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Well, this is interesting. I thought (probably erroneously) that 'gdm' was another name for the Gnome GUI or some part of it. Since the GUI is running, if what you say is true, then I wonder what the 'gdm' is, and what it does?
And do I need it? Should it be running, preventing the error on shutdown, or should I edit some script that controls how the computer is shut down?
GDM is a program for graphical login. One of those that allow you to type your login and pass and window manager to use. It's a part of Gnome, but Gnome can be run from a different login manager and GDM can run KDE. If you can describe how your login screen looks like... The defaults are different for KDM (login manager from KDE) and GDM.
Hmmmm. I think you've found the clue to this problem...
My boot up screen begins in hi-res color (the install was a VLOS version of Gentoo) with a standing penguin background. You can have 'verbose' boot by hitting F2, which removes a layer to the graphic screen, and shows text commands scrolling by in color, like the log off.
Then, perplexingly, there is a sort of lower resolution 'black & white' screen, (still a graphic VGA) with a blank photo square on the left, and a sign-in box on the right, and a row of buttons along the bottom which include 'reboot' and 'shutdown'.
I don't know if this is a KDE or a GDM sign on front-end, but it automatically runs GNOME.
Then, perplexingly, there is a sort of lower resolution 'black & white' screen, (still a graphic VGA) with a blank photo square on the left, and a sign-in box on the right, and a row of buttons along the bottom which include 'reboot' and 'shutdown'
It can be both GDM and KDM. Please look at the screenshots from link in my last post. First screen shows default GDM config. The picture on the left may be different. Does it look the same?
So it looks you're running kdm and that message is just because incorrect configuration (gdm is not started, so it's won't stop). To make sure run from command line
ps aux|grep kdm
ps aux|grep gdm
When you run first of the command you should get 5-6 lines of results. Second command - 1 or none.
(The commands show all processes having in their name kdm or gdm. The search command also counts, so it will be also shown in the gdm case).
I just have to mention that I have now reinstalled Gentoo using the LiveCD.
(an entirely different system than my VidaLinux1 install disk)
and amazingly, the same error on Shutdown happens. (stopping Gdm.... Error stopping Gdm [!!])