[xmonad] Going Gnomeless (and Unityless on Oneiric)

Ramon Diaz-Uriarte rdiaz02 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 16 23:11:28 CET 2012

On Mon, 16 Jan 2012 19:32:00 +0100,Jacek Generowicz <jacek.generowicz at cern.ch> wrote:
> Ramon Diaz-Uriarte wrote:

> > I am joining late, but in case it helps:

> I need all the help I can get :-)

> > I have nm-applet and trayer working fine. I launch trayer and nm-applet
> > from .xinitrc,

> Now here is something where I'm completely lost: How do I choose
> between .xinitrc, .xsession, startx, xinit, X, gdm, lightdm etc. etc?

These are fragmentary notes (from fragmentary knowledge)

I've always used .xinitrc, though I think some display managers want to
see an .xinitrc; in some places I've read the advice to create a symbolic
link (i.e., ln -s .xsession .xinitrc). But I could be missing some details.

As for gdm and kdm, they will make use of .xinitrc if one exists. 

You said you are using ubuntu, so your start scripts will, by default,
launch one of kdm/gdm/wdm/whatever (in Debian, when you do something like
dpkg-reconfigure gdm, you are asked what display manager you want). 

> (And where in all this does/should .Xmodmap get read? I'm testing
> ideas by starting a second X server, and something somewhere is
> reading my .Xmodmap when I launch a session normally, but not
> manually.)

If I remember correctly, the following will work if you add it to your

xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap

> > [...] I change display configuration options via xrandr [...]

> Note to self: Check out Xrandr.

> > I need to use kdm or gdm as display manager

> For technical reasons?

Just because I could not get wdm to get all the Policy Kit stuff
to run.  When using wdm, having the last line of .xsession be

ck-launch-session xmonad
exec ck-launch-session xmonad
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session xmonad
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch --exit-with-session xmonad

and a few other incantations never seemed to really work; so I could not
get the ck-list-sessions to report that I was really locally logged (and
nm-applet did not like that ;-).

> > I could never get the wdm + ck-launch-session combination to work
> > correctly

> Do I understand correctly that ck-launch-session is something that I
> will only need if I use nm-applet? If I go with wicd, ck-launch
> session won't be necessary?

If I remember correctly, wicd did not need ck-launch-session.

> Does anyone have any comments on nm-applet vs. wicd?

I really tried to use wicd (I do not like to depend on a huge list of
gnome stuff just to use my wifi, and I wanted to go back to wdm). However,
I found configuration of wicd harder (specially with networks that combine
WPA enterprise, certificates, etc), but this might just be my own
incompetence. Also, I found nm-applet less intrusive (e.g., showing the
available networks is just a small pop-up, and does not take a whole



Ramon Diaz-Uriarte
Department of Biochemistry, Lab B-25.
Facultad de Medicina (UAM)
Arzobispo Morcillo, 4
28029 Madrid

Phone: +34-91-497-2412

Email: rdiaz02 at gmail.com
       ramon.diaz at iib.uam.es


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