Some questions for a newbie

Rich Shepard rshepard at
Sun Jul 27 19:49:13 CEST 2003

On Sun, 27 Jul 2003, Christel & Dr. Frank Biendara wrote:

> 1) How can I start applications with root right directly from the xfce
> panel. I emerged (installed) several "su" commands like xsu and gksu but
> the best I got is that "some" apps start as root from the terminal

  Why do you want to start applications with root priviledges? Some programs
-- such as pppd -- run suid, but almost all are designed to be run as a
user. When you need to complete an administrative task that requires root
priviledges, su the run it.

  I've read that many folks who defenestrate from Microsoft like to run as
root because that's essentially how it's done in Winduhs. After the first
time you wipe out your file system you'll learn to run _everything_ as a
user unless there's no alternative.

> 2) How can I show texts in the xfce panel. The icons are great most
> times but when they are becoming more it's sometimes hard to remember
> which icon is for which program.

  Well, according to those who promote GUIs, pictures are "intuitive".
Therefore, you should not have to ask this question. :-) Seriously, I keep
the pictures to an absolute mimimum and use text instead. I learned how to
read many, many years ago and it's worked wonderfully for me ever since.
Memorizing the meaning of pictures is counter-intuitive for productivity.
Anyway, if you pause the mouse cursor over the icon the command line
associated with it will pop up. And, after a while, you'll remember what
applications you've assigned to which button.

> 4) Is an automatic log-in possible.

  I'm not sure what you mean by "automatic login". Will the computer know
who you are when you put your hands on the keyboard and automatically log
you in? Nope. However, if you modify /etc/inittab's default run level from 3
to 4 or 5 (the former in slackware/debian, the latter in red hat) then the
system will boot into a GUI login screen. And, if you define kdm as the tool
for that you'll be able to shut down the system as a user, too. Handy for
portables; not too handy for workstations on all the time.

Good luck,


Dr. Richard B. Shepard, President

                       Applied Ecosystem Services, Inc. (TM)
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