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I don't know how to set up some kind of multiple-choice menu at login, however, you can switch between KDE and Gnome by running xwmconfig (which is located in the /usr/X11R6/bin directory.) It's highly useful to try out both of them initially to determine which one you prefer, but long term, I would think that you'll probably end up sticking with one. Good luck -- J.W.
if you are looking for a graphical boot menu with the ability to choose between the different environment then do a $ telinit 4
That is going to take you to the graphical login menu. If you like it then edit the /etc/inittab file and make init 4 your default boot option.
Typically on a multi-user machine you don't want anyone but the root to be able to shutdown or reboot. If you're the only person who uses your computer, then it's ok and probably neccissary (not a good idea to log on as root to shutdown if you do it often).
I'm not sure what the best way to do this is, you might try making /sbin/shutdown and/or /sbin/reboot executable by everyone (or a "local" group).
If you only use the GUI you can then put a button in gnome to run the shutdown -h and reboot commands.
There may be a better way, but this is what I do.
When you think of something as a "drawback" in linux often remembering what it's 'typical operating enviroment" is (or was). I think you can understand how you don't want one of 50 currently logged in users deciding to reboot the machine from his office upstairs With linux shuting down/rebooting isn't that important. I run weeks at a time before I reboot for some reason (usually because I need access to a win program).
The keyword on all posts here is "root". I still prefer to create a desktop link to application with the command "su-c halt" on the it,checked the box "open in terminal". I enter my root password and the pc shutsdown.