Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

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Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby nixgen on Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:34 pm

I've been using Linux Mint 13 Maya for a while. I've solved quite a few problems on my own with the help of web searches. I'm pretty happy with the setup I've got. I've really enjoyed how easy Mint was to setup.

I need to be able to login at the command prompt and start x manually. I remove MDM and login at the command prompt. I then start X. The problem is that MDM is doing some task(s) that I don't completely understand.

If I log in with MDM I am able to click on the dvd/cdrom drive and view it. My audio also works perfectly.

If I remove MDM and login with xinit I have no permission to view my dvd/cdrom in file manager. My audio only works if I delete ~/.pulse and then only sometimes for a while.

I have not tried usb thumb drives or external usb drives but I'm betting they also would fail without MDM login.

Results of uname -a:

Linux 3.2.0-23-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 10 20:41:14 UTC 2012 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

Here is my .xinitrc:

exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch --exit-with-session openbox-session

I've looked at the files in:

/etc/init.d/mdm
/etc/mdm and the folders below it

I can't figure out what is going on with mdm that enables me to see hot plug devices and my dvd/cdrom drive. I also can't figure out why sound works under mdm and not under xinit.

Any suggestions?

I have good reasons to do important tasks without the overhead of X. MDM does not offer me the option to go directly to a console.

I can of course hit ctrl-alt-F1-F8 and log into a console. That does not remove the overhead that MDM brings.

This is probably a whole new topic but Pcmanfm was crashing randomly when I clicked on it. After searching these forums I decided to compile the 1.0.2~alpha1 version from source.

It appears that it is still crashing randomly. Which makes it pretty much unusable.

Thanks for any help in advance.
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby kyphi on Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:25 am

I am not at all certain of what you want to achieve but I did wonder why, in the interests of minimalism, you are using mdm instead of xdm. If you want to explore an operating system in a totally X-free environment see http://inx.maincontent.net/
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby nixgen on Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:54 pm

I guess I was not clear in my first post.

Sometimes I want to bypass the display manager login and go directly to a non X environment.

Most of the time I'm quite happy to use the gui interface and all it's gadgets.

You can use a saw to hammer nails but it's not very effective.

This does not mean I'm thrilled with the bloat of most modern linux distros. On my relatively late model machine with 3g of memory I can live with the bloat. Most of the bloat is a waste of memory and resources however.

Cheers

After a week of working on it off and on I've gotten rid of a lot of the bloat. I'm pretty close to getting a system ready for a friend who has been using Windows XP. I think I'm close but I won't know until I present the new desktop to them.
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby Flemur on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:59 pm

I working on the same problem.

This might be a solution (I'm posting this before trying...**):
http://www.linuxandlife.com/2012/05/no- ... -maya.html

Basically, add a startup application of "rm -r ~/.pulse && killall pulseaudio"

**Edit/update: it didn't work. Still no sound.

Having sound depend on the display manager reminds me of Win7 having sound rely on the power manager: bogus.
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby Flemur on Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:37 am

I had the same problem (start X w/o a display manger = no sound) on Arch:

The fix: add user to "audio" group.
# gpasswd -a username audio

Dunno if it'll work with mint.
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby Flemur on Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:07 pm

Note: it's easy to turn MDM on and off with "$ rcconf" proggy.
Off = get command line login prompt;
On = X and window manager start automagically.

This fixed the audio when using xinit rather than mdm/autologin (MD off):

# usermod -G audio username (edit: SEE BELOW)

Edit: the above removed "username" from sudoers ... big fat WINDOWS-STYLE SIGH.

It's easy to fix tho, login as root and add this line to /etc/sudoers:
"username ALL=(ALL) ALL"

IT SHOULD BE:
Code: Select all
# usermod -a -G audio username

with the "-a"
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby nixgen on Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:12 pm

Thanks for all the help.

I solved the login problem by editing the grub line that reads quiet splash replacing quiet splash with text when I need console login.

My audio problem was partially caused by having a video card that is home theater ready and a motherboard with audio built in. The installation chose the unused audio port on the video card as the default.

I was able to install the new system on my friends fairly ancient laptop with 500mb of memory using openbox as the desktop and mate-panel for the panel. Htop shows 128 mb used in X at idle which works quite well.

With mint menu and some other customizations this system is as easily used by a beginner as Windows XP. In my opinion it's a huge improvement for my friend. What was a sluggish laptop has become pretty fast.

Since the laptop was destined for the landfill I'd say everybody came out good.

Can anybody tell me how to mark this as solved?
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Re: Using xinit instead of MDM causes problems

Postby PcMojo on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:35 am

I'm not sure if it is the _correct_ way but I go to my original post, click edit, and on the subject line type "<SOLVED>" while leaving the rest of the subject line, then submit! So far, nobody's verbally abused me! :)
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