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Re: Flashing X

Erik Walthinsen writes:
> If XDM flashes wildly with monitor noise, it's because your X server is
> broken (misconfigured).

My monitor makes a sound and flashes every time the controller changes
modes. It does so every time the server grabs the console, for most X

> It sounds as if startx will have better luck getting the X server running
> and stable.  Since when?  startx does nothing that XDM doesn't while
> spawning the X server.  startx simply tries once and exits back to the
> calling shell if it failed.

Nonetheless it happened, just as I described (under BSDI rather than Linux,
but still XFree86). I was told that the problem had something to do with
authentication, but, since I was only trying xdm out of idle curiousity, I
did not pursue the matter.

> Getting XDM to catch a f[l]ailing X server is a quick code hack, probably
> not even that.

So it would seem, but it hasn't been done to my knowledge.

> Rather than arguing over whether startx or XDM is better,...

I'm not opposed to xdm.  I'm just trying to caution against throwing the
user into it until you are certain it will work right.

Have the user configure X from a menu shell.  Make it as simple as possible
(but no simpler!). Then let her chose <Test Graphics Mode> from a
menu. When she does so, put up a test screen for ten seconds or so, return
to the menu shell, and ask if it looked ok.  If she says yes, offer her the
choice of a) <Start Up in Graphics Mode> (xdm), or b) <Start Up in Text
Mode>, which will be a menu shell where one of the choices will be <Enter
Graphics Mode> (startx).  Configure the system as instructed, and next time
she boots the machine she can have a nice graphical login screen, or a text
one if that is what she chose.
John Hasler
john@dhh.gt.org (John Hasler)
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI