Fun with Buster / KDE over XFCE on Stretch

It’s one thing to be able to install an alpha edition of Debian and it’s another for it to be usable. But that’s part of the whole process for an alpha edition of something.

But because running a Debian alpha is so much of a challenge, I can’t do it with a rotated screen like I am attempting to do with my pc4, because I can’t guarantee it will be possible to rotate the display with the video configuration of that computer. Therefore the screen has to be in regular landscape orientation and that means I have to find somewhere to have the display that it will fit within the footprint of my desk with the other screens, because at the moment it is vertical to save space.
The other issues with Alpha3 are also significant, and the ones that I have noticed the most so far are in the install process, whereby attempting to install KDE or LXQt as the desktop environment result in a system that will not boot up to that environment. Instead, you get a shell login screen, and you have to type in startx to bring up the desktop environment. XFCE is fine, so my next move will be to try putting KDE over the top of XFCE.
Trying that on serverpc running stretch has turned out to be an issue because, as was my previous experience just putting the breeze logon screen and sddm as the logon manager onto my Debian/XFCE computers (going into XFCE after logon), hibernation has become flaky. Since hibernation is reliable on mainpc running a clean install of KDE on stretch, serverpc’s reinstallation from scratch with Debian/KDE is the obvious next move, and fortunately it isn’t as time consuming as reinstalling mainpc because serverpc doesn’t run a lot of stuff. On the Buster computer this issue won’t exist because it won’t be expected to hibernate anyhow.

After installing Buster again on pc4, with XFCE as the default desktop environment, I then attempted to install LXQT over the top of it. However, after configuring sddm (the default window manager for LXQt and KDE) as the display manager, the desktop failed to start and I was left with the command shell logon. This is basically a repeat of the issue when installing either KDE or LXQt as the windowing environment during the install. If you type startx then it will start up, apparently in lightdm, which indicates there is some sort of issue with sddm.

At the moment that is what I am left with, but then that is one reason it is an alpha, so I imagine there is probably already work happening to resolve these issues.

serverpc is still having issues after resuming from hibernation, the issues are that one screen fails to load the background and both screens fail to load the panels. So I am going to try setting up a new user profile, fortunately these panels don’t have a lot of customisation. bedroompc has had x11vnc put onto it to replace Krfb because the latter can’t handle a two homed computer (one with two network interfaces, the wireless and cable) and it picked the wrong interface to bind to so I couldn’t remote to it with Remmina. So I have installed the latest version of x11vnc from  debian testing so it will be reliable and I can remote to that to write this blog because I am having problems with my internet again so this is written on a tethered connection on my phone. The cable is set up for internal network use only so that I can run VNC over it, and the internet connection for that computer is made using its internal wireless adapter, either to my wireless access point in the house, or to a tethered phone. So it will be a lot easier to use bedroompc for this than pc4 because I don’t need to keep switching one of the KVMs over to pc4.