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Re: Which file to initialize X? (was Re: Sawfish and Openbox: was fastest linux distro)

Joel Roth <joelz@pobox.com> writes:

> I would be interested in having a summary. 
> For my purposes, I use startx, and 'man startx' tells me to
> put my initializations in .xinitrc, and does not refer
> to any other init files.
> I used to have an .xsession file, which eventually stopped
> working.
> 'man xsession' gives some other, more complicated advice.
> I guess it's time to start reading about this. :^)
> Regards,
> Joel
> -- 
> Joel Roth

When you run startx, it starts /etc/X11/xinitrc, which in turn start
/etc/X11/Xsession. /etc/X11/Xsession does the necesarry initializations
for your X session and it run the session scripts for the packages that
have installed so that these packages are also initialized properly. If
~/.xession exists it is also run.

Xsession is also started by the display manager, after you have logged
on. The display manager doesn't use xinitrc.

In some display managers, you also have a menu where you can select one
of the sessions from /usr/share/xsessions instead of the 'default'
xsession.  For example all desktop environments and most window managers
install a session file there, These are also started from

If you create your own .xinitrc, all this is bypassed, and you are
completely responsable for setting up your X session. 

The .xsession file, on the other hand will give the the same environment
whether you use a display manager or start the X server with startx.

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