed files. That may be fixed now. The famed file indexing aspect problems on 4, maybe that is fixed too now. I do have my doubts about that due to the way they went about it but perhaps that has changed.

I do sense that KDE has lost it’s way a little. It’s supposed to be easily configurable. I shouldn’t need to ask how to avoid open or run prompts when I click on a desktop file. On the other hand there are a number of things that could have been added in the past that haven’t been that oddly have been on windows and configuration has been pretty gruesome. So much so in fact that it’s hardly worth spending the time needed to understand how to do it.


I decided to give Trinity a try; I reinstalled Leap 42.2 with XFCE/LightDM and then followed the Trinity instructions linked. I did have to manually track down the two packages graham listed (I would think these should be available from one of the default repositories or from the Trinity repository since they are needed…)

It seems to function OK so far, although my testing was limited and I did not test with the exact same conditions as the previous KDE3 test where I was unable to get rid of SDDM/KDE5. I suspect this configuration would produce the same problems I originally posted about.

The main reason I originally preferred the OpenSUSE version of KDE3 to Trinity however still remains - Trinity has no OpenSUSE branding and I don’t know how to “port” the KDE3 branding to Trinity or whether it is even possible to do so. This is a purely cosmetic issue, but I do prefer my setups to have some “OS uniqueness” about them.

So, the Trinity solution “works,” although I would not call it a “preferred” solution. Any further ideas welcome if someone comes along who knows more about this subject.