Thursday, November 03, 2011

Selecting Alternate Desktops in RHEL 6 with GDM

The developers of Gnome have been shedding functionality in an attempt to make Gnome simpler. One of the things that has gone missing is the ability of GDM to select a different desktop. How this is a good thing is beyond me, but regardless, it's the way it is and it needs a workaround. At my job, we install CentOS onto commodity machines along with our software and ship them to our customers' sites. We have one application that runs without any window manager at all via the /home/username/.Xclients script. When we moved to CentOS 6.0, this suddenly stopped working. After I determined that the .Xclients script wasn't being run, a big of googling found this page which has a very elegant workaround. This script allows an individual user's .Xclients script to override the default selection of Gnome, but doesn't force other users to use .Xclients in order to get Gnome. Everyone wins! At least until the next time Gnome get stupider, er, simpler.