Re: [rock-user] How do I setup gnome or kde to programm a si…

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Author: Stefan Fiedler
To: ROCK Users Mailing List
Subject: Re: [rock-user] How do I setup gnome or kde to programm a simple gui for X client
Am Mittwoch, 29. November 2006 08:37 schrieb philippe florent:
> Hello,
> I have been looking through X explanations ands stuffs, but I still can't
> figure out how to create a simple & thin gui for my system administration.
> I guess, 1st step is about the runlevel 5 for startup, so far it shows me
> an ugly ( :) ) login window, I want to be able to modify that to...

Hi Philippe,

In runlevel 5, init is by default configured to run the startxdm program,
see /etc/inittab:
        X:5:respawn:/usr/X11/bin/startxdm -nodaemon

startxdm is a small shell script that determines which display manager should
be used by reading the /etc/conf/xdm configuration file. /etc/conf/xdm can be
changed e.g. with the stone tool (X11/X.Org submenu). Common display managers
are xdm (from X11 packages), kdm from KDE and gdm from GNOME.
What each display manager does when started depends on its configuration, see
e.g. /usr/X11R7/lib/X11/xdm/xdm-config for xdm, as well as the respective man
pages. Typically they just prompt for login name and password, and start a
session (by running a session manager or a window manager).

So to change the login window, you'd have to change or configure the display

You can also change the type of session that xdm starts (e.g. which programs
are run after login), see 'man xdm', section SESSION PROGRAM.

> I installed gnome from the packages and I am not sure what is the bet thing
> to do afterward I've read that creating a gui using c++ and libc something
> would be a pain so, what to use ? tcl/tk? personaly I hate it
> Is there a way to make a gui with python for instance ?

To give gnome a try, choose gnome as display and session manager in stone,
X11/X.Org menu, and restart your X server (by logging out, or changing
runlevels). Please note that the gnome packages in ROCK are not that well
tested. With the GNOME 2.16.0 packages in subversion trunk, you get at least
a minimal desktop with some applets and a start menu from which you can run
other programs.

Personally I have only a bit of experience programming GUIs with Qt (a C++
toolkit/library) and Java. I like Qt a lot, esp. in combination with the
kdevelop IDE. GUI programming is possible with a lot of other libraries and
languages; e.g. bittorrent is a GUI program written in python. You could even
use language bindings like kdebindings to access libraries written in one
language from programs written in other languages.
But this is rather out of the scope of ROCK Linux; you'll probably find much
better resources for GUI programming on the Internet.

> Is kde better than gnome ? what is the big diference ?

Whether KDE or GNOME is better has certainly been the starting point of many
flame wars ;) I've never really used GNOME so far, so I can't tell.
Both offer a complete desktop environment with dozens of packages: office
suite, email client, web browser, multimedia software, admin tools, etc. The
sets of default packages are largely different, but it is often possible to
use programs from one desktop environment on the other.
KDE is based on the Qt libraries, while GNOME mostly uses its own base
libraries. Developers from both desktops are working with and
others on standardizing the Linux desktop.
Both projects also offer much more information for developers and users than I
could provide you with :)

With best regards,
        Stefan Fiedler

> thx for hlp
> regs
> Phil

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you 
  Mohandas Gandhi 
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