XBanner: Making XDM More Attractive
After working with X on Linux for a while, I realized I always start X, and I usually do it shortly after logging in. Therefore, I decided to run XDM, which gives me a login box already in X. XDM installed and ran out-of-the-box with no problems, no hassle.
After just a few days, I found I hated the way it looked. XDM's default is a dull, boring gray screen with a simple text box and nothing else. Compared with some commercial versions of Unix, it was definitely lacking. Since I wanted Linux to look cool, too, I decided to write XBanner.
XBanner was written primarily for Linux, but it is not Linux-specific. It can be compiled and run in any environment supporting X11 release 4 and up. I have tested XBanner on Linux, Ultrix, Digital Unix, Solaris, SGI IRIX, AIX and even VMS.
I have had a report that XBanner does not work with X Inside's Accelerated X server. I tried to contact X Inside about this issue, twice. I have been completely ignored—pity.
The XBanner home page, sponsored by the Physics department of California State University, Fullerton can be found at:
And the FTP locations are:
I expect new mirrors will become available by publication time. At the time of writing, the latest version is in XBanner1.3.tar.gz.
Most Linux distributions (Debian, Slackware, et al.) include a package that sets up XDM and its configuration files. In case your distribution doesn't include XDM, it can be found at sunsite.unc.edu, the “home” of Linux software on the Internet—ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/X11/xutils/xdm.tar.gz.
Compilation and installation is easy. XDM comes with an Imakefile. If your system has X11 installed properly, type xmkmf -a in the directory of the XDM source, then type make. If you have problems, consult the FAQs. Setting up the X11 environment and using imake are beyond the scope of this article.
After the installation is complete, create a directory /usr/lib/X11/xdm/ and copy the files from the config/ directory in the XDM source tree into it. Note that /usr/lib/X11/ should be synonymous to /usr/X11R6/lib/ on Linux.
XDM reads the file /usr/lib/X11/xdm/xdm-config (see Listing 1 for the default contents), and extracts from it the location of the rest of the configuration files. Nearly all XDM configuration files are defined in xdm-config.
Listing 1. xdm-config Notice the files with the _0 suffix refer to :0--the local display. XDM runs Xsetup_0 to initialize the display, then pops up its login box and asks the user for a username and password. When the user has finished typing this information, XDM checks the password database. If the user is authenticated, XDM runs a few things including the Xsession script that sets up the user's environment and loads the window-manager.
These two files, Xsession and Xsetup_0 are the files to which lines are added in order to run XBanner and Freetemp. This is discussed more completely later in this article.
After downloading the XBanner source archive, unpack it using:
gzip -dc XBanner1.3.tar.gz | tar xvf-
Change directories to XBanner1.3/ and enter make. On Linux systems, this should proceed with no problems at all. After compilation is done you will have four executables:
xbanner - the main XBanner program
freetemp - utility to free X11 resources taken by XBanner
xb_check - checks resource files for validity
random_effect - executes the xbanner binary with a random resource file
Typing make install will install the executables to the directory /usr/local/bin/X11/ (not including the random_effect utility), and set proper permissions. You can change the destination directory by editing the Makefile.
If your system does not have the XPM library, the compiler might complain that it cannot find libXpm.a or -lXpm. In this case, edit the Makefile; it contains instructions on disabling XPM support.
Now, to set up a good default resources file, go to the XBanner1.3/ directory and issue the command:
cp samples/XBanner.ad \ /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/XBanner
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide