[gdm-list] A review of patches in Debian packaging


currently distributions need a large number of patches to get GDM to
work. For example OpenSUSE includes 19 patches, Debian 24 and Ubuntu 29.
This amount means we almost work on forked versions and this means more
work for everyone.

Vincent (who maintains GDM in Suse) and Sébastien (ditto in Ubuntu)
suggested we started with a review of patches on gdm-list before
discussing them individually on Bugzilla. 

So here is the list for Debian. I am aware that many of them should have
been forwarded earlier, but it’s better late than never.

You can see the patches at

        Debian-specific. Non-system UIDs start at 1000 for us.
        What would be nice would be a way to specify this information as
        a configure option.

        Instead of hardcoding the Xnest/Xephyr choice at compile time,
        we replace it with a script in /usr/share/gdm that checks for
        their presence at run time.
        Anyway this is useless currently since nested logins are still
        not available.

        Debian-specific. Does not change a thing for stable releases.

        Since the gnome-session and dbus-daemon processes for the login
        manager are killed before starting the user session,
        --exit-with-session is not appropriate. On the contrary it will
        start a watcher process that remains after the user has logged

        This patch reintroduces the TTY manager from GDM 2.20 instead of
        letting X decide on which VT to run. Letting X decide makes it
        start on tty1 and crash as soon as getty does the same. There
        was broad consensus among Debian developers that neither GDM nor
        graphical boot thingies should not interfere with tty1 to tty6.

        Various things in the build system suppose that $libexecdir is
        the same for GDM and other packages: ConsoleKit, g-s-d,
        PolicyKit. This excludes FHS-compliant systems, which don’t have
        a /usr/libexec. Currently we hardcode the paths instead, but
        this should really be detected with pkg-config.

        To be sure the greeter doesn’t show users that shouldn’t be here
        for one reason or another, this patch sets the session type to
        "gdm" for user sessions, and requests to CK only sessions
        corresponding to this type.

        Use a default session set through alternatives instead of
        hardcoding gnome.session. See GNOME #594733


        This is a first attempt by Luca Bruno at re-introducing the
        nested login functionality, but xauth is still not right so the
        patch is disabled.

        Based on the Ubuntu patch with a handful of fixes. Allows to set
        configuration options from the user’s session, using PolicyKit.

        The configuration tool. Taken from Ubuntu with lots of cleanups.

        Already fixed in master.

        Specify the X server location through the environment. See GNOME

        As explained in GNOME #618047, user switching leaves a X server
        behind, which is not acceptable. It also has inconsistencies in
        terms of interface. All of it is built on the premise that X
        switches VTs by itself when dying, which is not right when
        launched from a display manager. Luckily there is a X server
        flag to disable this behavior (-novtswitch) so we have reworked
        user experience around it.

        Allows to set X server arguments in the configuration file. See
        GNOME #586777.

        Put gdm.schemas in /usr, it has nothing to do in /etc. The patch
        is probably missing the corresponding documentation update.

        Allows to run GDM without a local X server. This was reported as
        GNOME #567522 which was closed but not entirely fixed. Now it
        accepts to run if the X server fails to start, but this patch is
        more complete and allows to configure it in headless mode.

        Allow to log in someone after exiting from an autologin session.
        See GNOME #587606

        On NIS/LDAP systems with no local user, no user shows in the
        chooser, and in this case the “other…” choice disappears. I
        can’t think of a reason why this would be useful, apart
        preventing people from logging in. The patch makes the “other…”
        choice always displayed.

 .''`.      Josselin Mouette
: :' :
`. `'  “If you behave this way because you are blackmailed by someone,
  `-    […] I will see what I can do for you.”  -- Jörg Schilling

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