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#1 2024-01-02 00:44:59

Registered: 2024-01-01
Posts: 7  

netinstall and KDE

i want to share my recent experience installing devuan+KDE onto a small
form factor computer. this setup has a ryzen 5700G and an MSI B550 ITX
motherboard with a 1TB Samsung 970 PRO with an EFI partition. so, nothing
fancy and no GPU as the 5700G has built-in graphics.

this installation did not go well.

i tried to use the netinstall iso so that i could minimize the number
of packages to remove post-install. but i was unable to get netinstall
to work, it either failed to install or left an incomplete install.

the first netinstall errors i was able to get around. this mobo has
builtin wifi and bluetooth. the BIOS defaults to leaving them enabled.
netinstall would fail to install when wifi was enabled with a odd
message about /target, which i gather had something to do with
missing wifi firmware, although this bit was not mentioned. so, when
using netinstall you MUST disable wifi in BIOS or it will fail.

the BIOS also enables, by default, secure boot. in this BIOS the secure
boot setting is under 'windows setup', so it took me a while to find it.
with secure boot enabled, netinstall fails with an error message about
'shim-boot' or something. did not write this down. after disabling
secure boot in BIOS netinstall was able to install a base system, no
DE was installed.


but i want KDE for my DE, so after login, i installed the minimal KDE
package via: apt install kde-plasma-desktop.

all packages were installed, no errors were produced. but, after
reboot, i could not login. the sddm greeter would not accept my password.
the greeter screen looks _nothing_ like i see in the two devuan VM's
i have. the greeter screen is all white with a small 'password' box,
so sddm has been incompletely installed or mis-configured. i could
not figure out what the problem was.

as an experiment, i installed the xfce desktop via netinstall and
everything worked as expected. so then i installed KDE and selected
slim as the greeter instead of sddm. this change allowed me to login
but the screen was locked to 1024x768 and xrandr refused to run.
as i use a 4K monitor (old man, bad eyes) this result was no good.

at this point i gave up on netinstall. too many problems and i did
not want to spend any more time chasing them down.

so i went with 'live' iso install. this went smoothly, although it
loads up on packages that i do not want. after login i installed
KDE, selected sddm as greeter, and rebooted. this time i was able
to get my password recognized, the 4K monitor was recognized and
i was able to remove xfce, emacs and libreoffice. btw, was not
expecting emacs! the only problem is the sddm greeter screen is
all white with a tiny password box, not the usual stuff that appears,
so something is still misconfigured but i have no idea what.

i will say that installing devuan+KDE into a QEMU VM is a helluva
smoother process than bare-metal install.


#2 2024-01-02 07:51:26

From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 552  

Re: netinstall and KDE

Hi, thanks for taking the time to post your story, I found it very informative.

I get that white screen too.

there is a small box on the left bottom of screen where you may select plasma-x11 or wayland...

It defaults to wayland, for gnome.

select plasma-x11 and put your password in, you know the rest.

after starting kde I install through setting a new background for sddm, I like the "neon" ones.

Oh, also x wouldn't start because seatd was not installed, couldn't find the screens.

I hope this helps.

p.s. the iso was devuan_daedalus_5.0.1_amd64_desktop

Last edited by GlennW (2024-01-02 07:52:47)

pic from 1993, new guitar day.


#3 2024-01-02 09:15:37

Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 470  

Re: netinstall and KDE

Not quite on topic, I need Trinity DE.
A few days ago I installed it on a real computer with wi-fi.

The installation of exegnu64_daedalus-20231220.iso did not work, I could not get wi-fi to work.
Therefore, I used devuan_daedalus_5.0.0_amd64_desktop-live.iso, installed it, everything worked without problems, including wi-fi.
Several commands following the instructions in … structions installed Trinity DE.
During the installation process, a manager selection window appears, I chose twm.
Reboot, delete xfce

apt-get purge *"xfce"*


No problems during the installation process, but, of course, in real cases it depends on the specific hardware.

P.S. With KDE Plasma Desktop it’s easier, the packages are already in the repository.

Last edited by aluma (2024-01-02 13:11:23)


#4 2024-01-02 21:39:10

Registered: 2024-01-01
Posts: 7  

Re: netinstall and KDE

thanks GleenW - your  suggestion replaced the white screen with a recognizable screen.
did not think to do the obvious thing.

i looked more carefully at this issue today. it looks to me that there is a mis-configuration here.

the "login screen (sddm)" settings page shows three entries: breeze, debian breeze and debian
breeze. the first entry "breeze" is selected but has not actually installed. i simply selected the
already-selected thing, clicked apply and the white screen was replaced. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

the other two entries, which appear to be duplicates, are the white screens i complained about.
these entries, if they are  not the same thing, should not be white screens but actual images.
this could be where the white screen is sourced. this must be a mis-configuration.


#5 2024-01-02 21:45:30

From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2019-07-18
Posts: 552  

Re: netinstall and KDE

Thanks for that, good to know.

tbh, I'm quite used to the white screen now... and know one way, now 2... to get around it.

pic from 1993, new guitar day.


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