GDM Questions

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at
Sat Dec 4 07:19:16 PST 2004

On Friday 03 December 2004 08:13, Randy McMurchy wrote:
> Does anyone use GDM?

I used it for a while, now switched back to KDE

> Next, Alexander entered a bug in BZ about i18n not working correctly
> with GDM. I can see the issue. GNOME looks for UTF-8 locales first,
> then non-UTF-8 locales after that. Glibc installs UTF-8 locales.

In fact, that's not a bug in GDM. It's better classified as "default 
configuration inappropriate for LFS". It's not GNOME that works incorrectly, 
but various other programs that we don't (and probably won't) patch for UTF-8 
issues. I. e. after selecting a non-default language in GDM, one can use 
GNOME, but e.g. Midnight Commander will misbehave.

> Alex says it doesn't work correctly. I don't have a good opinion,
> as I am weak with i18 issues and don't rightly know how to correct
> the bug. Alex says we need to edit the /etc/gnome/gdm/locale.alias
> file.

An alternative (but I don't like it as a long-term solution, see below) would 
be switching the method of installing locales in LFS, i.e. mentioning 
"localedef" as a preferred solution instead of "make 

> There's ten zillion entries in this file, all with the UTF-8 locale
> first, the non-UTF-8 locale listed after this. With the current LFS,
> the UTF-8 locale will get picked up.
> What is the proper correction for this?
> 1. Tell the user to modify the file for his specific locale and have
> the non-UTF-8 alias get picked up?

No, because he would just select "Default" and the value from /etc/profile 
will work (and there is no UTF-8 there). So only the case when a user (or his 
foreign guest) wants to work in a non-default locale will need some fixing.

> 2. Modify the existing /etc/gnome/gdm/locale.alias file to remove the
> UTF-8 definitions?

That's what I proposed.

> 3. Other suggestions?

3. Not installing UTF-8 locales in LFS - but that is not 100% good. If someone 
modifies LFS and BLFS to make them UTF-8 ready (or at least marks broken 
packages), then some users will prefer UTF-8 and some will stick with plain 
old 8-bit locales. While the default will work then, it may or may not (and 
for me will not) match the user's preference.

4. Ignore the issue. I am probably the only one who will moan about it. Others 
will either not notice, or remain silent.

Alexander E. Patrakov

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