[systemd-devel] Rethinking getty and fast user switching

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Tue Feb 21 02:34:08 PST 2012

'Twas brillig, and Jan Engelhardt at 21/02/12 10:10 did gyre and gimble:
>> Think of a newbie or similar, it's just not intuitive at all to
>> start numbering from 7... I mean for them a graphical UI is all they
>> know, so why does it start from 7 at all?
> Have them remember: Because 7 is the lucky number.

:p Only in $CULTURE, not in $OTHERCULTURE :)

> Why would your exemplary close-minded GUI-phil user even care about
> Ctrl-Alt-Fn and the VT voodoo in the first place? There ought to be a
> bloomy-shiny GUI for him (and his family) for switching between the X
> VTs!

It's not exclusive. While the keyboard shortcuts exist, they should work
logically. If we disable this kind of keyboard based switching
altogether than I don't give a flying fig about what number it's on, but
while they are there, I'd very much like them to actually work in a
vaguely sensible way.

I suspect the "lets disable vt switching with ctrl+alt+fn" discussion
would be a lot harder to have but by all mean please feel free to start
it if you feel that way.

> The OSes that nurtured these unsuspecting users in the first place
> get the user switching right without having to tell them about CON:
> or con0.

Why have they been cultured by any other OS? I'm not making any
comparisons here, just trying to suggest that things work in a logical
manner rather than carrying historic cruft that really has no place now.

IMO, this approach would actually simplify things a bit anyway. I mean
if the DE's could rely on the "switch to empty VT will bring up a login
prompt" situation, they could simplify their own logic that started a
specific DE. People like to mix and match. What if my system is
configured to use KDM as the DM (or lightdm or whatever crazy DM is
flavour of the day). There is a mix of Desktop preferences, some like
Gnome, some like KDE. When I log into GNOME from KDM, I cannot select
the "Switch User" functionality because it cannot talk to gdm. But if
the logic was just "just switch to this tty and a login agent will pop
up" then the whole implementation is simpler. Of course maybe it's
better to define an freedesktop DisplayManager protocol and make
everyone use it when implementing a DM (rather than the custom
org.gnome.DisplayManager one), but that's not really that important.

But maybe this is all pointless turd polishing. Maybe the whole thing
changes with Wayland in which case there is not much point in worrying
about it. If that's the case, then fine, but I still think it's the
sensible setup for current gen stuff.



Colin Guthrie

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