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Starting a GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Cucumber Linux provides a GUI (Graphical User Interface) through the X Window System. The basic X Window system is provided by the packages in the x-base package group, and additional X components are provided in the x-general package group. A list of the contents of these package groups can be found on the mirror.

There are two ways to start a graphical user session on Cucumber Linux, which are explained below. Note that it is considered a bad idea and a security hazard to run a GUI as root, so it is a good idea to create an unprivileged user first. How to do this is explained in the previous section, entitled “User and Group Management”.

Starting a GUI Once Logged In

The first option is to start the X Window System once you have already logged in from the command line login screen. To do this, run the command startx. This will not start a full desktop environment; it will start a very basic window manager known as TWM.

Since most users prefer a full desktop environment or a more robust window manager, Cucumber Linux also provides the XFCE desktop environment (provided by the xfce-base and xfce-general package groups) and the WindowMaker window manager (provided by the x-general package group).

To start the full XFCE desktop environment, run the command startxfce4.

To use WindowMaker, it will be necessary to edit the Xinit configuration file, which is located at /etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc. Edit this file, and change the line that says twm & to wmaker & and then run startx. Note that editing this file requires root permissions and will change the default window manager for the entire system. To change window manager for only yourself or without root access, first copy the /etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc. Then make the aforementioned changes to the ~/.xinitrc file.

Pro Tip: by default, the X window system will automatically start a clock and three terminals when you run startx. To prevent this from happening, remove last four lines from the default xinitrc and change the twm &/wmaker & line to exec twm/exec wmaker.

Enabling a Graphical Login Screen

The other way to start the X Window System is to enable the graphical login screen. This will also allow users to log in using a GUI, and will make it so individual users need not run startx.

To do this, simply edit the /etc/inittab file as root, and change the default runlevel from 3 to 5. This can be done by changing the id:3:initdefault: line to id:5:initdefault:.

Once you have done this, reboot your system and you will be greeted by a graphical login screen with a glorious picture of cucumbers on it!

Note that this requires the lxdm package to be installed, which is found in the xapps-general package group. If you do not get a graphical login screen after changing your /etc/inittab, you most likely do not have the lxdm package installed. Instructions on installing packages can be found on the package management page.

sysconfig/graphical_login_screen.txt · Last modified: 2018/08/30 20:04 (external edit)