Linux: Ways to start desktop manager and desktop environment

Pre-requisite

1. Video driver installed.

2. dbus installed and loaded.

3. consolekit installed.

4. true type font (like ttf-dejavu) installed.

5. Input drivers installed: xf86-input-mouse and xf86-input-keyboard.

6. gamin installed. (For monitoring files and directories)

7. System fully upgraded (At least for Arch Linux, this is a recommendation)

8. Power utilities program for hibernate, shutdown, reboot and suspend. Example pm-utils and upower. User must be a member of power group.

9. Run as normal user not as root, we should not invoke desktop environment as a root user.

10. Good to have ~/.xinitrc for startx to load your correct desktop environment. If you do not have copy one from /etc/skel/ or touch one yourself.

11. If do not have ~/.xinitrc file then you have to invoke with xinit /path/to/de-script.

Start desktop environment manually at tty after you have successfully login

Method 1

1. Insert this exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch <startlxde | startkde | openbox-session | enlightenment_start | gnome-session>, depend on the type of DE you use. Save the xinitrc.

2. Run startx in tty. Everytime you landed in terminal you just need to type startx.

Method 2

1. xinit /usr/bin/<startlxde | startkde | openbox-session | enlightenment_start | gnome-session>

Start desktop environment automatically at tty after you have successfully login

1. Edit ~/.bash_profile. Notice this bash_profile is individually associated to each user.

if [[ -z $DISPLAY ]] && [[ $(tty) = /dev/tty1 ]]; then
exec startx
fi

See above on how to edit xinitrc to startx correctly.

The above bash script is very minimum, your DE will not start if you are at tty2-6.

About Desktop Manager

Desktop manager is the graphical login. Many DM has choice of choosing different DE at login.

Start Desktop Manager after boot up

Method 1

1. Edit /etc/inittab. Uncomment id:5:initdefault: and comment id:3:initdefault:

2. Uncomment one of the following that is appropriate:

#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
#x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/slim >/dev/null 2>&1
#x:5:respawn:/user/sbin/lxdm >& /dev/null

Method 2

1. Insert desktop manager daemon into MODULES(….) array in /etc/rc.conf

2. The list:

KDE desktop manager – kdm

Gnome desktop manager – gdm

SLiM desktop manager – slim

LXDE desktop manager – lxdm

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