GDM2 2.19.0 (unstable), the "Xian" Release
Posted on: 04/23/2007 03:24 PM

If you have no clue what GDM is, refer to the documentation links at the bottom of this announcement.

There has been a lot of work in GDM in the 2.19 unstable branch, and though we've made a real effort to make sure this version of GDM works reasonably, I'm sure there are many issues that have been introduced into the code. The GDM development team would greatly appreciate hearing about any issues or bugs that you find. Link to bug tracking tool for GDM at the bottom of this announcement.

The 2.19.0 release is an unstable release of the GNOME Display Manager (GDM) program with the following bug fixes and improvements:

Interface Changes:

- Now the GDM PidFile is now specified as /var/run/ and the GDM configuration key PidFile has been deprecated. The location of the PidFile can be configured with the configure --with-pid-file option. (Brian Cameron, William Jon McCann)

- The GDM AlwaysRestartServer configuration option is deprecated and GDM will now always restart the Xserver between users. This makes GDM work more reliably since reusing the Xserver can expose memory leaks and instabilities in the Xserver code. (Brian Cameron, William Jon McCann)

- Now the GDM LogDir is set to /var/log/gdm rather than /var/lib/log/gdm by default. Users can configure this with the configure --with-log-file option. (Brian Cameron)

- Remove logic to call whack_clients when closing the session. This code was written to address bug #126071, to ensure that all clients are killed on session exit. However, this approach does not work well and causes GDM to fail badly when you kill the Xserver via control-al-backspace on some environments. If there is still a need to kill clients on session exit, a better approach will need to be designed. (Cesare Tirabassi)

- Now GDM supports Xephyr as the Nested Xserver command. GDM will use Xephyr by default if it is on the system, and fallback to Xnest. Xephyr works much better than Xnest. (Brian Cameron)

- Now gdmgreeter will not display the Face Browser is the GDM configuration option Browser is false. Now gdmsetup supports a "Themed with face browser" option to support selecting this.

- Comment in GDM System Defaults configuration file now shows "true" for ConfigAvailable since this value has been defaulting to true for some time and the comment in the System Defaults configuration file was incorrect.

- Now gdmphotosetup.desktop specifies NotShowIn=GNOME since the About-Me capplet is a better place for configuring the user's face image in

New interfaces:

- Add min-screen-height tag to gdmgreeter parser logic so that certain elements in the theme will only display if the screen is large enough. (Ray Strode).

- New configuration option SystemCommandsInMenu to configure which system commands (reboot, shutdown, suspend, etc.) appear in the GDM greeter system menu. New configuration option AllowLogoutActions to specify which system commands are supported by the QUERY_LOGOUT_ACTION, SET_LOGOUT_ACTION, and SET_SAFE_LOGOUT action gdmflexiserver commands. This allows GDM to be configured to support shutdown, reboot, suspend from the user session, but no from the login screen directly, if desired. In situations where you want the user to authenticate before being able to shutdown or reboot the machine, this feature would be useful.

- GDM Now supports RBAC (Role Based Access Control) for specifying which actions (reboot, shutdown, suspend, etc.) are supported on a per-user basis. This feature is only available if GDM is compiled with RBAC support enabled. The new configuration option RBACSystemCommandKeys allows an RBAC key to be specified for each system command. Only users who have RBAC authority will be able to query or set the logout action. The GDM GUI will only display actions for which the "gdm" user has RBAC authority. GDM will assume that all users have authority for actions which do not have an RBAC key associated with them.

- Now support XnestUnscaledFontPath configuration option, which allows GDM to work with Xnest. Xorg 7.2 XGetFontPath function now returns fontpath with the ":unscaled" prefix, which Xsun Xnest cannot handle. Setting XnestUnscaledFontPath=false, will strip the ":unscaled" prefix from the fontpath so that it can work. (Brian Cameron)

New features, improvements, and bug fixes:

- GDM had a bug that would happen after the user asked to run the "Configure GDM" menu choice. If the user typed the wrong passwor,
it would ask up to 3 times. If the user typed the correct password on the 2nd or 3rd try, it would start a root user session rather than running gdmsetup. This problem would only happen if using PAM for authenticating passwords. Now GDM only asks for the root passwords once, and only runs gdmsetup if the password is correct. This bug was introduced into GDM 2.18.0 when Ludwig Nussel made some improvements to make the PAM logic more generic (Brian Cameron)

- Much cleanup work in the GDM code, which now makes more use of GObjects (e.g. XDMCP code). Configuration logic rewritten to no longer use vicious-extensions and now uses GKeyFile. (William Jon McCann)

- Now when a user changes the language choice in GDM, it will ask if the user wants to restart the GDM GUI in the selected language. (Takao Fujiwara, Brian Cameron)

- Many improvements supporting languages. Now all LC_* settings are normalized to LANG, and input methods (IIIM-gt;XIM) are started. (Hidetoshi Tajima, Chookij Vanatham)

- Fix check in gdmgreeter so that the language combo style selection works. (Simon)

- Add ATK label for the entry field in gdmgreeter for better accessibility support. (David Zeuthen)

- In gdmsetup, only show tar and compressed tar files in the file chooser for selecting gdmgreeter themes to install. (Kristof Vansant)

- Now the "Configure GDM" option is not displayed when accessibility is enabled in GDM. This is because gdmsetup currently hangs when the user tries to run gdmsetup from the greeter program. Not really a fix, but prevents the user from getting into a situation that causes a system hang. (Brian Cameron)

- Now Face Browser displays non-utf8 characters as '?' rather than crashing when trying to display such characters. (Ray Strode)

- Improve GDM messages, correcting spelling and grammar mistakes (Brian Cameron)

- Fix detection of user specified in flexi command. (William Jon McCann)

- gdmflexiserver now properly initializes GTK+. (William Jon McCann)

- Call "xrdb -merge /etc/X11/Xresources" in the Init script so that the GDM GUI is properly configured with Xft rsources. Fixes bug #301826. (Ray Strode)

- Now desktop categories for all GDM related desktop files should be correct. (Brian Cameron)

- Fix gdm startup script so it works with Solaris /bin/sh. (Brian Cameron)

- Fix a strcpy call in gui/gdmlanguages.c so source and destination do not overlap. (Ray Strode)

- Remove gnome glade references since GNOME does not use libglade anymore. (Kristof Vansant)

- Many improvements to GDM docs. (Brian Cameron, William Jon McCann)

- Translation updates (Djihed Afifi, Takeshi AIHANA, Leonardo Ferreira Fontenelle, Jakub Friedl, Pema Geyleg, Priit Laes, Duarte Loreto, Kjartan Maraas, Daniel Nylander, Kostas Papadimas, Ignacio Casal Quinteiro, Hendrik Richter, Funda Wang)

Note: GDM2 was originally written by Martin K. Petersen lt;mkp@mkp.netgt;.Much work has been done on GDM2 by George Lebl; and Brian Cameronnow currently shares maintainership duties with the Queen of England.

Note2: If installing from the tarball do note that make install overwrites most of the setup files, all except gdm.conf. It will however save backups with the .orig extension first.

Note3: Note3 has been depracated ...


Online Documentation -
Latest Stable -
Latest Unstable -
Bug Reporting - in the "gdm" category.

Have fun,


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