I have only been a Linux user for about two months. When I installed 11.1 I chose the KDE 4 desktop. Last evening I was ‘playing’ with logging out and changing sessions and selected metacity as the desktop. All I could see after logging in was the mouse pointer. Pressing loads of keys produced nothing - except prtscr opened a save dialogue. I switched off and restarted the machine by using reset but it loaded right back into an empty metacity. I eventually found I could get a terminal interface but startx and startkde failed. I looked through loads of startup configurations after getting yast2 running in the terminal interface but no settings I found could get me back to KDE. I even used the original DVD to try to ‘repair’ my system.
It took me about 3 hours to find that ctrl+alt+backspace logged me out to where I could change the session type.
My question is - why was metacity (and all sorts of other desktops) listed if it wasn’t going to work? And why did the system allow me to be trapped in a wilderness? I clearly needed protecting from myself!
The Metacity session appears when you install some of the Gnome components, for example, gnome-control-center and its dependencies.
Croques: Your description of what happened when you tried the Metacity option is exactly what happened to me, and your questions are exactly the questions I would have asked myself - had I not been using openSUSE for two years now.
So, why was metacity listed if it wasn’t going to work? That’s a question like “Do you still beat your wife?”. Metacity is going to work, but not simply by choosing the Metacity option. That would way too straightforward, and separates those “in the know” from newbies.
And why did the system allow you to be trapped in a wilderness? Look it this way. You know the reputation Linux has for being user unfriendly, you strayed off the path of a desktop environment and started “pushing buttons” all over the place. Did you not expect your actions to have consequences? And you obviously had time for a bit of exploring. Don’t you feel stronger for being tested, and not found wanting?
Unfortunately for no one but myself, I too can’t get Metacity to work. I looked in YAST for gnome-control-center and felt a “gotcha” moment. It’s not there (of course), I don’t feel inclined to go on a hunting expedition. My loss, I know, but at least I’m not whining.