Cool OSX Trick

If, for some godforsaken reason, you want to run KDE in X11 as your GUI instead of the MacOSX Finder, it’s possible!
gecko2 gave me this tip on IRC, I haven’t tried it yet but I plan to when I get the chance.
First, the current Fink packages don’t make a “kdm” file for pam, so copy /etc/pam.d/login to /etc/pam.d/kdm (this will be fixed in a future release).
Next, edit /etc/ttys and change the console line to:
console “/usr/X11R6/bin/xinit /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc” vt100 on secure window=/sw/bin/kdm
You’ll also need to turn on verbose booting, otherwise SystemStarter leaves the window server open when it finishes, and KDM can’t get a login. To do so, run “sudo nvram boot-args=-v“. That will update your OpenFirmware to boot in verbose mode (to do it just once, hold down command-v while booting).
Then, reboot, and (in theory), you should have the KDE login manager asking for your username and password, instead of the normal desktop or login prompt from OSX.
Update: it didn’t work for me. I rather like my Mac interface, so I’m not terribly interested in digging into it and finding out why, but I’m sure there’s some way to make it work…

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3 comments to Cool OSX Trick

  • BB Blue

    Could you post your results please. I won´t try it without any documentation 🙂

  • It doesn’t work here, either. According to some web pages, Apple’s modified XFree doesn’t support full screen mode; it has to be run rootless. Indeeed I didn’t manage to get it work using the >console trick. Xfree distribution of http://www.xdarwin.org did work but was quite slow. I guess it lacks the OpenGL acceleration but I’m not sure, though.

  • Okay, I tried it otherwise. Forget about booting into KDE login manager. Try this:
    In Preferences change the login screen to enter name and password and then reboot your system. Press Apple-v to boot in verbose mode. At login time type in “>console” then you get into the console 🙂
    Now, if you have installed XFree via Fink and you also have an nice Windowmanager (also via Fink) like iceWM or WindowMaker or whatever else you can start XFRee by typing startx. Thats it. Make sure your wm is mentioned in your .xinitrc . It should look like this:
    source /sw/bin/init.sh
    /sw/bin/icewm
    Thats it. Now you can run all your X progs without any ballast like Aqua. Run Qimp in awesome speed.