[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]
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What happens when you log in

The login window is produced by xdm whose default start-up file is /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xsession. This looks for ~/.xsession. Put the following in your ~/.xsession file and make it executable, then you can customise.

#!/bin/ksh
resources=$HOME/.Xdefaults
if [ -f $resources ]
then
    xrdb -load $resources
else
    xrdb -load /usr/lib/X11/sys.Xdefaults
fi
exec xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -title "First Window" -ls

Note that when this script finishes, your session ends, which is why the last line doesn't have a '&' at the end. You can start a window manager from here, but be careful - if you make a mistake you won't be able to log into a workstation. So stay logged in at one terminal while experimenting at another.

And remember that the start command often insists that you have no window manager running initially, so be prepared to uncustomize yourself for lab sessions.


Tim Love
2001-01-10