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Potato - update-alternatives (Ian Jackson) and window managers - doubt (and Slink to Potato Success)


First, I'm proud of Debian!

I upgraded my Debian system to Potato this weekend, and everything went
really fine! Enven my glibc 2.0.7 programs ran (almost all)!

Thank you all developers! Go ahead! Make the world better!

Second, I'm a bit confused about one point:

I compiled gnome, wmaker and a large bunch of X-related software, and I
was using a file in the /etc/X11/ (I can't remember its name, since it
was deleted during the upgrade) to set my default window manager to

When I restarted my computer and ran X (startx), I was in front of a
tiny almost-unuseable window manager. Digging the scripts I found one
symlink (/etc/alternatives/x-window-manager) pointing to that ugly wm. I
removed that symlink, created a new one pointing to
/usr/local/bin/gnome-session. startx went fine.
Till I restarted the computer.
Then, once again, that link was set to /usr/bin/X11/vtwm . What a mess.

I was poking update-alternatives, but didn't find a way to point my
default window manager to /usr/local/bin/gnome-session.
Yes I did read the man 8 update-alternatives, but it was a bit confusing
to me (as I think it is a bit confusing to anyone but the man writer aka
Ian Jackson), since it was not sufficiently explanatory (at least to me.
Shame on me...).

Could anyone explain to me the right way to make it work like I want, in
the update-alternatives way?

Thank you all!

P.S.: Is Ian the Deborah's husband? :) Just to know... :)

Thanks twice,


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