[xubuntu-users] I think this is ultra cool

George F. Nemeyer tigerwolf at tigerden.com
Thu Jun 19 20:33:02 UTC 2014

On Thu, 19 Jun 2014, c. marlow wrote:

> >> I was just sitting here thinking. I wished I could take my Xubuntu
> >> back to the old days where..... when I click MOUSE MENU instead of it
> >> going back to that splash long in screen
> >> http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac69/CMAR606/Xubuntu%20Mail%20List/IMG_20140619_022146_532.jpg
> >>
> >> It just goes back to a prompt: where its just a black screen and it
> >> says USER NAME: _ then you have to type STARTX to get into the system
> >> once you logged in.
> >>
> >> that would be sooo neat but I dont know if it would be allowing lots of holes in the system or not :(
> >
> > The display manager service and/or the log out option seems to be
> > broken.
> > http://upstart.ubuntu.com/getting-started.html

To be perfectly blunt, LightDM isn't ready for prime time, despite it
being around since about Ubuntu 11.

First of all, it's trying to be an entire 'user session' on its own,
complete with 'indicators' that alter system behavior, and which
frequently don't play nice with similar routines used by XFCE (see
archives about vanishing/inoperable indicators for things like Network
Manager and Bluetooth, or issues with it saving sessions at logout despite
being told not to).  It's also too focused on 'eye candy' with doing fancy
'cool' effects (like changing user icons/backgrounds on the fly) which add
nothing to real functional useablity.

Second, it's changed it's config file locations (or the distro packagers
have moved them) over time, so that making alterations to what you think
is the proper file does nothing.  Or if you do edit the proper file,
things break because the syntax or arguments are different than before.
This is especially true if you've done in-place distro upgrades.  After
going from XU 13.04, 13.10, and then to 14, the filesystem will be
LITTERED with LightDM config files scattered in absurd and highly
un-obvious places. LightDM may or may not try to look for and use 'legacy'
configurations (or bits of them to keep the look the same), but which ones
are actually in control remain a mystery.

Third, and most importantly, there's pathetically little *correct*
documentation from the authors.  Most of what you find on the web today
(even on the LightDM site itself) is totally wrong, since, once again,
they've added/changed things.  The result is such that you're likely to
have no luck at all, or things will break or not act as expected.  The
'guesses' and 'help' people on forums suggest will likewise only lead to
frustration, as they're, more often than not, for a version other than
what you have.

Part of all the above is being caused in 14.10 by LightDM supposedly
'getting ready for Wayland', which no doubt lead to still more
gut-wrenching among the community trying to use it.

What the Xubuntu team neads to do is offer a viable *SIMPLE* alternative
to LightDM.  XDM, for example, is as basic as it gets.  It has been around
for decades, and is quite stable.  It can even be installed from XU
repositories, but it won't work since it launches X in the traditional
manner, much like 'STARTX' does (giving you an XFCE sesssion).  So while
you get into your account, many panel icons and functions won't work are
are flat out missing.  This is because LightDM/Ubuntu launches an 'Xubuntu
session', not an XFCE session (which LightDM also gives you the option to
do, but with the same semi-broken result).  And due to lack of real and
correct documentation, it dosen't tell you what all LightDM actually DOES
in preparation before going into XFCE.

And nobody seems to actually KNOW either, at least by my attempts to find
out by asking in several places (including here) just what the differences
are in launching an Xubuntu session versus an XFCE session.

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