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Old 09-19-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
philipogletree
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Simple Questions mainly Involving GUIs


Hello,

I recently installed Debian 3.1r0 and I have a couple of questions.

xdm and kdm were both installed and Debian asked me which one to use and I said xdm. Was this right and if not how would I change it?

I have installed KDE and really like it but I was also interested in looking at some other window managers such as Gnome. I read where multiple window managers can be installed and they can be switched between them. I have found referecnes to switchdesktop but have not been able to find it in synaptic.

Would there be a program (like Grub) that would allow XWindows to start and then allow the user to choose which GUI to use?

By the way, I read where it is possible to change the login screen that Xwindows shows to a much better looking KDE or Gnome screen. Would anyone know how to do that?

It seems as if a person should allows install programs as root. Is that right? It seems to let everyone else have access to installed programs. It also seems as if there is no way to install programs for a specific user or group of users. Or can you nake certain programs available to a specific group.

Is there any way to delete from the menu a reference to programs that the user is not allowed to use such as a non-root user has Synaptic Program manager on the menu but cannot run it. If so is there a "kicklist" that could be used to automatically purge such programs when new user accounts are created? Or when a GUI was created for that user.

Thank you in advance
Philip
 
Old 09-19-2005, 07:29 PM   #2
Riddick
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Hi! Wow a lot of things...
So After you start X, you are greeted with an ugly Login
Manager - what you are seeing is XDM. The Nice KDE
session manager can be activated, and started automatically.
This will also allow you to choose what to Log into
(i.e. KDE, Gnome, enlightenment, windowmaker etc...)

I do not know that answer to your last question.

I don't understand what you mean by:
Quote:
It seems as if a person should allows install programs as root. Is that right? It seems to let everyone else have access to installed programs. It also seems as if there is no way to install programs for a specific user or group of users. Or can you nake certain programs available to a specific group.
I will just look up what you need to change for xdm -> kdm
 
Old 09-19-2005, 07:39 PM   #3
Riddick
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Ok - when Linux starts do you go directly into graphical mode
or do you have to type "startx" at some point?

from anther thread:
Quote:
kdm can be started by running kdm (as root). Usually you'll have kdm started somewhere in your boot scripts.

startx is for starting X sessions without a display manager (such as kdm).
 
Old 09-20-2005, 11:13 PM   #4
philipogletree
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Thank you,

I really apreciate the help. But please don't go to any trouble.

I was using startx because I was not sure that the options I was changing in order to try and get the CD player to work would take effect immediately or not. So in order to make sure, I was exiting completely out of the GUI and then starting it up again. Hoping any changes would be initialized then.

Does that make any sense?

Thanks again
Philip
 
Old 09-20-2005, 11:29 PM   #5
foo_bar_foo
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yes it's always best to boot to terminal login and then startx
in which case you are not using xdm or kdm or any other dm so just forget about that one

in Debian to change what window manager or desktop you use you edit/create a file in your home directory ~/.xsession
and in that file you start whatever desktop or window manager you like
for instance if you want to start fvwm you put in that file
exec fvwm
you can make a directory full of startup files and copy them into place when you want to use them
example
cd ./startfiles
cp xsessionKDE ../.xsession
startx
 
Old 09-21-2005, 01:09 AM   #6
Dark_Helmet
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Quote:
It seems as if a person should allows install programs as root. Is that right? It seems to let everyone else have access to installed programs. It also seems as if there is no way to install programs for a specific user or group of users. Or can you nake certain programs available to a specific group.
No, you do not need to be root to install programs. And yes, you can limit access to programs based on particular users or groups.

First, installing programs. There's nothing magic about installing programs. They can be installed anywhere on the system you like. The key is, you need to have write privileges to the directory or directories the program is installed to. Most people install things as root because they intend for anyone on the system to use the program and root has the ability to write anywhere in the system. There are some gotchas about this though. Usually those gotchas come up with package management systems (they want to place files in specific spots) and programs that have special needs (like privilege-granting programs: login, mail server, etc.). In general though, if it's not considered a system-level application, any user can install it to any directory that user can write to.

Second, restricting access. There are a number of ways, some more complicated than others. One way is to install the program(s) to different directories, and only inform eligible users where that directory is so they can edit their PATH to include it.

Another way would be to alter the permissions on the executable file itself. Change the group ownership to match the group of users you want to give access to, and remove execute privilege for all other users. That way, the executable can be stored in the normal location and nobody has to mess with their PATH.

A variation on the last item is Access Control Lists (ACLs). This is another way of setting up file and directory permissions. Instead of creating a group, you explicitly provide or deny execution rights based on individual users or groups of users. It's more flexible than changing group ownership, but might require you to recompile your kernel to support them.

I'm sure there are other access control methods, but those are the ones that jump to mind.

You should realize though, the methods mentioned above only affect the user's ability to execute the program. They will only result in the user getting a "permission denied" error if they were to select the program from any GUI menu. If what you're hoping for is a customized application menu bar in GNOME or KDE where disallowed applications are missing from the menu, then you'll have to jump through other hoops: specifically configuring your windowing environment to adjust for it. I've never done it before, but I would guess some shell scripting is involved to modify the menu files each time the user logs in. Just a heads-up...

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 09-21-2005 at 01:12 AM.
 
Old 09-21-2005, 02:05 AM   #7
AwesomeMachine
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To install kdm

apt-get install kdm

to make kdm what pops up

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-common

once that is complete, and I'm not really into pretty, you will have a pretty login. From there you can choose any of an assortment of window managers, and I think kdm even lets root have a desktop. I have no idea why. It's insane. But everything always in root, so you never have to worry about access. I'll tell you what I did one time, recently. I had to do disk repair, and I kinda misread the message, so I did "chmod -R a+rwx /". Good thing I had an identical hard drive mirrored. You never want to do that. And, you don't want a root desktop.
 
Old 09-21-2005, 05:02 PM   #8
philipogletree
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Quote:
Originally posted by foo_bar_foo
yes it's always best to boot to terminal login and then startx
in which case you are not using xdm or kdm or any other dm so just forget about that one

in Debian to change what window manager or desktop you use you edit/create a file in your home directory ~/.xsession
and in that file you start whatever desktop or window manager you like
for instance if you want to start fvwm you put in that file
exec fvwm
you can make a directory full of startup files and copy them into place when you want to use them
example
cd ./startfiles
cp xsessionKDE ../.xsession
startx


Hello,

Thank you, I will make a series of files as you indicated.

Thank you again
Philip
 
Old 09-21-2005, 05:54 PM   #9
philipogletree
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dark_Helmet
No, you do not need to be root to install programs. And yes, you can limit access to programs based on particular users or groups.
Hello,

Thank you for the very detailed message. I hope that I was not too much trouble.

I wanted to give my brother's kids an account of their own to play games in without allowing them access to tools that could mess the computer up like QPart(?), the program which allows modification and possible deletion of a partition. That would be bad if they go in there.

Thank you again
Philip
 
Old 09-21-2005, 05:55 PM   #10
Riddick
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Enjoy Linux and come back with any more questions!
 
Old 09-21-2005, 06:34 PM   #11
philipogletree
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Quote:
Originally posted by AwesomeMachine
To install kdm

apt-get install kdm

to make kdm what pops up

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-common

once that is complete, and I'm not really into pretty, you will have a pretty login. From there you can choose any of an assortment of window managers, and I think kdm even lets root have a desktop. I have no idea why. It's insane. But everything always in root, so you never have to worry about access. I'll tell you what I did one time, recently. I had to do disk repair, and I kinda misread the message, so I did "chmod -R a+rwx /". Good thing I had an identical hard drive mirrored. You never want to do that. And, you don't want a root desktop.


Hello,

Thank you for the help.

I mispoke when I said I wanted a better looking login. I used Knoppix a few months back and that allowed the user to logout and have the options to shut the computer down, reboot the computer, login as another account or go to the console instead of just logging out or canceling. What I should have said was that I was looking for a more fully featured login, not a better looking one. My mistake.

Thank you again
Philip
 
Old 09-21-2005, 10:10 PM   #12
philipogletree
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Jackson MS
Posts: 29

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally posted by Riddick
Enjoy Linux and come back with any more questions!
Thanks again for your help

Philip
 
Old 09-21-2005, 10:44 PM   #13
Dark_Helmet
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Quote:
Thank you for the very detailed message. I hope that I was not too much trouble.
Not too much trouble at all, and you're quite welcome. It's what we're here for.

I noticed you listed you're from Jackson, MS. Small world. My sister just graduated from Mississippi College with a Masters in Mass Communications (I think) this past May. So I was in your neck of the woods for the ceremony.

Just thought I'd derail the thread by throwing that out there...
 
Old 10-30-2005, 08:09 PM   #14
philipogletree
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Hello,

>>My sister just graduated from Mississippi College with a Masters in Mass Communications (I think) this past May. So I was in your neck of the woods for the ceremony.<<

wow, that is a small world.

Sorry about so long between replies.

Thanks agian
Philip
 
  


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