xfce session manager question(s)

Chris G cl at isbd.net
Tue Feb 24 12:55:01 CET 2009

On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 03:42:12AM -0800, Brian J. Tarricone wrote:
> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 10:52:27 +0000 Chris G wrote:
> > I presume that it's the xfce session manager (xfce4-session) that
> > provides the EWMH functions/compatibility in xfce4 - yes?
> No.  EWMH is the window manager's domain.
Ah, OK, so wmctrl and devilspie will still work if I *don't* run
xfce4-session, thanks.

> > Going on from that it also appears to handle most of the shutting down
> > of xfce, if you run without xfce4-session things go rather
> > strange! :-) I.e. the Quit button in the *menus* says it can't shut
> > down...
> Right.  Running without the session manager is more or less unsupported
> at this point.  You're on your own coming up with default menus and
> such that work.
OK, I seem to remember in previous threads hereabouts that running
xfce4-session is regarded as almost essential.

> > ... whereas the (identical icon) Quit button on the panel allows
> > you to quit from the panel which does actually shut X down.
> Only by coincidence.  When you run X, you usually start a bunch of
> apps, but one app is run in the foreground and is thus the "session
> controlling app."  Quitting this app will cause X to quit as well.
> When you run with the session manager, xfce4-session is the
> session-controlling app.  If you remove that from xinitrc, then the
> default setup is for the panel to be the session-controlling app.  The
> menu doesn't know how to make the panel quit (though I suppose it might
> be modified to figure it out), so it doesn't do that.
Yes, I gathered that it was more by chance than design that it worked,
one would have to tidy up/rewrite the xinitrc (with xfce4-session
removed) to make things work more sensibly if one was going down that

I don't think I'm going to 'roll my own' xinitrc, there seems little
point, xfce4-session doesn't actually prevent me from doing the things
I want to do.

> > It also seems to me that the session manager doesn't always get things
> > quite right in that if you choose Restart or Shutdown it very often
> > just logs you out and you have to actually select Restart or Shutdown
> > again from the login screen.  In reality I think I'd be perfectly
> > happy if Quit from xfce4 only allowed me to logout from the session.
> Works fine here.  What version of Xfce are you running?  Any messages
> to console?  Do you have HAL set up to allow you to shutdown/reboot?
> Or if you're not using HAL, have you set up the sudo helper
> properly?  (All this stuff is in the docs/FAQ.)  You'll want to file a
> bug for this if you've set it up correctly but it doesn't work.  Though
> it's probably not Xfce's problem in that case...
I'll investigate further and see if I can find the exact conditions
where it does and doesn't work.  I have three systems here running
xubuntu 8.10 and I see similar symptoms on all three, one is almost a
standard 'out of the box' installation with no additions.  On the
other hand my desktop system has quite a lot of add-ons and
customisation, among other things I have it set up to use root rather
than sudo.

Thanks for all the information and help.

Chris Green

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