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*term -ls, a summary

On Fri, 12 Jul 2002, Branden Robinson wrote:

> You CCed me on list mail.

Not quite, I CCed the list (accidentally)

> Don't do that.

Sorry, I'll try to avoid it.

> > > Furthermore, I personally am resistant to specifying -ls for all Debian
> > > window managers because:
> > > 
> > > * it would be disruptive to the expectations of users who have gotten
> > >   used to it not being set
> > 
> > Not a good reason. Now it's disruptive to the expectations of users who
> > don't want to get used to buggy behaviour.
> For your subjective (and self-serving, apparently) definition of
> "buggy".  Some of us, believe it or not, understand the distinction
> between "login shells" and ordinary interactive shells.

I don't think it a "subjective definition of buggy" behaviour when a
program is invoked for a special purpose and the main configuration file
designed for that purpose isn't read.

> > > * I'm not sure all x-terminal-emulator packages support "-ls".
> > 
> > It doesn't have to be the -ls switch.  I'd be happy with any decent
> > solution ensuring that terminal emlators invoke shells in a way that
> > startup files for interactive shells are read, if they are used to run
> > interactive shells.
> Feel free to propose one.

My investigation of the current debian packages providing
x-terminal-emulators have revealed that the majority supports the -ls
switch.  Only Eterm and gnome-terminal use a different switch and
powershell does not support anything like that.  (Starting Eterm with
-ls will work though, because -s is a valid switch to switch on the

The results are summarized below:

For those marked with (*) -ls works though it's not documented.

aterm:		-ls	--loginShell
eterm:		-l	--login-shell
gmrun:		???
gnome-terminal:		--login
hanterm:	-ls
konsole:	(*)	--ls
kterm:		-ls
mlterm:		-L(*)	--ls
powershell:	none
rxvt:		-ls	--loginShell
wterm:		-ls	--loginShell
xiterm:		-ls	--loginShell
xvt:		-ls

The simplest solution which came to my mind was making a new package
x-terminal-wrapper which implements x-terminal-emulator and starts any
terminal emulator using a command line read from

The program is already available at

The package will soon follow.

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