Customizing KDE for multiple user use, such as on front-end servers in the Student Environment.

Also see KdePerformance and ST #49493.

KDE Docs on configuration internals

    • directory layouts
    • I installed 'kiosktool' as suggested- very useful tool. # kiosktool-kdedirs --check /home/drallen/.kde/:/usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde-profile/default/:/usr/local/:/usr/
      • default profile: /usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde-profile/default/
      • played with adding new profile.
        • successfully customized the bottom menu, kde menu contents, and most preferences. These save in the profile you're editing.
        • to disable kartsd, which isn't an option in kiosktool, I:
          • customized things the way I wanted for a user.
          • grep -ir ~user/.kde for arts
          • copied the two resulting files (.kde/share/config/{kcmartsrc,knotifyrc} to /etc/kde-profile/PROFILENAME/share/config
          • done! ...presumably the same strategy can be used to copy any customizations into the defualt profile
      • as far as I can tell, you must name the default profile 'default' so rename the existing default something else.
      • don't try editing the KDE menu if you're running this over a remote X session, as it will kill your kicker in spectacularly bizzare fashion (all the windows on my screen gradually inched upward toward the top of the screen until they were all 1 pixel tall; killall kicker stopped the madness)


If you're running GDM and want KDE to be the default session instead of Gnome, edit /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf

# This is our standard startup script.  A bit different from a normal
# X session, but it shares a lot of stuff with that.  See the provided
# default for more information.
# This is a directory where .desktop files describing the sessions live
# It is really a PATH style variable since to allow actual
# interoperability with KDM.  Note that <sysconfdir>/dm/Sessions is there
# for backwards compatibility reasons with 2.4.4.x
# This is the default .desktop session.  One of the ones in SessionDesktopDir

  • /usr/share/gdm/BuiltInSessions/ contains default.desktop , which is identical to gnome.
  • /usr/share/xsessions/ contains gnome.desktop and kde.desktop.
  • I tried changing DefaultSession to kde.desktop, but that didn't fix it.
  • diverting default.desktop and copying kde.desktop to default.desktop (in the gdm directory) worked. However, I'm sure there's a better answer. Such as reversing the searchlist. Though I expect any dir with both kde and gnome will list gnome first.


  • fixing up firefox: the startpage and homepage are a file in the ubuntu-artwork package. We'd prefer www.cs.
    • grepping around for that file: Binary file /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/chrome/en-US.jar matches
      • unzipped the jar file, grepped; locale/browser-region/ matches four times.
      • edited locale/browser-region/ and replaced all four occurances (including the 'throbber', the little icon in the upper-right corner)
      • zip -r the resulting data back up (hm, zip lists that as containing lots more files, but I think I missed a flag to not zip directories themselves, just their contents. I don't think that matters; the zipfile is nearly the same size and otherwise identical contents).
      • diverted en-US.jar and moved the new en-US.jar in its place, and voila, uncustomized firefoxen default to www.cs. But users' preferences take priority.
    • Important note: This will fail when firefox gets upgraded. Not sure of the best solution; ultimately want something automated.
      • A likely answer is in /etc/mozilla-firefox/pref/firefox.js :

// This is the Debian specific preferences file for Mozilla Firefox
// You can make any change in here, it is the purpose of this file.
// You can, with this file and all files present in the
// /etc/mozilla-firefox/pref directory, override any preference that is
// present in /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/defaults/pref directory.
// While your changes will be kept on upgrade if you modify files in
// /etc/mozilla-firefox/pref, please note that they won't be kept if you
// do them in /usr/lib/mozilla-firefox/defaults/pref.
  • there is a /etc/mozilla-firefox/profile/chrome/ directory with possibly useful contents. I will investigate there...
-- DanielAllen - 13 Dec 2005
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Topic revision: r5 - 2012-09-06 - BillInce
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