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Re: [HOWTO] Start X server manually instead of using a login manager

From: zloster
Subject: Re: [HOWTO] Start X server manually instead of using a login manager
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2018 12:52:26 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.8.0

On 23.07.2018 10:43, Divan Santana wrote:

Alex Kost <address@hidden> writes:


People often ask how they can use startx/xinit on GuixSD.  It is
possible, although it is not as easy as on other distros.  Hopefully,
this tutorial will answer some questions on the subject.

At first, a couple of points:

- We will run X server with user privileges, so if something goes wrong,
   look at the X log, which is placed at "~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.N.log"
   by default.

- We will run "xinit", not "startx": the latter is just a wrapper that
   does some preparations and runs "xinit".  (startx is a usual shell
   script with a usual script's behavior: it does not like that Guix
   violates Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, so it successfully fails to

Now the steps you need to do to use "xinit":

1. Install xinit, X server and required modules to some guix profile,
    for example:

      guix package -i xinit xorg-server xf86-input-libinput xf86-video-fbdev 

2. Make "~/.xinitrc" file.  If you don't know what its content should
    be, just put "exec xterm" there, or even better read:

3. Running "xinit" requires specifying multiple arguments, so you will
    probably make an auxiliary script to run it.  This script will look
    like this:

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---


$DIR/bin/xinit -- $DIR/bin/Xorg :0 vt1 -keeptty \
                -configdir $DIR/share/X11/xorg.conf.d \
                -modulepath $DIR/lib/xorg/modules
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

   Note that using the current terminal ("vt1" in this case) and
   "-keeptty" is required, otherwise X server refuses to start without
   root privileges.

   For testing purposes, you may change the above arguments to ":1 vt2",
   switch to vt2 (Ctrl-Alt-F2) and run this script.

4. Finally (if the above script works), you can remove login manager
    from your os services (if you use %desktop-services):

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
  ;; ...
  (srfi srfi-1)                  ; for 'remove'
  (gnu services desktop)
  (gnu services xorg))

   ;; ...
    (remove (lambda (service)
              (eq? (service-kind service) slim-service-type))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---
To help others, a few other notes.

To auto start x upon login one can do something like

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
             (mingetty-service (mingetty-configuration
                               (tty "tty1")
                               (auto-login "ds")))
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

And this in you bashrc/zshrc.
--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
if [[ ! $DISPLAY && $XDG_VTNR -eq 1 ]]; then
   exec $HOME/bin/
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---

Also I needed to set these in order for my icons to be detected
again. Failing to do so, the icons aren't found and some apps crash like

--8<---------------cut here---------------start------------->8---
export XDG_CONFIG_HOME="$HOME/.config"
export XDG_CACHE_HOME="$HOME/.cache"
export XDG_DATA_HOME="$HOME/.local/share"
--8<---------------cut here---------------end--------------->8---
Hi, I have an idea about this problem. How ever my understanding is very limited so take care to do additional research:
I'm still strangely getting this error when my terminals (termite)
launch since switching to this method:

tput: unknown terminal "xterm-termite"

Not sure why that is yet.
There is a shell variable $TERM. Also there is a '/usr/share/terminfo/' directory with some definitions about the various terminals. If a description of terminal is missing from '/usr/share/terminfo/' it is possible to see this message from some command-line utilities. Start with searching the man page of 'tset', 'reset' and 'terminfo' commands.

Best regards,
Radoslav Petrov

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