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-   -   How do I get to choose my desktop manager? (

velska 01-23-2009 02:06 PM

How do I get to choose my desktop manager?
I have read through my Fedora 10 documents, and I can't seem to be able to figure out exactly where it picks the display manager. So I have two questions:
  • Can I give gdm a configuration file to show alternatives like KDE to start instead of Gnome?
  • How can I start kdm or xdm instead of gdm?

There was a time when I thought I knew how Linux systems start up, but now I am a bit lost. Could be that I'm just tired.

repo 01-23-2009 02:11 PM

gdm will give you a list of installed window managers.
just click on session

velska 01-23-2009 05:57 PM

I know, but I don't have that...

Originally Posted by repo (Post 3418949)
gdm will give you a list of installed window managers.
just click on session

The trouble is, I was expecting to see the "session" button there (I installed both Gnome and KDE), but I don't see it. And I've been trying to figure out how to either configure gdm or alternatively try out kdm or xdm.

digitelle 01-23-2009 08:32 PM

I installed Fedora 10 from the live CD with KDE desktop as default, I wanted to check out gnome as well so I installed it, but it didn't show up in my session switcher on my login screen and I didn't want to bother with that, so these are the steps I took, only opposite because your default is going to look like my edited one, so my default one will be yours after editing..... yeah.

As root edit /etc/sysconfig/desktop (create this file if it doesn't already exist), to contain:

Assuming you have everything needed for KDE installed, this should be the manual solution.

Something you may want to look at is Fedora's system-switch-displaymanager and switchdesk if you are looking as switching often.

phantom_cyph 01-23-2009 08:35 PM

run xwmconfig in a terminal.

digitelle 01-23-2009 10:06 PM

Just so we all know a bit more, xwmconfig is not packaged with Fedora or available from these yum repositories:


But could still be installed of course.

velska 01-24-2009 05:14 PM

I guess I got it figured out now. It looked like the prefdm script didn't even find /etc/sysconfig/desktop, so I edited prefdm with some violence. Now it seems to work the way it's supposed to.

this213 01-25-2009 01:23 PM

"yum install switchdesk-gui" will give you a graphical method for doing this. However, I have it installed and don't see it in my menus so you may have to run "switchdesk" from a terminal (which is sort of stupid if you ask me).

velska 01-25-2009 03:34 PM

Switchdesk Doesn't Work
I have switchdesk, and switchdesk-gui. They do a crappy job of it.

As of now I am really wondering where all the configuration info is... prefdm still doesn't read /etc/sysconfig/desktop.

I wonder if there's a file format issue (some characters may be needed), but I haven't found the answer yet. Still looking ;)

this213 01-25-2009 04:21 PM

Yeah, I was just looking at it and it's apparently not quite what it used to be. Sorry I can't be of more help as I have absolutely no use for KDE, but this might help you:


Originally Posted by
To make KDM the default display manager, use your favourite package management tool (yum, kpackagekit) to install system-switch-displaymanager and run the system-switch-displaymanager kdm command.

I would imagine KDM would have an easier time of switching to KDE. I should note though that this really shouldn't be necessary, but I've been finding quite a bit in F10 that I don't agree with (NetworkManger, spacial view, and so on).

digitelle 01-25-2009 06:07 PM

What does your prefdm look like?

velska 01-26-2009 05:04 AM

About My prefdm
You asked what my prefdm script looks like. Here it is, it's not long:




# We need to source this so that the login screens get translated
[ -f /etc/sysconfig/i18n ] && . /etc/sysconfig/i18n

# Run preferred X display manager
if [ -f /etc/sysconfig/desktop ]; then
. /etc/sysconfig/desktop
if [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = GNOME ]; then
elif [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = KDE ]; then
elif [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = WDM ]; then
elif [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = XDM ]; then
elif [ -n "$DISPLAYMANAGER" ]; then

# shut down boot splash
/usr/bin/plymouth quit $quit_arg

shopt -s execfail

[ -n "$preferred" ] && exec $preferred "$@" >/dev/null 2>&1 </dev/null

# Fallbacks, in order
exec gdm "$@" >/dev/null 2>&1 </dev/null
exec kdm "$@" >/dev/null 2>&1 </dev/null
exec wdm "$@" >/dev/null 2>&1 </dev/null
exec xdm "$@" >/dev/null 2>&1 </dev/null
# catch all exit error
exit 1

Anyway what I did was just edit it to force kdm by commenting out everything from the "Run preferred X display manager" routine except the line that has the statement
and that worked. The desktop switcher doesn't work.

velska 01-28-2009 02:42 AM

Display Manager Switching Tool
I found the tool that I refer to in the title (system-switch-displaymanager). It worked. I didn't find out how it performed its magic, but at least I'm working with kdm now, which gives me some options.

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