Stephen Gran on Fri, 5 Sep 2003 22:44:04 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] how to choose gnome/kde

On Fri, Sep 05, 2003 at 10:28:06PM -0400, Jeff Abrahamson said:
> I have a new debian box that likes to come up (after typing startx) in
> kde. I'd like it to come up in gnome.
> I suspect if I put "exec gnome-session" in ~/.xsession or ~/.Xsession,
> I'll get what I want. (This based on reading through the
> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ scripts, and 50xfree86-common_determine-startup
> in particular.)

Correct - this is the recommended way for per user settings to be

> But I'm curious how to change the system default. And this I have not
> found.

It's with an obscure, poorly documented program called
update-alternatives.  It assigns priorities to the various things that
can provide an interface to something (like pager, browser, etc.)  In
this case, it happens to be x-session-manager.  I don't happen to have a
stable box with X handy, but on unstable it looks like GNOME is assigned
a score of 20 by default, while KDE gets a score of 40.  KDE wins with
that setup.

man update-alternatives will help here - it's late and I don't feel like
looking through the docs right now, but I think you want something along
the lines of update-alternatives --config x-session-manager

> (I'm on a debian stable box, fwiw, and I boot to init state 3, so no
> gdm / xdm menus to help out.)

Just a quick note - unless you've changed the defaults, runlevels 2-5
are the same.  Debian leaves them alone, so the admin can manage them as
they see fit, instead of setting up differences that may or may not
match what you want.  Of course this means it may or may not match what
you expect :)

|  Stephen Gran                  | ...though his invention worked superbly |
|             | -- his theory was a crock of sewage     |
| | from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, |
|  			         | "The Peace War"                         |

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