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Bug 589544 - The new gdm doesn't give an option to use .xsession
The new gdm doesn't give an option to use .xsession
Product: gdm
Classification: Core
Component: general
Other Linux
: Normal normal
: ---
Assigned To: GDM maintainers
GDM maintainers
: 589543 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2009-07-23 20:50 UTC by Sebastien Bacher
Modified: 2009-10-29 20:51 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: 2.27/2.28

Description Sebastien Bacher 2009-07-23 20:50:48 UTC
The bug has been opened on

"However, I've been running Ubuntu since breezy and have always set
the window manager in the $HOME/.xession file. Previous versions of
gdm would allow whatever session was set up in gdm to be overrridden
by the contents of $HOME/.xession. At various times I have run
fluxbox, openbox, enlightenment 17 and xmonad in this way.

The $HOME/.xession file also allows the running of tools like xmodmap,
xrdb and xset. This no longer works with the Karmic version of gdm."
Comment 1 Sebastien Bacher 2009-07-23 20:51:14 UTC
*** Bug 589543 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 2 Ethan Tira-Thompson 2009-09-29 03:07:29 UTC
I currently see this problem.  I have an auto-login and custom .xsession on my media center to do a minimal launch of mythtv, but it ignores the .xsession file and does not give me an option at the login prompt to run my .xsession (Sessions menu contains Failsafe GNOME, /GNOME/, XBMC, xterm)

I am running Karmic Koala alpha, up-to-date today. (2.28.0)
Comment 3 Arie Skliarouk 2009-10-04 13:30:32 UTC
Same here.

Is there any workaround I can use to make GDM to use my .xsession script?
Comment 4 Ethan Tira-Thompson 2009-10-04 16:31:19 UTC
What I wound up doing is creating a script in /usr/share/xsessions/ to create a new entry in the menu, and then selecting that.
Comment 5 Ray Strode [halfline] 2009-10-19 15:15:31 UTC
That's the recommended thing to do.

Fedora ships a package called xorg-x11-xinit-session for instance that contains that file (not installed by default).
Comment 6 Ethan Tira-Thompson 2009-10-19 16:40:05 UTC
The problem with the exclusively /usr/share/xsessions approach is that users can't manage their individual session without having root access and creating a globally visible configuration.  Am I missing something?
Comment 7 Ray Strode [halfline] 2009-10-20 14:12:31 UTC
The sysadmin has to "turn on" ~/.xsession support if they want their users to be able to use custom sessions via ~/.xsession files.

To turn it on they need to install whatever distro package provides the desktop file in /usr/share/xsession.

The exact contents of the file will vary from distro to distro.  On Fedora it is:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=User script
Comment=This session runs ~/.xsession or ~/.Xclients if available
Exec=sh -c "exec ~/.xsession || exec ~/.Xclients || exec /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients"

If the sysadmin leaves .xsession support disabled by not installing the file, then the session choices will be locked down.
Comment 8 Edward Z. Yang 2009-10-29 20:34:07 UTC
Hi Ray,

I've attempted to use a variant of the desktop file for Ubuntu Karmic:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=This runs ~/.xsession
Exec=sh -c "exec ~/.xsession"

But I've been unable to get it to work: gdm will display Xsession as an entry and let me select it, but it boots me into normal Gnome.

My .xsession file looks like:

gnome-power-manager &
gnome-settings-daemon &
eval `gpg-agent --daemon`
ssh-add /home/ezyang/.ssh/
xcompmgr &
eval `cat /home/ezyang/.fehbg`
exec xmonad
Comment 9 Edward Z. Yang 2009-10-29 20:51:59 UTC
Never mind: the correct Exec line is Exec=/etc/X11/Xsession on Ubuntu Karmic.