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Re: How can the OS autodetect that a user is a newbie and offer help?

On Friday 20 October 2006 08:06, Peter Samuelson wrote:
> [Sander Marechal]
> > True, but I meant that an app can kill X, requiring it to be restarted.
> > Newbies get very confused at that point.
> Look, if you typed "startx" once, you can type it again.
> If you didn't, it means you're using a display manager like xdm, and
> xdm will restart X when it dies.
> If X just _freezes_ rather than dies, you don't get a shell prompt
> anyway.  What you get is the opportunity to hit Ctrl-Alt-Backspace, so
> that X will die, and then you're back to the previous cases.
> I see no case where it is useful to alias "startx" to "start-desktop".
I agree.

> Unless X dies and then xdm _also_ dies.  Does this ever happen?
Even if it does, that should be recoverable by, at worst, power cycling the 

The real problem is when someone who has never used the command line before, 
possibly never even seen the command line, is stranded in a vt because X 
didn't start during boot, started and immediately crashed, or crashes every 
time they login.  

They don't know how to do anything from the command-line.  They don't even 
know how to read a man page/edit a file.  They're the users who need basic 
cli help. 

A motd message saying type `help-me' for help, and a 3-4 page doc explaining 
some useful basic commands (man, less, nano, cd, cp, rm, startx etc) and 
how to reconfigure X might be enough to prevent some of them having to 

Just my 2 cents

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