Re: beyond starting x
From: Kent West (westk_at_acu.edu)
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 15:52:11 -0600 To: email@example.com
>I admit that my experience is with RedHat, so I dont know yet how to change
>back and forth between a text logon, a kde logon or a gnome logon in Debian.
>So, I cannot get back to the startx prompt at this time to experiment.
You can search the Debian archives; this has been covered many times.
The short version:
Ctrl-Alt-F[usually 1 - 6] will switch you to a virtual terminal (VT),
aka a text console. Alt-F7 will (usually) switch you back to X.
Unless you have a glitchy video system, you can switch to a VT (say,
Ctrl-Alt-F2 for VT2), and login as a second person, and then start a
second X session with something like "startx -- :1" (the first X session
is on display number 0). Then you can switch to VT3 with Ctrl-Alt-F3,
login as a third person, and then start a third X session with "startx
-- :2". You can switch back and forth between the X sessions with
Ctrl-Alt-F7, Ctrl-Alt-F8, and Ctrl-Alt-F9. Add more if you wish. This is
great for a family computer; Mom can run Gnome; Dad can run Icewm, Baby
Boy can run KDE, and Baby Girl can run Gnome too, just like Mommie, but
without trashing Mommie's files and background wallpaper.
If you want a different window manager/environment on those other X
sessions, just create a one-liner .xinitrc file in each user's home
directory with the name of the wm/e you wish to use. Or feed the wm/e
name to the startx command as a parameter (I forget the syntax, though,
so I just use ~/.xinitrc).
If you want to disable KDM temporarily, there are half a dozen ways of
doing it; I just put "exit 0" as the first executable line in
If you want to switch to a different login manager, "dpkg-reconfigure
xdm" (pick a dm that's not currently the default - that is, if you're
running KDM, don't reconfigure KDM, but rather xdm or wdm or gdm). Be
aware you'll need to have these other dm's installed, like "apt-get
install xdm kdm wdm gdm".
To remove a login manager, just "apt-get --purge remove kdm" (say, to
This ought to help you get your feet wet.
Freebie X Tip, just for joining this list: If your mouse gets knocked
off the table and cracks and fails to work anymore, you can simulate a
mouse with your numeric keypad. Just press Shift-Numlock to turn the
simulation on (or off). Then the 5 key is the Click button, / sets 5 to
be left-click; * sets 5 to be a middle-click, - sets 5 to be a
right-click; the other number keys move the pointer in the corresponding
direction; 0 is a click-and-hold; DEL is a release click.
-- Kent -- To UNSUBSCRIBE, email to debian-user-REQUEST@lists.debian.org with a subject of "unsubscribe". Trouble? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org