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black screen and cursor, and nothing more


i'm making an attempt to switch from trinity desktop environment to 
whatever version of plasma is installed when one installs kubuntu-desktop 
in ubuntu 16.04. window manager is kwin.

when i select plasma at the login screen, all seems to go well but for the 
appearance not of plasma but of a black screen with a mouse cursor. no 
clicking of either button produces anything, and the only escape is 
ant-f1, login, and rebooting from there.

i'd guess it's a tiny configuration issue, but i have no idea what it is. 
searching the web i've found other instances similar to but not exactly 
like this one.

anybody know what's happening and how to fix it?


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