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General Troubleshooting

User avatar Hans
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General Troubleshooting

Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:31 pm
Everyone has probably encountered problems when using a computer. In most cases, it has to do with the software - crashing applications, things that don't work as expected. Things that don't work at all.

So how do one find the cause of the problem? It's far from obvious, and that's why I created this thread. Here I'll post some tips on how to track down KDE-related problems.

Gather more information

Image Get more information from the terminal

This is useful if an application crashes - given that you can reproduce the crash - or if it refuses to start. I'll explain with an example. Let's say that Dolphin always crashes when you try to create a new folder.
  1. Open your terminal emulator of choice, for example Konsole.
  2. Run the application (Dolphin) from the terminal by typing its name (dolphin) and hit Enter.
  3. Now, try to reproduce the crash (by creating a new folder in Dolphin).
  4. Look at the output from the terminal. Do you see anything suspicious?

Image Find others with the same problem

With search engines like Google, it's easy to search for someone with the same problem as you, even if he/she lives on the other side of the world. For KDE-related issues, here are some good places to start:
Searching for suspicious lines from the terminal output might also be a good idea.

Narrow down the possible causes

Image Examine if the problem is local

To determinate if a problem is caused by your configuration or is due to a bug/fault in your system (such as an incomplete upgrade), you can try to reproduce it with a clean system. The easiest way is to create a new user. For example, if you find that your desktop crashes every time you log in:
  1. Create a new user. You can do it with the KUser application or in the command line.
  2. Log in using the new user. Do you experience the same problem (desktop crashing) here as well?
If yes - it's most likely a system-wide problem. It doesn't have to be a bug though - maybe HAL wasn't started, or your disks are full?

Image Poking around in the configuration files

Let's say that you find that only your user is affected by the problem. Obviously you don't want to create a new user and start from scratch. Instead, you can try to reset some settings to default by (re)moving/renaming some config files. You'll find most in ~/.kde/share/config (or ~/.kde4/share/config), so if you have a problem with your desktop (graphical way):

[Note that plasma-desktop is called plasma in older KDE versions (< 4.3)]

  1. Quit the application you have a problem with. If it's the desktop in KDE4, execute kquitapp plasma-desktop in a terminal or KRunner.
  2. Open your filemanager and enter the URL above (~/.kde4/share/config).
  3. It's often smarter to rename or move the files instead of deleting them. In this example, move all files starting with plasma-desktop in the directory to another place (to keep them as backup).
  4. Start the application again (run plasma-deskop). The application should start with its default configuration now.


Image Deactivate possible causes

Sometimes you might suspect that things like Desktop Effects might cause the problem. Try to disable the feature and see if the problem persists.

So how does this help me?

Even if you've found the cause, it's not given that you'll be able to solve the problem. However, it does make it easier to search for a solution.
If you you decide to ask for help, for example in this forum, every tiny bit of information will be very helpful for the ones who'll try to help you.

Do you have your own tips? Please post them in this thread, and I'll add them to the list.

Last edited by Hans on Tue May 26, 2009 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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User avatar bcooksley
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RE: [TIPS] Track down a problem

Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:42 am
Thanks for this Hans, this will be very helpful.


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User avatar Madman
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RE: [TIPS] Track down a problem

Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:42 am
Most of these are a practice I've been doing for a while. It's good to tell other people what practices they should be taking when coming to a problem. :)


Madman, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
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RE: [TIPS] Track down a problem

Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:43 pm
Thanks Hans!
This will prove useful for me trying to see why my KolourPaint is crashing all the time.


Primoz, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Nov.
User avatar Hans
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:23 pm
Post updated to use new BBCode tags.
Kryten2X4B
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:31 pm
Good tips in general but a clarification is in order:

Hans wrote:[*]Quit the application you have a problem with. If it's the desktop in KDE4, execute kquitapp plasma in a terminal.


If you're running KDE 4.3 or later, it should be

Code: Select all
kquitapp plasma-desktop
User avatar Hans
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:04 am
Kryten2X4B wrote:Good tips in general


Thanks.

but a clarification is in order:

Hans wrote:[*]Quit the application you have a problem with. If it's the desktop in KDE4, execute kquitapp plasma in a terminal.


If you're running KDE 4.3, it should be

Code: Select all
kquitapp plasma-desktop


I actually say that in the end of the section. :) Moved it to the top instead to make it harder to miss.
Constructive criticism much appreciated!

Edit: replaced plasma with plasma-desktop since 4.3 is released now.
suman2211
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:39 am
i am not able to install the pakages in my windows pc.......the path selection is denied .........can anybody help me ?
User avatar bcooksley
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:28 am
@suman2211: The Windows forum may be more suited for your questions regarding a Windows installation of KDE.


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trendygirl0510
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:46 am
Great forum!!! I have learned a lot here. Thanks for the information and keep up sharing information like this one.
conantrebecca
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:11 am
this is very helpful. thank you so much for the information. :)
paulu
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:40 am
Thanks I agree very helpful indeed
tigers1904
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Tue Mar 01, 2011 8:20 pm
Great information here, keep up the great work!
buzzdiya
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:57 pm
Hi everyone,
I'm using Windows and I get path not found error.
Plz help !
Thanks
Leonardo123
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Re: General Troubleshooting

Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:38 am
Hans wrote:Everyone has probably encountered problems when using a computer. In most cases, it has to do with the software - crashing applications, things that don't work as expected. Things that don't work at all.

So how do one find the cause of the problem? It's far from obvious, and that's why I created this thread. Here I'll post some tips on how to track down KDE-related problems.

Gather more information

Image Get more information from the terminal

This is useful if an application crashes - given that you can reproduce the crash - or if it refuses to start. I'll explain with an example. Let's say that Dolphin always crashes when you try to create a new folder.
  1. Open your terminal emulator of choice, for example Konsole.
  2. Run the application (Dolphin) from the terminal by typing its name (dolphin) and hit Enter.
  3. Now, try to reproduce the crash (by creating a new folder in Dolphin).
  4. Look at the output from the terminal. Do you see anything suspicious?

Image Find others with the same problem

With search engines like Google, it's easy to search for someone with the same problem as you, even if he/she lives on the other side of the world. For KDE-related issues, here are some good places to start:
Searching for suspicious lines from the terminal output might also be a good idea.

Narrow down the possible causes

Image Examine if the problem is local

To determinate if a problem is caused by your configuration or is due to a bug/fault in your system (such as an incomplete upgrade), you can try to reproduce it with a clean system. The easiest way is to create a new user. For example, if you find that your desktop crashes every time you log in:
  1. Create a new user. You can do it with the KUser application or in the command line.
  2. Log in using the new user. Do you experience the same problem (desktop crashing) here as well?
If yes - it's most likely a system-wide problem. It doesn't have to be a bug though - maybe HAL wasn't started, or your disks are full?

Image Poking around in the configuration files

Let's say that you find that only your user is affected by the problem. Obviously you don't want to create a new user and start from scratch. Instead, you can try to reset some settings to default by (re)moving/renaming some config files. You'll find most in ~/.kde/share/config (or ~/.kde4/share/config), so if you have a problem with your desktop (graphical way):

[Note that plasma-desktop is called plasma in older KDE versions (< 4.3)]

  1. Quit the application you have a problem with. If it's the desktop in KDE4, execute kquitapp plasma-desktop in a terminal or KRunner.
  2. Open your filemanager and enter the URL above (~/.kde4/share/config).
  3. It's often smarter to rename or move the files instead of deleting them. In this example, move all files starting with plasma-desktop in the directory to another place (to keep them as backup).
  4. Start the application again (run plasma-deskop). The application should start with its default configuration now.


Image Deactivate possible causes

Sometimes you might suspect that things like Desktop Effects might cause the problem. Try to disable the feature and see if the problem persists.

So how does this help me?

Even if you've found the cause, it's not given that you'll be able to solve the problem. However, it does make it easier to search for a solution.
If you you decide to ask for help, for example in this forum, every tiny bit of information will be very helpful for the ones who'll try to help you.

Do you have your own tips? Please post them in this thread, and I'll add them to the list.




awesome!!! thanks a bunch! 8)

 
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