Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ArchBang howto install Slim login manager

Archang is a remake of Crunchbang like setup on top of the Arch Linux.

Archlinux is for the tinkerers, who want to know how exactly the systemsetup is done. It's highly configurable, has a rolling release and a very active and helpful community.
Archbang is not for the beginner but for the intermediate linux user.
If you think using Ubuntu for example is your bread and butter but want to expand your knowledge of Linux Arch is the way to go.
As I have written before, every distro using Openbox as window manager really interests me, because of its beautiful simpleness, The K.I.S.S. in a very successful form.

Any way why would you need a graphical login manager? It's superfuous and default it' s not there in Archbang which I like.
But wanted to know how you can install one.
In the splendid ArchWiki you will find under topic DisplayManager:
It is best practice, but not required, to choose the display manager that corresponds to your desktop environment. Typically SLiM is preferred if there is not a corresponding desktop environment.
And on the ArchWiki SLiM page: " SLiM is simple, lightweight and easily configurable. SLiM is used by some because it does not require the dependencies of GNOME or KDE and can help make a lighter system for users that like to use lightweight desktops like Xfce, Openbox, and Fluxbox."

Installation first
pacman -S slim

and then

pacman -S slim-themes archlinux-themes-slim

Now we have to edit /etc/inittab what I do as root using Geany, my fav configuration editor.
Check if

and edit out (add #, we can easily reverse things later this way)
x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon
and edit in (removing#)
x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/slim >& /dev/null

On Wikipedia we learn on
init (short for initialization) is the program on Unix and Unix-like systems that spawns all other processes. It runs as a daemon . Runlevel 3 is default in Arch and give a command line interface.
On the two Linux distributions defaulting to runlevel 5 in the table above, runlevel 5 is a multiuser graphical environment running the X Window System, usually with a display manager.

Now the only thing we have to do is choose a theme.
I did that by changing default to flower2 on the 'current_theme' line in /etc/slim.conf.

Look in the directory of /usr/share/slim/themes to see which themes are available.

For those who want autologin, edit /etc/inittab according to this wiki:
Boot in 12 seconds from grub to conky this way!!

This will outline methods that do not involve a display manager.


An alternative to a login manager is to add the following to the bottom of your ~/.bash_profile (if ~/.bash_profile does not yet exist, you can copy a skeleton version from /etc/skel/.bash_profile):

File: ~/.bash_profile
if [[ -z "$DISPLAY" ]] && [[ $(tty) = /dev/tty1 ]]; then


Another way of circumventing display managers and booting straight into a preferred window manager or desktop environment involves editing /etc/inittab, changing:



x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon




x:5:once:/bin/su PREFERED_USER -l -c "/bin/bash --login -c /usr/bin/startx >/dev/null 2>&1"

changing PREFERED_USER as necessary.

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