Users unable to select their own window manager in X.

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Mon Aug 29 13:47:22 GMT 2005

modelt20 at wrote:

>Hello All:
>Last week, I did a CVSup on all ports, and then did a
>portupgrade over the weekend. The portupgrade completed
>successfully, without significant errors.
>Now, normal users are no longer able to set their own
>window manager (e.g. fvwm2) in X, but logging in as
>root, I can. The user's .xinitrc file has not changed
>recently, but when the user launches X, all they get is
>the grey hatched background with a black X for the
>mouse pointer. No windows (clock, mail, task panel,
>etc) appear. If I rename the user's .xinitrc file and
>then start X, the standard 'xterm' window manager
>loads. As root, the fvwm2 window manager loads fine. It
>appears the portupgrade changed a permissions setting
>somewhere, but beings this ran over the weekend, I
>don't know what setting got changed.

What do the logs say?

In one line of thought, it sure sounds as if whatever
wm they are calling isn't there any longer, or, more likely,
encounters an error and hangs.  Obviously the X
server is starting, and the wm isn't.  Again, logs or
stderr (switch to ttyv0 and read console) might give a clue.

The "standard 'xterm' window manager" is twm, and
is started in the abscence of the user's .xinitrc by
(most likely) /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc.

And, it might be a permissions issue, but I can't tell
by your description.  FWIW, here's the permissions
on my fvwm2:

[587] Mon 29.Aug.2005 8:37:46
[kadmin at archangel][/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xinit]
# ll /usr/X11R*/bin/fvwm2
-r-xr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  355452 Jun 23 21:29 /usr/X11R6/bin/fvwm2*

More likely, it's not permissions on this file itself, though,
but some dependant object instead.....


Kevin Kinsey

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