Normally xdm (/usr/X11R6/bin) is used to manage X windows session (they can be started by xinit but xdm has advanced functions). xdm runs on the X server and does the following:

  • executes .xsession
  • implements Xresources via xrdb program
  • executes the windows manager e.g. fvwm2

The configuration files controlling this start up are:

  • .xsession - defines what applications will start when you sign on to X e.g. xterm, xclock, xcalc, etc. (note: uses file .xinitrc if xinit is used)
  • .Xresources - personal appearance preferences e.g. fonts, colours, etc.
  • .fvwm2rc - controls how the windows are moved, resized, what appears in the root menu, what happens when buttons are clecked, etc

.Xresources will load default preferences instead of having to specify the settings as part of the command string in the .xsessions file. format is: name*variable:value e.g.

XTerm*font:-misc-fixed-bold-r_normal.. etc
Xterm*Background:yellow
XTerm*Foreground:navy blue
Xterm*VT100.geometry:90x40
 etc

xrdb reads the resources file and loads them up (the xrdb command is included in the .xsession or .xinitrc file). xdm_config is the configuration file for xdm

Xservers file

In previous releases this controlled which Xservers would be managed by xdm. From X1R4 onwards, xdmcp was introduced. This allows an X terminal to query a host for an xdm connection, so no entry is required in the Xservers file. Normally there is still one entry in the Xservers file for the local console. However, if you don't require an X windows session on the local console, comment this out.

xlsfonts shows the fonts available

showrgh shows the colours available

.Xauthority file - permission file, cannot be editted. If an entry is required cut and paste from another .Xauthority file. To start a windows session from another terminal, e.g. a PC via exceed, you can either specify xdm on the command line or you can use xdmcp broadcast feature. e.g. go into communications, select XDMCP query, this can be configured to point to a particular IP address (direct) or search for hosts responding (broadcast)

Setting up a chooser screen

 1. comment out the local display line in /etc/dt/config/Xservers
 2. Add the following to the dt startup script in /sbin/init.d
    /usr/bin/X11/X -indirect hostname

Changing the window message for a dtterm

Enter: /bin/echo '033]2;'message'007c'

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