[Gta04-owner] Using nodm to start X, instead of /etc/inittab

Neil Jerram neil at ossau.homelinux.net
Sun Feb 5 22:50:19 CET 2012

On my GTA04 I have the rootfs as originally provided by goldelico, plus
lots of upgrades and additional installations.  When customising the
setup, a while ago, I noticed that some config files need to be placed
relative to HOME=/, while others need to be placed relative to
HOME=/root.  I think I understand why this is, and can suggest a
change such that root's HOME is always /root.

It appears that HOME is initially set, according to the relevant user's
/etc/passwd entry, by login(1), or by other programs such as display
managers that act like login(1).  For root, /etc/passwd indicates
HOME=/root, but I think that there's nothing in the
/etc/inittab../usr/bin/startx.. process that ever sets HOME; hence it
stays unset, and config files are looked for directly under /.

The Debian install for GTA02 takes a different approach: it uses the
"nodm" display manager instead, which starts up as a normal /etc/init.d
service, and doesn't have a line like the /usr/bin/startx one in

So on my GTA04 I've now installed nodm; set NODM_ENABLED=true in
/etc/default/nodm; commented out the /usr/bin/startx line in
/etc/inittab, and moved all the config files that I had in / to /root.
Net, everything looks and acts as it did before, except that root's HOME
is now consistently /root.

In the hope that this is of use to someone...


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