GDM2 (stable), the "Next Big Thing" release
Posted on: 06/11/2005 06:39 AM


(If you have no clue what gdm is, skip a few paragraphs down first)

The release of GDM2 has lots of neat stuff. Many bug fixes, usability improvements, and new features. The release has been bumped to 2.8 due to a few interface changes that are detailed below.

Interface Changes:

- Now gdm, gdm-binary, gdmsetup are installed to /sbin and
gdmchooser, gdmgreeter, gdmlogin are installed to /libexec.
This better conforms to UNIX recommend installation locations.
The gdmconfig and gdmXnest symlinks have been removed since
they were redundant. Distributions will need to modify the
way GDM programs are launched to reflect these changes.
(Brian Cameron)

- gdm.conf and GdmSetup now use the DefaultWelcome and
DefaultRemoteWelcome keys to specify if the default message should
be used. Now the Welcome and RemoteWelcome keys are empty
by default. This is to avoid putting strings that are translated
in the gdm.conf file. Users that want to use a non-default
welcome string will need to ensure that DefaultWelcome and/or
DefaultRemoteWelcome are set to false. (Brian Cameron)

- Now users to be included in the face browser need to be
identified using the gdm.conf "Include" configure option or the
"Face Browser" tab in gdmsetup. Previously, GDM parsed the
system's password file for a complete list of users and excluded
userid's listed in the gdm.conf "Exclude" configure option.
This behavior did not work well on systems that use NIS for
storing passwords. This previous behavior may be turned back
on by setting the gdm.conf "IncludeAll" configure option to
"true". (Brian Cameron)

- xevie Xserver extension is now turned on by default on Linux for
better a11y support.

- /bin/ksh is used in the GDM2 Xsession script on Solaris. Since
this script sources the user's $HOME/.profile, ksh works better
if the profile has bash/ksh style syntax. (Brian Cameron)

Other Changes:

- Fix so GDM works better on BSD and MacOS. Upon getting EOF on
socket/pipe/etc. G_IO_IN is always set and G_IO_HUP may not be
set. Therefore, if a length lt;= 0 is returned from read(), the
socket is closed. This prevents gdm2 from causing high CPU-load
after logout. (Joe Marcus Clarke)

- Now support "session migration" using DMX. Refer to docs.
(Mark McLoughlin)

- Now support "Dynamic Xservers". Refer to docs. (Bob Terek)

- The background colors used in gdmgreeter's Face Browser in can now
be themed using the lt;color iconcolor="" "labelcolor=""gt; syntax.
The Face Browser now shrinks so it is the same size as the treeview
so extra white space isn't shown. (Brian Cameron)

- To better conform to the Usability Guide, gdmlogin and gdmgreeter
now supports an "OK" button which functions the same as hitting
lt;Returngt; and a Cancel button which allows the user to go back to
the "Username" prompt without having to enter an invalid password.
(Brian Cameron)

- The Face Browser usability has been improved. Now the user can
select a different face without having to enter an invalid
password. Single-clicking on the face takes the user to Password
entry. The cancel button can be used to get back to "Username"
entry. (Brian Cameron)

- GDM now ships with a collection of default faces installed to
datadir/pixmaps/faces. (Jaap A. Haitsma)

- Support for ratio scaling of SVG images. (Vincent Untz)

- Better left-handed support. Now right and left mouse buttons can
be used in all GDM windows/dialogs/etc. (Brian Cameron)

- Now can use XDMCP from Xnest session. (Leena Gunda)

- Now login success/failure sounds can be selected in gdm.conf or
in the Accessibility tab of gdmsetup. (Andrew Case,
Mark McLoughlin)

- Now "random theme" can be selected in the gdm.conf file or
gdmsetup to allow a different theme to be used for each login.
(Andrew Case)

- Now support background programs that are started after a timedelay
and can be restarted after a delay. Useful for running a
screensaver at login time. (Laurent Birtz)

- gdmphotosetup has been improved so it now scales the face image
to GDM's max icon size before saving it. By default it looks
in datadir/pixmaps/faces to find face images. (Brian Cameron)

- lt;Controlgt;-U may now be used to clear the entry field. Now lt;Tabgt;
works like lt;Entergt; in the login screen. (Brian Cameron)

- gdmflexiserver now supports the GET_CONFIG command, so that other
programs can access the GDM configuration data in a stable fashion.
This is useful for other programs that might want to know what the
system suspend/halt/reboot command is or what the max icon size for
creating gdm2 face images, etc. (Brian Cameron)

- Flexiserver commands are now sent as a single call to
gdm_connection_write or gdm_connection_printf rather than building
commands and sending them in pieces. Fixes bug #158799.
(Brian Cameron)

- Now gesture listener configuration files specify AT programs by
full PATH (default EXPANDED_BINDIR). This can be overridden via
the --with-at-bindir configure option. Since AT programs are
launched as user gdm2, it is more secure to not depend on PATH.
(Brian Cameron)

- Now use more sensible arguments for starting magnifier.
(Bill Haneman)

- gdmsetup Now has a separate tab for configuring the Face Browser,
and for configuring the Xserver. Now the checkboxes for turning
on the Face Browser and XDMCP are on the Security tab. The
Face Browser and XDMCP tabs are insenitive if they are not
enabled. Now users can turn on/off Theme menu choice for gdmlogin
in the Accessibility tab. Can turn on/off debug in the Security
tab. RemoteWelcome is insensitive if XDMCP is not enabled.
Better mnemonics. (Brian Cameron, Andrew Case)

- GDM now no longer uses deprecated widgets. The new file selection
widget is used (which no longer core dumps if you click on the
sidebars). GtkComboBox and GtkComboBoxEntry are used instead
of GtkEntry and GtkOptionMenu (Brian Cameron)

- gdmthemetester now uses gdmwhich instead of which, so it works
better on Solaris. (Brian Cameron)

- Timed login message is displayed in a separate label on gdmlogin
which avoids problems caused because different things were trying
to use the same label for status messages. Reorganized gdmlogin
screen so it no longer should resize as it is being used.
(Brian Cameron)

- The max size of the username/password entry is now set to
PAM_MAX_RESP_SIZE to allow long username/password entry. If
PAM is not set, it is defaulted to 256. (Brian Cameron,
Ali Akcaagac)

- Now dialogs that ask the user if they want to change their default
language/session have a Cancel button so the user can return to
the login screen. (Brian Cameron)

- Theme save remembers where the last theme was installed and opens
to that location. Also fixed bug which was causing *.tar theme
files to not install properly. (Brian Cameron)

- No longer rely on Xserver physical screen geometry which sometimes
causes text to be too big or too small. Now use gdk/pango functions
to get root window resources. (Ray Strode)

- Better sorting of session names in the Session menu. (Ray Strode)

- Remove gdm_debug from signal handlers since they aren't safe in
signal handlers (Mark McLoughlin)

- Many strings, docs, README's have been improved. Better wording,
better grammar. (Brian Cameron, Seb Wills, Adam Weinberger, Abel
Cheung, Kjartan Maraas, Danilo \\305\\240egan, Nicholas Skehin)

- Many translation improvements. Entries in the language list
now show their encoding so you no longer see what appear to be
identical entries in the language list. (Nikos Charonitakis,
Theppitak Karoonboonyanan, Priit Laes, David Lodge, Jordi Mallach,
Kjartan Maraas, Gareth Owen, Ahmad Riza H Nst, Kostas Papadimas,
Francisco Javier F. Serrador, Danilo \\305\\240egan,
Alexander Shopov, \\303\\205smund Skj\\303\\246veland,
Clytie Siddall, Miloslav Trmac, Tommi Vainikainen, Funda Wang,
Adam Weinberger)

- gi18n.h is used instead of libgnome header files.
(Christian - Manny Calavera - Neumair)

- Some cleanup (Brian Cameron, Mark McLoughlin)

Note: GDM2 was originally written by Martin K. Petersen lt;mkp@mkp.netgt;, and
has for a while now been maintained by the Queen of England. She is usually
not responsive to bug reports or feature requests. You can try to send them
to me however.

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 ...



No RPM this time around BTW. Have fun. A spec file is included though,
so you can try:

rpmbuild -ta gdm-whatever.tar.gz

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