GDM config (WAS: New GDM Login Theme)

Frank Arnold frank at
Mon Jan 23 15:37:00 UTC 2006

Am Montag, den 23.01.2006, 15:46 +0100 schrieb Nils Philippsen:
> BTW, what's the reasoning behind having configuration data in /usr/share
> instead of /etc?

Just quoting GDM ChangeLog...

2005-12-21  Brian Cameron  <brian.cameron at>

After two months, the redesign of GDM's internal configuration is
finally reaching a close.  Now GDM users are instructed to not modify
the gdm.conf file directly and instead put any cutomizations in a
separate file called gdm.conf-custom (read the comments in both files).
gdmsetup now modifies the gdm.conf-custom file.  The GDM daemon will
now use values in gdm.conf-custom first and the default values in
gdm.conf if no value is defined in gdm.conf-custom.  Benefits:

1) Now GDM truly supports system-wide and machine-specific config.
   System wide configuration is when the sysadmin wants to share the
   main gdm.conf file across multiple systems on a shared file system
   (possible by building GDM with the --with-configdir option or by
   running GDM with the --config option).  Specific systems can
   override defaults by modifying the gdm.conf-custom file.
2) Distros can stomp the main gdm.conf file on upgrade knowing that any
   user changes are stored in a separate file.  For best backwards
   compatibility, distros will need to move the gdm.conf file to
   gdm.conf-custom if the gdm.conf file exists on the system but the
   gdm.conf-custom file does not.
3) Making this work required a lot of cleanup in the way GDM manages
   its configuration files.  For example, now config options are
   managed via access functions, and do not depend on non-static
   globals being shared across files.  The GET_CONFIG and UPDATE_CONFIG
   commands work better and do not require special tweaking when adding
   new config options.  Vicious-extensions is now only included in a
   few files that need to know how to access the config files directly.

This makes GDM support a popular feature in CDE which works similarly.
(config files in /etc/dt/config take precidence over the ones in

...end of quote.

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