Starting KDE4 from the command prompt
To start KDE4 using xinit-1.3.4, run the following commands:
cat > ~/.xinitrc << "EOF"
ck-launch-session dbus-launch --exit-with-session startkdeEOF startx
The X session starts on the first unused virtual terminal, normally vt7. You can switch to another vtn simultaneously pressing the keys Ctrl-Alt-Fn (n=1, 2, ...). To switch back to the X session, normally started at vt7, use Ctrl-Alt-F7. The vt where the command startx was executed will display many messages, including X starting messages, applications automatically started with the session, and eventually, some warning and error messages. You may prefer to redirect those messages to a log file, which not only will keep the initial vt uncluttered, but can also be used for debug purposes. This can be done starting X with:
startx &> ~/.x-session-errors
You may wish to drop consolekit and/or dbus-launch, e.g., just using startkde in ~/.xinitrc. However some capabilities such as mounting or umounting file systems from a file manager will not be possible, or the reboot option will be absent or inoperative, among other problems.
When shutting down or rebooting, the shutdown messages appear on the vt where X was running. If you wish to see those messages, simultaneously press keys Alt-F7 (assuming that X was running on vt7).