GDM sessions.... [Solved]

Eric Schuele e.schuele at
Mon Apr 24 13:44:38 UTC 2006

Joseph Vella wrote:
> On Sunday 23 April 2006 19:35, Eric Schuele wrote:
>> Norberto Meijome wrote:
>>> On Sun, 23 Apr 2006 11:02:53 -0500
>>> Eric Schuele <e.schuele at> wrote:
>>>> I have GDM installed and working.  I *do not* have gnome installed.  I 
>>>> was hoping GDM would do as XDM and just run my .xsession.  But it does 
>>>> not.  I would simply like it to be an XDM replacement.  I
>> I stuck my head in a gnome IRC channel and got some pointers.  Got it 
>> running well now.
> So what got it working for you?

Ah, yes... sorry.

So... I had found a few HowTo's on customizing GDM on the web.  All said 
similar things but nothing worked for me.  What they said to do *was* 
important, and in fact was 99% of the work.  So here's what I did to get 
GDM to run my .xsession file (last step did the trick):

  1) install /x11/gdm
  2) make sure you have an ~/.xsession file (setup however you like)
  3) make sure you have #!/bin/sh as first line
  4) make sure ~/.xsession is executable
  5) create a file /usr/X11R6/etc/gdm/Sessions/MySession.desktop
     (replace MySession with whatever name you like)
  6) Give it the following contents
     [Desktop Entry]
     Comment=This session will run your ~/.xsession
     (feel free to change name and comment to liking)
  7) Edit your /usr/X11R6/etc/gdm/gdm.conf. Search for 
SessionDesktopDir.  In my conf file it was commented out (plus a typo). 
  So I created a new SessionDesktopDir and pointed it where I placed my 
*.desktop file.  Such as SessionDesktopDir=/usr/X11R6/etc/gdm/Sessions/.

That's it.  My new session is now visible, and runs my .xsession 
seemingly just as XDM had.

There's plenty of eye candy for GDM.  I'm sure there is a port in ports 
that will install some, but haven't looked.  I simply copied a dir of 
themes from a gentoo box.


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