xdm, kdm, gdm

DJ Lucas blfs-dev at lfs.lucasit.com
Sun Apr 30 10:25:25 PDT 2006

Randy McMurchy wrote:
> DJ Lucas wrote these words on 04/30/06 09:57 CST:

>>IMO, push the inittab version first!

> Now, please understand the following is not to create an
> opposite view, and argue which is better, it is mentioned
> because it is something we should consider. KDE has this
> in the .../share/doc/kdm/README file, which is not that
> old according to the date on it. Anyway, it says this:
> "Generally I'd advise _against_ starting KDM directly from
> init - better use a proper init script, possibly by slightly
> modifying the XDM init script shipped by your distribution."
> If we recommend the inittab method, how do we explain our
> deviation from what the maintainer says?

I was not aware of this bit.  It's nice to see an argument from a 
package maintainer, either way.  I was only half joking about the 
inittab method being pushed...in light of an opinionated discussion that 
took place three years ago.  I should have (and meant to) put in a 
smiley in my previous post.  Right now, I lean toward providing both in 
the book, with no preference.

While I cannot verify vendors myself ATM, I've googled, and it looks 
like RH and Mandrake use the inittab method.  Bruce confirmed that on 
RH, and also that Suse uses an initscript.  I'm guessing that there will 
be no concensus among distros to aid in a users decision.

I'll dig through the docu for xdm and gdm and see if I can find anthing 
that points the user one way or the other.  If I (or anyone else) can 
dig up docu for xdm/gdm that also makes the same reccomendation, then we 
could drop the _inittab_ entry completely.

I realize this is completely opposite of my previous opinion.  Beyond 
that I've always done it the inittab way (when rarely I actually use a 
display manager), I can give only one weak argument for it:  When you 
change between them as you add kde and gnome into the mix (how likely is 
this?  Not very I'd guess).  If you've previously set up one using the 
bootscript, it needs to be undone and the new script and links put in 
place.  Having the user edit the inittab line forces a concious choice 
and avoids a collision.  One very good way to overcome that, is to use a 
generic 'xdm' script and use a sysconfig file to choose the correct 
display manager startup as Suse had done in Bruce's example.

-- DJ Lucas

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