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Re: The X story so far...

> I can start X by using "xinit" -- xdm STILL does NOTHING. At bootup, xdm
> runs, but there are NO consoles running X (C-A-F1 through C-A-F6 give me
> other text consoles, and C-A-F7 through C-A-F12 do NOTHING). ps shows
> getty running on consoles 1-6.
> I've never used xdm before so I don't really know much about it. I can
> kill the original xdm and type "xdm" again but this does nothing.
> What sort of things should I be looking for? What configuration files
> should I be looking at?

I installed debian on a machine the other day, and I got the same
behavior. Xdm would run, but the xdm login screen never came up. My
solution was to copy in my /etc/X11/xdm directory from another debian box
where xdm is working fine, and that fixed it. So I suspect there's some
file in that directory that's not setup properly by the x package.

Oh, BTW, does anyone else have an /etc/X11/Xsession file that is
executable? It was when I installed X on my machine, and this lead to an
annoying problem -- startx wouldn't work if you were in the /etc/X11
directory when you ran it! The reason is a rather broken (IMO) parsing of
the /etc/X11/window-managers file. That file has these comments:

# This file contains a list of available window managers. The default
# Xsession file will start the first window manager that it can
# in this list.

/etc/X11/Xsession uses this shell script fragment to parse the file and
run the 1st program in it:

    for i in `cat /etc/X11/window-managers`
      if [ -x $i ]
        exec $i

Unfortunately, this doesn't ignore comments in the file. So it checks to
see if there are any programs on the system named "This", or "file", or
"contains", ... or "Xsession" -- and if you're in /etc/X11 and Xsession is
executable, it runs Xsession again, resulting a loop that never gets X all
the way up. I expect that if you're in /usr/bin and try to start up X,
it'll run /usr/bin/file instead of the proper window manager. 

Should I report this as a bug? And should Xsession be executable or not?

#!/usr/bin/perl -i\$q='$q',\$p='$p';eval\$q.\$\^I\n"#  #  jeh22@cornell.edu
$q='print"$p$^I\n',$p='#!/usr/bin/perl -i';eval$q.$^I  #          Joey Hess
      "How appropriate, you fight like a cow." - - Guybrush Threepwood

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