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I recently changed window managers from metacity to sawfish (and I'm very happy I did). I'm running Red Hat 9, and for some reason RH likes metacity over sawfish.
Anyways, I'm something of a linux newbie, and I had a random linux guru from around the dorm (I'm a college student) help me kill metacity. We finally figured out how to kill metacity and start sawfish - for those interested parties, metacity was set to automatically re-start in the session panel, so we stopped the auto-restart feature, set sawfish to start after 15 seconds, and then killed metacity.
The problem I'm having is that we edited/created about four or five files trying to fix the issue, and now when I log in as root the login sorta-freezes when Sawfish starts up. In other words, I get the screen with "Red Hat" after typing in the user name and password, and the little window manager icon and the text "Sawfish Window Manager" stay on the screen for a long time. I can ctrl+alt+backspace back to the login, and login as a normal user just fine, but I can't login as root. I can also su to root, so I'm not too concerned about fixing the issue, but it would be nice if I could login as root.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend logging in as root into X. When root is needed, just keep su 'ing to root.
Logging into X is broadcasted on port 6000, logging in as root just a bad idea all round, even just at a console. Sometimes its even good security to setup sudo to perform certain tasks. If this is a desktop machine, not a server and mainly you just use it, you should be able to set it up so you never need to be root.
man sudo for more details.
Sorry didn't have an answer specifically for your problem. You could try removing any files associated with X in your /root directory, maybe its freezing cause its trying to load up with metacity.