Subject: Re: Window manager selection proposal
To: Frederick Bruckman <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: tech-x11
Date: 09/15/2002 17:09:55
> > How would this affect those of us who don't use .xsession stuff, but
> > instead "start x" by "startx"?
> Not at all, I imagine. I thought we were talking about the default
> installation, so I envision it would take the place of "xsm" in xdm's
> default Xsession script. Therefore, if you already had an ~/.xsession,

XDM isn't the "default", though.  The default is no X at all.

Once you've logged in, the shortest route to running X is to configure it
and type "startx".  If "default" is to mean "least work" (there is nothing
that is *no* work), then "startx" is the default means to run X, IMHO.

> no change. Nor can I imagine why you'd want to mess with "startx",
> given that people who like to do things the hard way should already
> know what they're doing.

An interesting perspective.  I would think that XDM is more
oppressive-sounding to someone who doesn't yet know what they're doing,
and is more of "the hard way".  I know that's how I felt about it when I
was setting up X for the first time.

Certainly, *I*'ve never felt that I had the time to waste learning about
XDM, because I run my systems for my personal use.  I concede that I'm in
a minority, though, and perhaps most professionally installed/maintained
systems go through a graphical login.  (^&  But insofar as the easy/hard
way goes, startx looks like the easy way to someone who is starting out.

But, be that as may be.  On the one hand, as long as it doesn't ever
create ~/.xsession files without being *explicitly* asked and doesn't muck
with how startx and ~/.xinitrc work, I guess it's no skin off of my nose.
On the other hand, even if I were using XDM, I probably would personally
prefer what I've already sorted out; so conversely why suppose that others
than myself using startx necessarily wouldn't desire, or benefit from,
this proposal?

IMHO, centrally checking to see if a window manager preference is
(optionally) set makes more sense.  Isn't there *some* script that always
runs under the user's aegis when the X session is being initialized?  Or
is there *no* common ground by the time XDM has a login?

  ``I probably don't know what I'm talking about.''