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PROTOR Redhat : Installing XDM

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By default the RedHat 7.2 installation uses the GNOME Display Manager GDM or possibly the KDE Display Manager KDM. Both these Display Managers are very powerful and allow users to select the type of session to start ( such as GNOME or KDE ). There are also options and menus to shutdown or reboot the system. For a PROTOR installation where we want to control the users session then using the basic XFree86 display manager XDM is preferable.

The choice of Display Manager is specified within the file /etc/sysconfig/desktop.

By default this file simply contains the line


On startup of X for RedHat 7.2 this will by default start the GDM Display Manager.

Edit this file to control the Display Manager to start. Use

         Desktop = "KDE"               to start KDM
         Desktop = "GNOME"             to explicitly start GDM
         Desktop = AnotherLevel        to start XDM

If using XDM then the appearance of the login box is controlled by the file /etc/X11/xdm/Xresources . To improve the appearance of the login box edit this file and remove references to the XFree86 logos.

The selection and startup of an appropriate display manager is controlled by the script /etc/X11/prefdm which is referenced from /etc/inittab. On later versions of Redhat, references to AnotherLevel and hence the startup of XDM are removed. See the additional note on configuring /etc/X11/prefdm for XDM.

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Don Davies

Don Davies graduated from Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) in 1979. Don specialises in the capture and analysis of vibration data from rotating machines such as power station turbine generators. He developed and is the Product Manager for PROTOR. Don is a member of the British Computer Society.

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