Remote login - xdm

Basil Fowler bjfowler at
Mon Dec 27 16:00:51 GMT 2004


One extra point that I failed to mention.

KDE does not provide even local graphical logins.  Kdm is a stand-alone 
program that comes with the KDE package.  It is a replacement for the basic 
graphical login manager xdm.  Another such login manager is gdm.   All these 
programs are stand-alones, started during the boot process from rc5.d 
directory and run as daemons. The choice of login manager is usually defined 
in /etc/sysconfig.

Once a user is logged in, the login manager *then* starts KDE, gnome, ICEWM 
etc. as defined in $HOME/.Xclient. Until $HOME is established through the act 
of logging in, the window manager is undefined. So kdm could start KDE for 
one user, gnome for another etc.

Even assuming that the Xclient is defined as KDE, it is impossible for KDE to 
provide a remote login - only after the login can KDE provide *any* service. 
KDE has to read the user's $HOME/.kde directory before it can start, and 
until $HOME is known (through a login), no go.

The remote login that I described is *independent* of the desktop environment, 
window manger etc.  All it does is to interact with the login manager, xdm, 
gdm, kdm, what you will, on the local computer. The command 'X' merely starts 
the X server in the remote computer.  The rest of the line tells the X server 
where the corresponding client is.  You will find that the properties of the 
keyboard and mouse in the remote computer are defined in its XF86Config file, 
*not* from settings in KDE.  If you want to swap keyboards, you have to have 
separate XF86Config files for each keyboard layout, and (re)start the remote 
X with an option stating which XF86Config file is to be used. (Consult the 
man pages for further details).

It is best to start remote logins from a text console on the remote computer.
Of course you can create a file in init.d, containing the line 'X -query 
<options>', which can be called from rc5.d in the usual matter.  In that way 
you have a transparent remote graphical login from boot.  If this is backed 
up by a Reiser filesystem on the remote computer, it is extremely robust.  I 
tested the setup last summer with a user whose idea of a shutdown on the 
remote computer was the on/off switch!!  No problems! 

Hope this helps

Basil Fowler

On Monday 27 December 2004 04:57, Larry Howe wrote:

> I still can't get the remote login to work from the builtin XDMCP login
> box, but at least now I know it should be possible.
> Thanks a million for your help.
> Larry Howe
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