SUMMARY: xdm and OpenWindows

From: Dave Sill (
Date: Wed Oct 02 1991 - 17:20:15 CDT

I recently asked about running xdm, the X Display Manager, with xnews,
the OpenWindows X server. I received the following substantive

From: (Ian MacPhedran)
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 91 20:23:37 CST

I have tried this with little success. There are severe problems with
OpenWindows which cause difficulties when not run as recommended by Sun.

I eventually had to drop the idea. It can be fixed, but I did not have
the time to pursue it.

Ian MacPhedran, Engineering Computer Centre, University of Saskatchewan.
2B13 Engineering Building, U. of S. Campus, Saskatoon, Sask., CANADA S7N 0W0
macphed@dvinci.USask.CA macphedran@sask.USask.CA


From: "(Simon Leinen)" <>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 1991 13:35:44 +0100

XDM works quite well with different brands of X servers.

We are running (X11R5) XDM on eight machines here; they serve nine
displays, seven SparcStations and two PCs running PC-XVIEW. One of
the workstations runs the OpenWindows 2.0 server because the person
who uses it needs SunView compatibility (for AutoCAD); the other
SparcStations all run MIT's X11R5 server.

The only difference between the various XDM installations is the
/usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xservers file. For the workstation running
OpenWindows it is:

:0 OpenWindows local /usr/bin/xnews

...for a workstation running the MIT server:

:0 SparcSun local /usr/bin/X11/X

...and for a displayless Sun driving a PC-XVIEW on a COMPAQ named

liacompaq2:0 PC-Xview foreign

/usr/bin/xnews is an executable file which contains:

exec ${OPENWINHOME}/bin/xnews

Users' startup scripts (.xsession) can then be conditionalized on the
existence of the OPENWINHOME environment variable (which is necessary
anyway). You probably also have to make symlinks from /usr/lib to the
lib*.so.* files under /usr/openwin/lib to make dynamic linking of the
OpenWindows programs work without. I find this easier than using the
LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable. If you make these links, you should rebuild
the cache using the command "/usr/etc/ldconfig".

We also have the following lines in /usr/lib/X11/xdm/Xresources that
announce the type of X server in XDM's login window. It dispatches on
the release number, which is a hack but works for the servers that we

#if RELEASE==5000
xlogin.Login.width: 450
xlogin.Login.greeting: LIA X11R5
xlogin.Login.greetFont: -*-Charter-medium-i-normal--48-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.promptFont: -*-Charter-medium-r-normal--28-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.font: -*-Charter-bold-r-normal--28-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
#if RELEASE==2000
xlogin.Login.width: 450
xlogin.Login.greeting: LIA OpenWindows 2.0
xlogin.Login.greetFont: -*-Palatino-medium-i-normal--48-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.promptFont: -*-Palatino-medium-r-normal--28-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.font: -*-Palatino-bold-r-normal--28-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
#if RELEASE==210
xlogin.Login.greeting: LIA PC-Xview/16
xlogin.Login.greetFont: -*-Helvetica-bold-o-normal--24-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.promptFont: -*-Helvetica-medium-r-normal--14-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1
xlogin.Login.font: -*-Helvetica-bold-r-normal--14-*-*-*-*-*-ISO8859-1

Hope this helps,
- --
Simon Leinen.
Laboratoire d'Intelligence Artificielle
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne


From: James J Dempsey <>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 91 11:17:25 -0400

If you use MIT X11 R5, there is a config option to install all the xdm
configuration files automatically. In addition, the config files
supplied with R5 are much better than those (if any) that were
supplied with R4. I just started using xdm with R5 and it has worked
fine. I'm using the vanilla MIT config files.


------- End of digest -------

I followed Simon Leinen's example and was indeed able to make it work.
But as Ian MacPhedran warned, it's not without it's problems.

I first used a very simple ~/.xsession that just invoked olwm. That
worked fine.

Then I tried to get it to fire up a couple cmdtools. I tried various
methods including running the cmdtools from .xsession, running
.xinitrc, copying .xinitrc to .xession and hacking at it, etc., but
nothing worked. If the cmdtool windows came up, they either didn't
respond (they actually never printed the shell prompt) or they came
up, but didn't work quite right (the prompt didn't start in the
leftmost column). In the former case, when I invoked an openwin
cmdtool from an xterm, I got errors like:

    for tty10260, tty fd 5, TTYSW tty write failure: I/O error

Also, xdm-errors indicated:

    ttysw_TIOCSPGRP: Interrupted system call

These problems might be related to attempting to run the SunView
compatibility stuff from .xinitrc.

So, has anyone suceeded in running xdm with openwin cmdtools? How
about SunView compatibility mode?

Dave Sill (	  Tug on anything in nature and you will find
Martin Marietta Energy Systems    it connected to everything else.
Workstation Support                                             --John Muir

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