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Easy X Login and Desktop Choice, and desktop server, using X's XDM.
Easy install and Clean uninstall.

Realease Beta 2 is now installed on sourceforge and ready for scrutiny.  I hope you'll enjoy it and send me any feedback you have time to put in the forum.


xdm-options Is a simple tarball and is not sensitive. From there run (or click on, yes) which is menu driven. Read INSTALL for fuller directions.

This new installer is easy, requires no knowledge, and does everything. It's uninstall will leave no trace, none of your system modified.

I only say you should know what a bash prompt is since this is a beta and that's not impossible, ok? Debian packaging is no longer supported: it simply cannot do enough so xdm-options can fully install and uninstall easy and clean. RPM maybe - but I've not made one yet.

Why bother using xdm-options?

(from doc/REAME)

1.1 What is xdm-options?

xdm-options, once installed, provides perpetual graphical X Login to an X Desktop in a UNIX environment. Focus is stable X login, thin but featured desktop choice (done after login), flexible, resilient, posixly correct.

Target audiences. Anyone looking for alternative or backup for their lib gdm (gnome login). Anyone who doesn't have a program that logs them into X properly [for their desktop of choice]. Someone who uses X and knows xdm is an excellent VNC and wishes a full easy install of full basic configuration to work with. The server / developer people; those that need a login remote access tool and or cylcing X console. And (classic) teachers managing a classroom of X Terminals (offering display server / mainframing access).

1.2.a Features

xdm-option's Key Features:

0) Simple and Full install leaves nothing to do but use (for a simple needs). Has configuration menu for install, check (or change feature), remove. Just answer 'y' and 'continue' is all, 0 knowlege needed.

1) Human readable open design not bound to any platform or desktop. Easy for admin to add or fix in a pinch. Plays well with and does not require removal of other software that provides X Logins.

2) Safe, simple, thin login designed to be always there to get you on your desktop or be there as a backup plan.

3) Has Desktop Chooser Desktop with plenty of features (after login, to choose full desktop).

4) XDM and X Network enabled without setup (local only, just list more hosts if desired). Graphical host chooser for dedicated remote sessions. (note X can do VNC from any X desktop to any X desktop, a dedicated session is not necessary but sometimes desired).

More About Features:

Point and click operation (except type password), self explanitory. Desktop / menus for X host choosing (X phonebook), X Login, and Desktop Choosing. Many features for desktop choosing desktop.

Installs on many unixes with no or little configuration. Menu installer / re-configurator works in X or at sh prompt. Shouldn't required shell prompt use. (note: beta, needs more testing).

Plays well and "co-installs" with other Display Managers. Excellent as a first choice or a wise backup plan (if your highly graphical login has a libs / dependancy issue you have no time to resolve).

No lib depedancies outside of X - you don't need KDE or GOME (or both) et alia. No downloads or compiles. You can change desktops (and libraries) without having to install / uninstall various greeters all over again.

ash, bash, ksh, zsh tested, even mixed. only needs ash.

Follows the many posixly correct standards for starting X and unix login environment. Uses only one shell, obeys XSecurity(1) policy to my best knowledge (i.e., no setuid). Is careful to offer user failsafes or root nologin as appropriate as best for the situation if there is a problem during x startup stream.

Stability / security considerations. Option STABLE makes xdm-options skip over anything complex and launch .xinitrc, behaving as a simplest xdm configuration. Failsafe and fallback choices at xlogin. Looks for SERVER_ONLY file. No background libs will be running behind the login unless you install them, everything is clear and up in front. 3 failsafe login modes (fallbacks that occur after login that is) for plain to see at login.

Long Term Maintenance oriented. Has may ways to quickly get broken logins working again (there are many ways they can break) that make it a good lifetime maintenance choice [for a single pc]. (pause and continue looping, check install, re-install). Can auto-install or just be copied after install for similar sites. Should not _require upgrade even if everything else was upgraded.

Automatic Logins and Other Modes of startup: completely by menu configuration. 4 basic modes: *1) run logins and the X: no-one runs X unless logged in (installed by default). 2) setuid login and X Logins both: you can use can pinch-start X from a shell as a user or use xdm's xlogin non-setuid: either or both. 3) Auto Login, which says it all (uses setuid by definition). Xwrapper is used if present. 4) xdm display server only, xlogins are left to be done by other software.

Minimal internet bandwith for X phonebook / XLogin (for window shoppers not logged in). Low bandwidth when using desktop chooser desktop (logged in).

"non blinking X" design, always checks if (X, xdm, dtc) is looping with 3 timers (a classic issue if problems arise).

Provides excellent alternate for xdm's sample setup (that does nothing) / can be dropped in for that. Also does and documents things people found most mysterious about xdm. Even provides working xsm desktop login (X ships with xsm but no startup).

xdm-options can be trimmed down or dressed to impress and it has a tear-off design; use part or all of it. It ships with light server defaults. It will use kdm's chooser if it's there. Has sample Zenity scripts (see contib/ folder) (note your unix may not have Zenity available).

P.S. Just so you understand what xdm-options entails. The X phonebook is just that. XLogin logs you into unix with pam(1) not into X. xdm manages X phonebook and unix logins but not X Desktops. Xdm-options configures xdm (xdm does 0 without config.), configures multi-unix boot startups without disabling similar softwares, configures X server startup, and also provides a mid-X-stream posix environment desktop for choosing desktop after logging in (which is an more rare and or new feature to have). xdm-options focuses on bringing resilience to all parts so there is high availablility / easy maintenance.

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I'm very pleased to offer this and hope I get feedback so others will have a flawless new primary or sencondary / backup display manager so X is that more available to get their work done "On Demand".

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