Set display manager at login

dinosaurclover

New Member
I want to set up linux mint on my old laptop so that it uses chromium instead of xfce. This is easy. There is plenty of advice out there. In linux mint you can edit the desktop file in /usr/share/xsessions so it executes linux-chromium insted of startxfce4. This works well. Users can't do anything except browse the internet. If someone manages to get strange things happening, the next user can simply power cycle the laptop and all is OK again. To a certain extent I can administer the laptop using ssh but some things are difficult without the gui. What I would like is for the laptop to start chromium when a non-privileged user logs on and execute startxfce4 when a privileged user (me) logs on.
Seems a simple enough request but despite much searching I've found nothing that actually works.
Can anyone help?
 


dinosaurclover

New Member
You can log in via a tty und start xfce manually.
Thanks for the response. Can you provide a bit more detail. As it is currently set up, the laptop boots, the user logs in and chromium starts automatically (which is what we want). No other display manager (desktop environment) starts - we don't want it to. We only want users to see chromium. But I need to see a normal display manager (desktop environment) if something goes wrong.
Obviously, there is no way of starting a terminal except by connecting to the ssh server using another PC. I can probably kill chromium using the ssh connection but I don't believe I can use it start xfce 'manually'. If you know how, please tell.
 

dinosaurclover

New Member
Xfce is a Desktop Environment.
Chromium is a Browser.

How about https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/p/hacks-mint.html ?
Scroll down to "Enable the frozen Guest session (guest account) and customize it to your liking"

https://www.ihaveapc.com/2019/05/how-to-configure-linux-mint-to-allow-guest-only-access/ ?
Thanks for stating the obvious. I think that most of us are aware that xfce is a display manager (what you call a desktop environment) and that chromium is a browser.

Neither of the links you quote are in any way relevant to the question I have asked.
 

arochester

Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
I think that most of us are aware that xfce is a display manager
FYI xfce IS NOT a Display Manager. It is a Desktop Environment.
A display manager, or login manager, is typically a graphical user interface that is displayed at the end of the boot process in place of the default shell. There are various implementations of display managers, just as there are various types of window managers and desktop environments. There is usually a certain amount of customization and themeability available with each one.
Source - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Display_manager

Like GDM or LighrDM or SDDM, where DM stands for Display Manager
 

dinosaurclover

New Member
FYI xfce IS NOT a Display Manager. It is a Desktop Environment.
Source - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Display_manager

Like GDM or LighrDM or SDDM, where DM stands for Display Manager
Sorry for getting my nomenclature slightly wrong. Nevertheless I still need some help with what I am trying to achieve which, I believe is clearly set out in my original question. When the boot process gets to the point where it asks for a user name and password it has not started whatever it is that displays the desk top. At this point I want it to either continue to the desktop or fire up chromium (which is demonstrably possible) depending on who has logged on.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
When you boot your system and it autostarts Chromium.... try CONTROL - ALT - T keyboard combo to see if it will open a terminal for you. Good for you, if you can take control. Bad for you, if you don't want the other users to be able to do that. :D

I don't know how to set up what you are asking, but there is another distro available that seems to be doing just that. Porteus Kiosk will boot up into either Firefox or Google Chrome web browser and be very locked down. Their FAQ indicates that Chromium (or other browser) is possible but will need work on your part. You will probably need to check out their Remote Management feature so you can control and/or make changes to the kiosk without a full re-installation.

Even if you decide against Porteus, checking it out might help you to solve your problems.

Good luck!
 

dinosaurclover

New Member
Wow! Porteous-Kiosk is really something. A really small download - the iso fits on a CD-ROM which is just as well because I couldn't make a memory stick that would work.
The installation process found my wi-fi and a few minutes later I rebooted and I was looking at full screen Google Chrome with internet access via wireless. I think the installation process even found a driver for the laptop's old sis 771/671 internal graphics adapter. The resolution is right and graphics seems pretty quick.
I had a few tries at trying to break out of Google Chrome. All I managed to achieve was a Google Chrome restart.
I need to spend a day or two with the documentation and set it up so the laptop gets its configuration from an online URL. I'm confident of good results.
Thanks atanere.
 

JulienCC

Active Member
Hello,

For the record, you can set a xsessionrc file per user. Just put a .xsessionrc file with the chromium stuff in your users home directories.
You can have a .xsessionrc starting a regular WM for you admin user.
 

wizardfromoz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Nice outcome, I am just playing catch up :)

I used Porteus (not the kiosk version) several times over the last 5 years, at times when you could literally customise your download at the website to get the feature you wanted - I was impressed with its model.

Good call, Stan (@atanere ) :)

Now that you're a happy camper, @dinosaurclover (& welcome to linux.org), get your British backside over to Member Introductions, say Hi and meet a few of The Gang.

Friday here in Oz, so Cheers all,

Enjoy your Linux and

Avagudweegend

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

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