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Release Digest: GNOME, January 8, 2004

Jan 09, 2004, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame



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

If anyone doesn't know, I have developed a fetish for creating new terms to confuse anyone working on/with GDM. I think many people wonder what the hell is SUP and what the hell is SOP. SUP is the socket protocol and SOP is the fifo protocol of communicating to GDM. I think SUP meant something like Socket User Protocol and SOP is Slave Operating Protocol (even though it's not even used for that anymore). I will keep using these names instead of the more logical "socket" and "fifo" terms because ... because ... because I made up those terms!

In any case there are some additions to the SUP protocol with this release, mainly the shutdown/reboot stuff is accessible through there making it possible for a session manager to sanely do shutdown or reboot on logout without any consolehelper thingie. Further by actually working on making the fast user switching stuff work a bit more, gdmflexiserver now gives you a list of current logins, and I found out that it's not that easy to switch virtual terminals, so you can do that through the SUP protocol as well. I'm mainly proud of the "mouse twiddling" feature of switching the VT. When you use GDM to switch the VT, GDM will look if it owns that VT and if so it will "twiddle" the mouse pointer to tickle the screensaver. This is nice in that for example the lock dialog appears instead of getting a blank screen. Yeah, it's that easy to amuse myself. There's also the GO SOP command along with the --wait-for-go command line argument, which is written specifically for Seth and that nobody else will likely use anytime soon :)

Speaking of the more useless features, we now support IPv6 courtesy of Sun and Wipro. As if your terminal lab was running out of IPv4 address space. In any case it's at least useful if you want to run your lab in a buzzword compliant environment.

Plus lots of small random features/fixes. One thing to note is that NOW YOU NEED DEVELOPMENT GTK+. This is kind of a departure from GDM usually requiring more common installations even in development series (such as theoretically compiling on any gnome 2.x system), but I offer the following argument in support of this recent change: PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFT!


Have fun. (Or as Chema corrected me once, this should be "Have sex."

1.7          (jirka    03-May-01):
1.14         (chema    22-May-01): Have sex.
1.1          (jirka    14-Mar-01):
1.1          (jirka    14-Mar-01): -George


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

  • Add accessibility setting to gdmsetup and allow setting an arbitrary sound for the "ready for login" sound. (#125487)
  • gdmflexiserver now lists running sessions if there are some and allow the users to easily switch. (#127038)
  • Display last login when the user enters their name (can be turned off) (#128940)
  • Inactive flexiservers are reaped by default after 5 minutes.
  • Accessibility modules set the busy cursor for 2 secs to show that an action was started (#125153)
  • Doubleclicking on a language in graphical greeter selects it (Kirk Mitchener, #123199)
  • Optional info message on login (sort of like motd) (Anton Altaparmakov, #125219)
  • New SUP (socket protocol) commands to request shutdown/reboot after session ends or after all users log out. Also new SUP commands for querying and setting the VT on Linux.
  • A --wait-for-go option that will start one X server and then wait until GO is sent through the fifo before going further.
  • IPv6 support (Archana Shah)
  • Built in sessions are out of /etc/X11/dm/Sessions and moved to <datadir>/gdm/BuiltInSessions
  • Fix chooser commonication vs. accessibility stuff (#125064)
  • Fix RetryDelay and make it default to 1 and not 3 (Leena Gunda, me, #128507)
  • On AIX without PAM, password expiration is done (Vincent Berger, me, #123766)
  • On crypt/shadow the double login warning was too early, now done after authentication as in the PAM setup.
  • Clients are now forcibly whacked at session stop, should "fix" #126071
  • Use GtkFileChooser in gdmsetup (Jan Arne Petersen, #128668)
  • Paranoia: Check owenership of the socket before using it
  • Fix xdmcp session counting (#126465)
  • Warn the user when they want to set root as autologin (RH #97716)
  • StandardXServer can now have arguments
  • Default color is now #76848F and the PreSession script tries to use the default gdm color to fix #128220
  • Fix assert failure when starting Xnest (#127780)
  • Indent the chooser and config toggles in the setup (#120639)
  • Lots of cleanup and fixes and adding to the general paranoia in the code. (me, Ray Strode, Brian Cameron)
  • Translation updates (Miloslav Trmac, Andras Timar, David O'Callaghan, Paul Duffy, Danilo Segan, Vincent van Adrighem, Kostas Papadimas, Jordi Mallach, Ole Laursen, Dmitry G. Mastrukov, Russian team, Sanlig Badral, Francisco Javier F. Serrador, Lucas Vieites, Laurent Dhima, Asmund Skjaeveland, Artur Flinta, Duarte Loreto, Robert Sedak, Christophe Merlet, Christian Neumair, Zygimantas Berucka)

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


Webpage: http://www.jirka.org/gdm.html

I built an RPM this time around BTW. Have fun. A spec file is included so you can also try:

rpmbuild -ta gdm-whatever.tar.gz

Have fun (or whatever else you wish to be having),


PS: Have you noticed that there were a lot more features in the jump from 2.4.1.x to 2.4.4.x, then there are from 2.4.4.x to 2.5.x.x? This is an apparent versioning conspiracy. Yes, the <substitute favourite conspiracy group here> are behind it. In fact <substitute favourite conspiracy group here> are behind everything in my opinion. Just because your not paranoid doesn't mean they won't change the version numbers on you. See, it's happening all over. Think Solaris 2.6 -> 7. GDM still can't beat that. Perhaps next GDM will be version 8623 which has the nice feature of being prime.

PS2: Which reminds me of something that happened to me recently. You know you are in a university math department building when you have an elevator conversation with random people you don't know about the primeness of different floors and the merits of the 6th floor being perfect (note that AFAIK, the number theorists, and other fields as well, seem to be dense on the 7th floor rather then the 6th)

George <jirka@5z.com>

I wanna be sedated. -- Ramones

Guikachu 1.3.6

Dear users of both large and small computing tools,

A new development release of Guikachu is available.

About Guikachu

Guikachu is a GNOME application for graphical editing of resource files for PalmOS-based pocket computers. The user interface is modelled after Glade, the GNOME UI builder.

Catch it all from http://cactus.rulez.org/projects/guikachu/


  • Uses GNOME-VFS, you can load files from anywhere, e.g. from the Web, from an SMB share, from a tarball.
  • Exporting to PilRC .rcp files
  • Support for non-Palm PilRC targets (like the eBookMan)
  • Support for the following PalmOS resource types:
    • String and string list resources
    • Dialog resources
    • Menu resources
    • Form resources
    • Bitmap resources
    • Per-application resources (e.g. version number)
  • WYSIWYG Form Editor, with drag & drop capability and visual resizing
  • Flexible, complete undo support
  • Sample file with sample GNU PalmOS SDK-based application
  • Documentation (a complete user's manual)

About these releases

This release is part of the 1.3 development branch, so it's all about crazy experimentations and not about providing a polished, well-tested product -- so don't quite replace your 1.2 Guikachu just yet.

New in this version:

  • Support for BITMAP resources and FORMBITMAP widgets
  • Support for color Palm devices
  • New translations: Malaysian, Macedonian, Serbian
  • Updated several translations

Guikachu uses GTKmm and GNOMEmm for its user interface. I/O is implemented via GNOME-VFS, the XML storage format is managed with the libxml package. Dialog windows are loaded via libglade. GConf is used to store user preferences. You will need the versions of these packages available in the GNOME 1.4 bundle (with the exception of GNOMEmm which you will need to upgrade to the recently released version 1.2.4). The ImageMagick library is used for managing bitmap resources. To actually create the PalmOS resource files, you will also need PilRC (part of the GNU PalmOS SDK) to compile the .rpc files produced by Guikachu.

Beware of bugámons!


GNOME System Tools 0.31.1

The GNOME System Tools version 0.31.1 "[Insert random thought here]" have been released.

The GNOME System Tools are a set of cross-platform configuration utilities for Linux and other Unix systems. Internally they are divided in frontends and backends. The frontend knows nothing about the underlying system and provides the same user interface across the different types of systems. The backend knows how to read and write the configuration information. The GNOME System Tools do not impose a new database on the system: they work with the default configuration files so that configuration can still be done by hand or by other tools.

Changes since last release


  • Added support for Mandrake 9.2 (me)
  • Fixed backends i18n breakage that made it probably work only in debian (me)
  • Fixed some building issues (Jose Carlos, me)


  • Added partial support for slackware, it now parses rc.inet1.conf/ for eth devices. PPP, IrLan and plip are still to come (me)


  • Improved slackware services parsing, now it also parses rc.inet2 (me)
  • Fixed a couple of typos in the services descriptions

    ... plus other lots of bugfixing

Thanks to Jose Carlos Garcia Sogo for submitting patches Thanks to Elros Cyriatan for telling the typos


  • Czech (Miloslav Trmac)
  • Danish (Ole Laursen)
  • Dutch (Elros Cyriatan)
  • Malay (Hasbullah Bin Pit)
  • Serbian (Danilo Åegan)
  • Spanish (Francisco Javier F. Serrador)


You can get it from :

Monster Masher 1.5


What's new:

  • Support for fullscreen mode. This means that people with 1024x768 screens get to see large tiles, too.
  • The boring points power-up has been replaced with a much more fun gem of invisibility (sneak close to the monsters and mash 'em while they are looking the other way)
  • A few bug fixes (including one by Christian Neumair)
  • New and updated translations (by Danilo Segan, Abel Cheung, Miloslav Trmac, Duarte Loreto, Francisco Javier F. Serrador and Christian Neumair)

About Monster Masher:

In the old days, before man entered the world, the gnomes were abundant. Through centuries of hard labour, only slightly eased by the levitational powers provided to them by their god, they bored out shafts and caves in the mountains. Always seeking the precious stones and valuable ore...

Monster Masher is a GPL'ed mash'em-up action game for GNOME. Each level contains a number of blocks and monsters. You're a little gnome running around. By pushing the blocks you can mash the monsters one at a time. There are various power-ups and different kinds of monsters.

http://www.cs.auc.dk/~olau/monster-masher/ http://www.cs.auc.dk/~olau/monster-masher/screenshots.html

The requirements are Gnome 2.2 (or later) and the gtkmm and gnomemm-all libraries from www.gtkmm.org/.

Ole Laursen


OpenOffice.org build:

This package contains the Gnome integration work for OpenOffice.org, and a much simplified build wrapper, making an OO.o build / install possible for the common man. It is a staging ground for up-streaming patches to OO.o.

Changes in this release:

  • features
    • MS OLE <-> OO.o; big formula improvement (Michael)
    • allow --with-jdk-home (Dan)
    • ergonomic rename update (Michael)
    • recent-files dropped glib dep (Anil Bahtia)
    • tiny pagein speedup (Michael)
    • more hacker documentation (Michael)
    • RH specific
      • vendor splash (Dan)
    • Debian specific (Rene)
      • sensible browser
      • xinerama portability bits
    • use system bits (Rene)
      • NAS
      • use system DB [4.0, 4.1 etc.]
      • sane
      • curl
      • myspell
    • use mozilla not netscape (Rene)
    • use ~/Documents only if exists (Chris, Mdk)
    • OOO_RH_DEBUG env. var for RH debugging (Dan)
    • calc, show row sensitisation (Amit)
  • bug fixes
    • desktop file generation (Michael)
    • build with freetype 2.1.7 (Rene)
    • Linux/Sparc no-java builds (Chris)
    • hyperlink toolbar alpha (Michael)
    • bin ant check for no-java (Michael)
    • wizard/misc. build fixes for Java (Dan)
    • html export marking spelling errors (Martin)
    • don't source || exit 1; for RH 7.3 (Michael)
    • bindings crash fix update (Michael)
    • really distribute ld speedup patch (Michael)
    • X fonts if no fontconfig (Chris)
    • symbols/crash fix (Chris)
    • install-dict no-Twig, cleanups (Michael)
    • $(CC) for sparc assember (Chris)
    • stlport include (Rene)

Package available from:


To find out more and/or get involved in OOo hacking see http://ooo.ximian.com/ and/or subscribe to our OO.o development mailing list at:


michael@ximian.com <><, Pseudo Engineer, itinerant idiot