How do I start Plasma after installing the live session?

I’ve searched everywhere before asking this. I’ve also tried running startx, kdestart(which doesn’t do anything since it’s not installed), I tried installing and running lxdm(which couldn’t find Plasma and had to reboot since I couldn’t leave it), and then I searched some more, before finally coming here. I know I’m an idiot and I’m clearly not understanding something fundamental, but surely a “live installation” is something that you’re actually supposed to boot into, right? Or am I supposed to run the installation, and then also go through the entire process of installing plasma regardless of running the command? if I can install Arch the vanilla way, then clearly I must know something, right? What am I missing?

Welcome to the forum, I don’t use KDE or any other DE for that matter besides i3. However, I did a quick search in the Arch Wiki and I see this.

Plasma can be started either using a [display manager](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Display_manager), or from the console.

### Using a display manager

* Select  *Plasma*  to launch a new session in [Xorg](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xorg).
* [Install](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Install) [plasma-wayland-session](https://www.archlinux.org/packages/?name=plasma-wayland-session) and select  *Plasma (Wayland)*  to launch a new session in [Wayland](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wayland).

### From the console

* To start Plasma with [xinit/startx](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xinit), append  `exec startplasma-x11`  to your  `.xinitrc`  file. If you want to start Xorg at login, please see [Start X at login](https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Start_X_at_login).
* To start a Plasma on Wayland session from a console, run  `XDG_SESSION_TYPE=wayland dbus-run-session startplasma-wayland`

Hey there, I appreciate the response. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to go about doing that since this isn’t a real install on a partition. Commands like dir and ls don’t do anything, for example. Honestly, this live session feature seems really confusing and probably not worth it. I’ll just forget about it and use the proper installer. I was just hoping to be able to try out different DEs to see which works best for the system I’m using.

as far as “live” i don’t think any Arch distros have them, at least I am not aware of.
Arch is one of those where everything you want needs to be installed on it. There’s really no live version for testing. It’s not bloated like other non-arch distros

Then perhaps I’m misunderstanding something about Archlabs. Have you ever actually run “archlabs-installer -l [session of choice]”? I ran “archlabs-installer -l [plasma]”, for example. This is the whole thing I’m referencing.

No I haven’t. Maybe, one of the other people here can chime in. They have more knowledge

I tried it once a while back when the feature first showed up. As I recall, you will need to create a ~/.xinitrc to lauch the window manager/desktop you selected. The From the Console section has the line you’ll need in the ~/.xinitrc. Then you can use startx.

I never tried to install plasma this way. I’m guessing the KDE display manager isn’t installed with it. If it was, you may be able to launch the display manager from the command line and start plasma from there.

That just installs X and the relevant configuration for the desktop, if you want to actually run Plasma use this afterwards:

pacman -S plasma

And then pick which components you want — don’t select everything unless you have a huge amount of RAM because the “disk” space is provided by that (cowspace).

Once everything is installed a simple startx will launch the desktop (~/.xinitrc will be pre-configured for you).

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This was an error in the installer. Plasma pulls in a ton of shit and the 4G root allocation isnt enough so it fails. Fixed with recent commits. But not packaged for stable yet.

Worth noting is that all the DEs will be upstream defaults so (you’re right) the plasma “live session” is fairly pointless.

You shouldn’t have to do anything but run startx after it completes when successful.

Thank you very much for the answers!