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Release Digest: GNOME, June 11, 2003

Jun 12, 2003, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])

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

[note that a stable version came out may 5th but I didn't announce it because I was lazy, but there was nothing new there except translations, note the use of different parenthesis for this note as opposed to the previous note, there is no special reason for this though]

Now that I'm finished with school at least for the semester (You may now call me ... "Master George"), I have a lot more time for working on various features of gdm. The feature freeze thing for GNOME 2.4 does kind of put a damper on things, but that never stopped me before ... So let's review what's new:

First, the session setup is now complete broken^H^H^H^H^H^Hreworked. This is from the discussions with Oswald Buddenhagen, the KDM dude, so in the future at least part of the session setup will be shared with KDM. The way this works is that there is only ONE session script and many .desktop files for various sessions (only two sessions shipped though:). Also on the KDM-GDM unification front, face browser now reads ~/.face instead of ~/.gnome2/photo, and the selection of language and session is stored in the ~/.dmrc file. I have only done these changes yesterday so it is likely that something is seriously broken. I have logged in myself a few times testing this, but your mileage (or kilometrage) may vary. Also the details of this are subject to change if I feel particularly frisky at some point before actual code freeze or whatnot.

In any case there's lots of other fun stuff changed, such as the PAM support is reworked to ask for the username itself, and many other things which are likely to break your setup. Two things are removed too, the LocalNoPasswordUsers is removed since it wasn't possible with the new PAM setup, and the GNOME session chooser is gone since it wasn't really working anyway, and all distros turned it off I think.

Oh, and there is a theme writing document in the docs/ directory of the tarball.

And now for the standard part of the release announcement:

GDM is the GNOME Display Manager, it is the little proggie that runs in the background, runs your X sessions, presents you with a login box and then tells you to piss off because you forgot your password. It does pretty much everything that you would want to use xdm for, but doesn't involve as much crack. It doesn't use any code from xdm, and has a more paranoid and safer design overall. It also includes many features over xdm, the biggest one of which is that it is more user friendly, even if your X setup is failing. The goal is that users should never, ever have to use the command line to customize or troubleshoot gdm. It of course supports xdmcp, and in fact extends xdmcp a little bit in places where I thought xdm was lacking (but is still compatible with xdm's xdmcp).


Highlights of

  • Completely new session setup, born out of discussions with Oswald Buddenhagen, the KDM maintainer, which will bring about common session setup for both GDM and KDM. We now basically have a common /etc/X11/dm/Sessions directory where there are .desktop files are stored which describe sessions and these will be shared among KDM and GDM. Among other things this also makes the face browser default to using ~/.face and the per user saved info is in ~/.dmrc
  • The greeter.dtd is updated and there is theme creation documentation (Brian Cameron, Aidan Butler, me)
  • A face browser for the graphical greeter. This is selecting by selecting a theme that implements it. Add happygnome-list which does. (Patrizio Bruno, me)
  • The standard greeter has a GtkTreeView based face browser based on the new one from the graphical greeter.
  • Accesibility work. Add posibility of adding modules to the greeter through AddGtkModules and GtkModulesList. Add guesture listeners. Dwell mouse events. (Niall Power, Brian Cameron)
  • Attempt at getting things HIG-ified
  • Add "Run XDMCP chooser" button to the system menu, which is now called the "Actions" menu, also allow a server type that runs a chooser by adding a "chooser=true" to a server definition.
  • The XDMCP chooser got an overhaul internally. Also there is an "Add" button to add new hosts by typing in the hostname.
  • Add a PostLogin script which is run right after login succeeds but before any setup is done. This can be used if the users home directory needs to be setup here.
  • Add security/DisallowTCP which will append -nolisten tcp to all console displays, and this is by default true. Fixes #87291
  • PingInterval is now PingIntervalSeconds and is now in seconds, it makes no sense in minutes really since nobody is that patient anymore these days, also the comment in the config file said seconds, so I suppose this is a bugfix, should "fix" #103266
  • Add a "Delete theme" button to gdmsetup, add a scroll window to the theme preview, fixes #110302 and #104757
  • PAM now asks for username itself. This made LocalNoPasswordUsers impossible, and so that was removed. This way hopefully we should work with some more pam setups, such as smartcard ones. Fixes issues from #106537
  • The GNOME session chooser stuff is removed since it wasn't working all right anyway and was kind of icky.
  • The F10 menu in the graphical greeter is nicer.
  • When you doubleclick on the radiobutton in graphical greeter Actions menu, it activates the item (Mihael Vrbanec)
  • There is the Welcome label and RemoteWelcome label now. The local Welcome label is now just "Welcome" since "Welcome to localhost" is silly. Also the graphical greeter uses this, as long as you use the stock label text.
  • Check for the capslock turned on before warning about it, and also only mention "bad username or password" if we actually asked for a password. Fixes #71496
  • The "subtype" field to the "show" item for the themes is gone, it was stupid and I hope no one used it (it wasn't documented anyhow).
  • A bunch of standard pam messages are now translated inside gdm
  • If there are many sessions available the graphical greeter presents a scrolled window, fixes #104120
  • Don't set RUSER for PAM and don't set RHOST if this is a console login, apparently this is what it should be doing according to the Sun guys, fixes issues from #106537
  • The loop of death is now working as it should be and is not as sensitive. Also the toplevel loop of death does not abort the display, but only disables it for 2 minutes.
  • Suspend now works much better and doesn't whack the gdm process, fixes #108700
  • When more then 50 users on the system don't put them all into the combobox in gdmsetup, semi-fixes #111830
  • When using shadow passwords, fall back to standard if shadow is not available, fixes #109765 (
  • Use strerror and not g_strerror as the latter returns UTF-8, fixes #106655
  • Set TEXTDOMAIN to GETTEXT_PACKAGE for the x keeps failing script, fixes #106657 (Owen Taylor)
  • gdmopens are done using login shell, fixes #106658, also gdmopen doesn't deallocate the vt which is apparently not kosher and fixes #106656 (Owen Taylor, me)
  • Fix RedHat #91031, prepend a dash rather then make shell argv[0] a dash (Michael Blandford)
  • On Linux detect the runlevel and try to detect the user having run shutdown (from say gnome-session) and if so suspend the slave operation for 30 seconds and wait what happens. Most likely we'll get whacked.
  • Fix typos and change some strings, #106207, #105923, #56654 among others
  • gdmmktemp is gone as we have not been using it, also gdmaskpass and gdmopen are now in libexec
  • Many minor fixes
  • Build fixes (Brian Cameron, me)
  • Solaris fixes (Brian Cameron, Niall Power)
  • Translation updates, language additions and such (Danilo Aegan, Guntupalli Karunakar, Abel Cheung, me, Christian Rose, Christophe Merlet, Jordi Mallach, Christian Neumair, Miroslav Trmac, Pablo Gonzalo del Campo, Hasbullah Bin Pit, Vincent van Adrighem, Evandro Fernandes Giovanini, David Barzilay, Lucas 'Basurero' Vieites, Duarte Loreto, Kostas Papadimas, KAMAGASAKO Masatoshi, Dmitry G. Mastrukov)

Note: GDM2 was originally written by Martin K. Petersen <>, 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 ...


Sorry no RPMS. There is a spec file included in the tarball and it may or may not work (it should, and it did some time ago but I haven't tried it lately).

Have fun,


PS: I suppose most people are completely uninterested in my fish, which is why I keep writing about them in the PS of gdm announcements. Though obviously, since there hasn't been many announcements lately, you have not heard about my fish for a while. And that's why I'm not going to tell you anything about my fish this time. Actually since I gotta go finish working on a bookshelf, I'm not going to tell you anything silly: HAH! No silliness from me this time. PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!!!! (imagine being sprayed with with tiny drops of saliva when you are reading the PFFFT, since that's what should happen on the receiving end)

George <>

A good memory is needed after one has lied.

  • Pierre Corneille

gucharmap 0.8.0


gucharmap 0.8.0


gucharmap is a Unicode character map using GTK+ 2.2 or later.


  • full character details are now in a textview in separate tab
  • as a result of this, much of the View menu evaporates
  • characters mentioned in the details tabs are clickable links; back and forward history for clicked-characters
  • useful character information is shown in the status bar; this includes at a minimum the codepoint and character name; for CJK ideographs, the definition; usage notes if the character has any
  • got rid of the U+xxxx page listings in the left pane, since they weren't very useful
  • search and jump-to-codepoint dialogs are a bit nicer, work better
  • got rid of Zoom Mode menu item; keyboard users can hold down Shift instead
  • install "gnome-character-map" symlink to gucharmap (requested by the gcharmap maintainer)
  • change "Char_map" menu to "_File"
  • it says in the magnification window which font is actually being used to draw the character
  • function names in the public API changed to start with "gucharmap_" prefix
  • header files start with "gucharmap"; only need to #include <gucharmap/gucharmap.h>


  • ./configure option not to generate gtk.immodules (mainly useful for distro package maintainers)
  • accessibility fix: emit active-descendant-changed signal when selected cell changes (bug #112981, Padraig O'Briain)
  • ignore keypresses with modifiers in the character table

Home Page


GNOME Software Map entry

multi-backgrounds-daemon 0.1.1


multi-backgrounds-daemon 0.1.1


A daemon for Gnome 2 that change your backgound when you switch to other workspace


2003-06-06 Fix workspace name / gconf bug


GNOME Software Map entry

GtkSourceView 0.3.0


GtkSourceView 0.3.0


It's a text widget that extends the standard Gtk+ 2.x GtkTextView. It improves it by implementing syntax highlighting and other features typical of a source editor.

It's currently being used by gedit, Glimmer source code editor and other projects like DiaSCE2 and Mono Debugger.

Two new (big) features in this release: printing (with highlighting) support and API reference documentation building. The docs are still very incomplete (around 35% coverage) but the plan is to finish them during the incoming API freeze.

Thanks to Jeroen Zwartepoorte we now have case insensitive search support integrated, with a GtkTextIter-like API.

Also, 6 new translations have been added. Thanks a lot to the translators for their work.

On the same subject, language spec files now have user visible strings (name and section primarily) translatable. For example, gedit has a menu with all highlighting styles available, categorized by section. If you're creating a .lang file outside of GtkSourceView you need to provide the translation domain as an attribute (translation-domain) in the "language" node of the XML file. And you need to use CVS HEAD intltool to extract marked strings.


  • GLib and GTK+ 2.2.0 or later
  • LibXML2 2.5.0 or later
  • libgnomeprint 2.2.0 or later

News since last release

  • Added missing 'GenericName' keyword in desktop.lang (bug #113467) [Gustavo Giráldez]
  • Fix regex pattern for character constants in C/C++/Ada (bug #113498) [Michael Terry]
  • API reference documentation building infrastructure [Gustavo]
  • Added support for translation of user visible strings in language spec files [Gustavo]
  • Documented GtkSourceBuffer [Gustavo]
  • Case insensitive search functions (documented ;-) [Jeroen Zwartepoorte]
  • Added missing GtkSourceLanguage macro (pointed by Jeff Franks) [Gustavo]
  • Fix typo in gtksourcelanguagesmanager.c (bug #113278) [Alex Duggan]
  • Printing support [Gustavo]
  • Some minor bugfixes and internal API changes, such as taking const GtkTextIters in places where they are not supposed to change [Gustavo]
  • Treat compiler warnings as errors by default [Gustavo]
  • gtk_sourcebuffer_findbracket_match has been renamed to gtk_sourceiter_findmatching_bracket [Paolo Maggi]
  • Defined a minimal list of required styles for a style scheme to implement [Paolo]
  • Fix translatable string (bug #114404) [Gustavo]

New and updated translations

  • Czech (new) [Miloslav Trmac]
  • Portuguese (new) [Duarte Loreto]
  • Russian (new) [Dmitry G. Mastrukov]
  • Spanish (new) [Francisco Javier Fernandez]
  • German (new) [Christian Neumair]
  • Traditional Chinese (new) [Abel Cheung]
  • Swedish [Christian Rose]