Posted in Linux on 02 Mar 2009 at 09:43 UTC
Every year people say "Is this the year of the Linux desktop?", well I think 2009 is it. Ease of installation has come far since the 1990s, as I prove with the following install story.
After binman180 installed Debian 5.0 (lenny) on his "new" laptop (Celeron 1.3, circa 2000 BC) he wanted to install KDE instead of GNOME, which is the default. Installing the 'kde' metapackage resulted in GDM refusing to start, with some error that neither of us can remember. The error log, had nothing helpful (since GDM was written by the GNOME devs they probably thought error messages would be too cluttered/complicated for users). After purging and re-installing GDM it decided to not even give us an error on the screen, still nothing in the error log.
Clearly GDM wasn't going to work without a huge hassle, so we decided to install XDM instead. Joy! We managed to get the login screen working again! Pity it was still loading GNOME. My next thought was "Maybe if we uninstall GNOME, XDM will load KDE, since it's the only installed DE".... Wrong! After running `aptitude purge gnome` and restarting XDM, it attempted to load a (broken) installation of GNOME... I have no idea why.
After poking around my own homedir, I remembered that mine did the same, in order to make XDM run KDE, this is all that had to be done:
cat > ~/.xsession << EOF #!/bin/bash startkde EOF chmod +x ~/.xsession
I mean, it's so obvious that you should create a shell script that runs 'startkde' named ~/.xsession, how could I have overlooked it in the first place? 2009: Year of the Linux desktop