I never liked gdm much anyway. It's heavyweight and it interferes with seeing shutdown messages. The only reason I was using it on Hoary was for autologin, and with that reason gone, I uninstalled it.
But that presented an interesting problem: it turns out that Dapper doesn't actually allow users to run X. The error message is:
Unable to open wrapper config file /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config X: user not authorized to run the X server, aborting.The fix turned out to be trivial: make the X server setuid and setgid (chmod 6755 /usr/bin/X). Mode 4755 (setuid only, no setgid) also works, but other Debian systems seem to set both bits.
The next question was how to implement auto-login without gdm or kdm. I had already found a useful Linux Gazette article on the subject. The gist is that you compile a short C program that calls login with your username, then you call getty with your new program as the "alternate login program". Now, I have nothing against C, but wouldn't a script be easier?
It turns out a script works too. Replace the tty1 line in /etc/inittab with a line like:
1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty -n -l /usr/bin/myloginscript 38400 tty1where the script in question looks like:
#! /bin/sh /bin/login -f username
At first, I tried an even simpler approach:
1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f username
That logged me in, but I ended up on /dev/console instead of /dev/tty1, with a message that I had no access to the tty and therefore wouldn't be able to use job control. X didn't work either. The getty is needed in order to switch control from /dev/console to a real virtual terminal like /dev/tty1.
Of course, running X automatically once you're logged in is trivial, just a line or three added to .login or .profile (see the Linux Gazette article referenced above for an example).
It works great, it's very fast, plus I can watch shutdown messages again. Nice!
Update 9/9/2006: the Linux Gazette article isn't accessible any more
(apparently Linux Journal bought them and made the old articles
inaccessible). But here's an example of what I do in my .login
on Dapper -- this is for tcsh, so bash users subtitute "fi" for "endif":
if ($tty == tty1) then
[ 11:53 Feb 05, 2006 More linux | permalink to this entry | ]