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Thread: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by raeyn View Post
    One other question from some of the replies - I’m seeing the terms “pattern” and Alternatives (used in a proper noun sense, as the title/name of something). Can anyone expound on these terms a bit? Alternatives seems to be something in YaST and is pattern the term for a group of packages or something else?
    Pattern
    All distro package managers have this functionality, but are named differently. Simplest description is that it's an object that can do much at once, like install a number of individual packages at once. One example is the LAMP pattern... The Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP stack (or combination) of technologies is very common, so it's convenient to install them all together and preconfigured in a very basic way to start. A DE is of course another easy example where it's compresed of numerous parts that in sum becomes the whole. As you might expect, installing a pattern instead of individual packages might mean you start with a working configuration which might not be the case if you have to figure out the configurations yourself.

    You can view a partial list of patterns using the YaST Software Managger > Pattern view
    Using zypper, you can search for patterns without specifying a particular pattern name, as follows to list all patterns (if you're looking for the exact name but only remember a partial name, specify to get your result)
    Code:
    zypper se -t pattern
    Alternatives
    A really cool way to switch between multiple versions of something installed on your machine. Java is a very common example because new versions are relleased fairly often and apps might run in one and not another. Instead of manually creating symlings or copying and renaming files, Alternatives allows you to swich to any available version easily. There are various ways to list what technologies are set up to use Alternatives, and none show everything. My personal choice is to simply list the contents of the Alternatives directory
    Code:
    ls /etc/alternatives/
    For any in the above directory, you can run the following to display your current configuration if more than one option is available, and switch to another if you wish
    Code:
    update-alternatives --config alternative 
    Not all distros use alternatives, openSUSE was one of the first and nowadays is found in most of the bigger distros.

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  2. #22

    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by suse_rasputin View Post
    I use tigerVNC and a systemd service to start the server on boot. Only thing to keep in mind: after updating (TW or Leap) the systemd service might not be running after rebooting more often than not (has been that way for years now). So: check, and if necessary start the server manually (vncserver :1) and reboot, then it will come up automatically next time. Using it for years with remote machines.

    The necessary file for the systemd service I posted here some time ago. You can access the server via ssh (described in archlinux wiki for tigervnc).
    Thanks so much for this info. That’s awesome. I’ll definitely look into this more.

    On the login issue, since VNC can’t use SDDM and KDE uses SDDM how did you get KDE to use LightDM? Does that then allow you to use the automatic session login that’s talked about around halfway down the OpenSUSE VNC info page? I know that’s the setup I’d like to use and it says KDE isn’t compatible with the login the use and VNC doesn’t support SDDM.

    Thanks again!

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    That's where update-alternatives comes in. You can set the active DM as required.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5

  4. #24

    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    That's where update-alternatives comes in. You can set the active DM as required.
    So, does this mean that one can use KDE with LightDM? How is this done. This is one of the things in Linux that’s always kind of made my head explode. So many potential combinations and I’ve never quite been brave enough to venture out and try them. Now, though, I have a reason since I want to be able to use VNC and do an auto login.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by raeyn View Post
    So, does this mean that one can use KDE with LightDM?
    Yes.

    How is this done. This is one of the things in Linux that’s always kind of made my head explode. So many potential combinations and I’ve never quite been brave enough to venture out and try them. Now, though, I have a reason since I want to be able to use VNC and do an auto login.
    Refer to our wiki page
    https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Change_Display_Manager

    Once done, reboot, and the display manager of choice will then be active. At the login screen you can choose which desktop session you want to use.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Alternative DE w/OpenSUSE - how does it work?

    @raeyn,
    using a tool like "update-alternatives" makes changes easy, painless and eliminates risk (like typing mistake or choosing something incorrectly).
    Never heard of a system broken using Alternatives to configure.

    One step I think is missing from the referenced SDB which is important... make sure you install each of the desired options before you try to configure something. Before this was clarified, I was either not seeing what I expected or making configuration changes that didn't do anything

    So,
    If you want to use lightdm,
    1. First, make sure lightdm is installed. One way is to use zypper and search for the package if installed as follows
    Code:
    zypper se -i lightdm
    2. If it's installed, then you can expect it will be an option, run the following command and either accept the current setting or change to another option
    Code:
    update-alternatives --config default-displaymanager
    As I described in my earlier post, this same tool can be used to configure a number of things, all can be found in /etc/alternatives. Worth looking through if you have spare time.

    No further lightdm setting should be needed to support VNC although there are numbrous recommended settings to tighten up security or set up additional features as described in my VNC notes.

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