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5. Advanced Configuration Options

5.1. Configuration Sets

The xdm-config file provides a rich set of options, when it comes to defined scripts and other configuration files. In many cases, the defaults provided with your distribution should be fine, but for those of you who want more ...

The names of the startup scripts and configuration files used by XDM are determined by a series of statements in the top-level xdm-config file. This permits you to configure a different set of files for different X servers and X terminals, with different abilities.

For example, say you are using XDM to manage your local display, but also want it to accept queries from other X terminals on the network. It is possible to specify a different Xresources file for each of these cases, by using the following 2 lines in xdm-config:

      DisplayManager._0.resources            /etc/X11/xdm/Xres_0
      DisplayManager*resources               /etc/X11/xdm/Xresources
      
This will use Xres_0 for the local display (_0 is the XDM way of saying :0) and Xresources for everything else (the '*').

Similarly, if you wanted a particular resource file for a specific host, you would use an entry like the following:

      DisplayManager.host_0.resources       /etc/X11/xdm/Xres_host_0
      

Note that XDM configuration files use the terminology host_0, where you would normally use host:0, to designate 'display 0 on host'.

If you look over your default xdm-config file, you will probably find that it has been setup so that your local X server has different files to the remote ones anyway, as different things must be performed on startup and reset of the server. My Debian file has the following for local servers:

      DisplayManager._0.resources:    /etc/X11/xdm/Xresources_0
      DisplayManager._0.setup:        /etc/X11/xdm/Xsetup_0
      DisplayManager._0.startup:      /etc/X11/xdm/Xstartup_0
      DisplayManager._0.reset:        /etc/X11/xdm/Xreset_0
      
and the following for remote servers:
      DisplayManager*resources:       /etc/X11/xdm/Xresources
      DisplayManager*setup:           /etc/X11/xdm/Xsetup
      DisplayManager*startup:         /etc/X11/xdm/Xstartup
      DisplayManager*reset:           /etc/X11/xdm/Xreset
      

5.2. X Resources

This document has only briefly touched on the available X resources, but I should mention that it is possible to fully configure XDM via the Xresources file.

The following may all be changed if required:

  • Fonts, login prompt sizes

  • Background graphics

  • Window Titles, etc

There is a more detailed discussion of XDM resources, on Richard Kaszeta's web site (see Section 7)