Remote login

hi, i’m using OpenSuSE 11.2 and was wondering if there is anyway to set remote login as the default login method.

I think → this article will cover any possible issue.

As the article will tell you almost everything, I will only comment on your whish for “default login method”.

As the different login metods are not excluding each other, there is not such a thing as a default login. You can of course make some of the login methods unavailable (even those that come switched on in a default install).

to clarify “default login method”. when you first boot openSuSE you are presented with a login screen, ie your local login. i was hoping to find a way the set it so that the the login screen you saw was a remote login for a particular pc. i had a quick look at the above link, but didn’t see anything which helped. although i dont understand alot of it

That is four days ago, that I asked something. Normaly I unsubscribe from a thread after nobody posts in it for about two days. You are lucky that I was lazy. :wink:

Also I am not sure about the “first” boot (because what you describe at avery boot when you do not change sopmething) I think I understand what you want. You want to use the system as a remote terminal for loging in in an (or more) other systems.

Afte all the default (yes, you are not wrong at all in calling this a default situation) install configures the display manager such that it only works with local system.

One of the possibilities is to create what was (is) known as an X-terminal. You configure xdm/kdm/gdm on the system(s) where you want remote login made pissibel to use the XDMCP protocol (on ports 6000 - 6063). The X-terminal runs only X, configured to contacts the XDMCP server(s). (When there are more a chooser may be used) and the login screen of the display manager ((xdm/kdn/gdm) is presented. The X-server only runs X and all keyboard/mouse actions and monitor changes are send over the network (sound is a different problem though). Such an X-server needs to have X software, but desktop software (KDE, Gnome) is not needed.

I once created such a beast. I let it run in runlevel 3 and added the running X to /etc/inittab for runlevel 3. That may not be standard, running normaly from runlevel 5 must be possible. But I have to digg in my memory to surface the details.

This is nowadays considered as not too secure, but as you restrict the whole bussines to a LAN with a good firewall in the router there shous not be to much concern about the security imho.

Search for more about “X display manager” in Wikipedia.

thanks for the reply, and sorry it took me so long but i dont check my e-mails all that often. i’ll be sure to check x-terminal and see if it helps. i was thinking that maybe if i explain my problem a bit more clearly it might help so here goes.

i’m currently studying a course where we have to setup a linux install for a small business with 3 pc’s. the way i want to have the computers setup is so that 2 of the pc’s login remotely to a main computer, therefore removing the need for file share server. i was hoping to find a way so that an employee could power the pc up and login without having to manualy change the session to a remote login session.

thanks in advance for any info you can offer

p.s using SuSE11.2, tried SLED but that failed to even let me remote login :frowning:

What I will do now is trying to find out things. When I find something that might be interesting, I post it here. I hope this will feed you in finding a solution partly by my suggestions, partly by your actions. So this is not a howto, but hints and brainstorming.

First I want to recap what I understood. Not that you are that vague, but to make sure we are talking the same things.
You have a system that I will call Main and two that I will call PC1 and PC2.
Users have the availability of PC1 and PC2.

When the users log in they always log in in the GUI on Main. I am not sure if login to the GUI on Main itself must be possible also. Other question, which desktop is used? Thus their home directories, etc. are on Main. They only use PC1 and PC2 as keyboard/mouse/monitor devices, everything else runs on Main.

Assuming the above is (nearly) correct (please fine tune when applicable), I first tried to find out how Main can be configured to listen to remote logins on the Display Manager.

Goto YaST > System > /etc/sysconfig editor. There open Desktop and then Display manager. Read about DISPLAY_MANAGER_REMOTE ACCESS:

Allow remote access (XDMCP) to your display manager (xdm/kdm/gdm). Please note
that a modified kdm or xdm configuration, e.g. by KDE control center
will not be changed. For gdm, values will be updated after change.
XDMCP service should run only on trusted networks and you have to disable
firewall for interfaces, where you want to provide this service.


Let the displaymanager start a local Xserver.
Set to “no” for remote-access only.

This is to be used when Main should not offer a GUI login.

Do you think I am going in the right direrction for what you want?

While trying to remember how I created the XDMCP client (it is more then two years ago that I used it, and the system where it resided on has no RAM or disk anymore :frowning: ), I found this: SDB:Exporting the Graphical Output to a Remote Computer - openSUSE

What I am trying to use is under chapter 3 here. As a neat surprise you will find the same parameters I allready talked about here. For the client side you need xdmsc which is in the OSS repository.

There are some flaws in the SDB l refer to. The runlevel mentioned should be 3 instead of 2 (it is done correct in your /etc/inittab).

When you still think you want to go for this, I would like to discuss the installation of PC1 and PC2.

this is pretty much the setup i’m have at the moment, pc1 and pc2 log into main and yes someone can login to main itself. i have remote login working for all machines. “They only use PC1 and PC2 as keyboard/mouse/monitor devices, everything else runs on Main.” is exactly how i have it setup.

Then what is the question?

my original question was, is there any way to setup PC1 and PC2 so that when you turn them on you dont have to manually change the session type to remote. now i have remote login working, but you have to manually select remote login.

sorry for any missunderstanding, i’m not very good at explaining myself.

Well, that is the second part, where I said:

For the client side you need xdmsc which is in the OSS repository.

There are some flaws in the SDB l refer to. The runlevel mentioned should be 3 instead of 2 (it is done correct in your /etc/inittab).

When you still think you want to go for this, I would like to discuss the installation of PC1 and PC2.

To begin with I would not even install a desktop on them. That is during intallation I would choose for a system that has graphics (X), but no desktop. Also I would create one user for administrative puposes (you are of course that user, but do not use the same user as the one for your day to day work on Main, if you are also one of the regular users there). Of course the other users do not get a username on PC1 and PC2.

That system would offer you no graphics login at all. To be checked at this stage: the line containing the word initdefault in* /etc/inittab* should be


When there is a 5 there, change into 3 and reboot.

Install the package xdmsc from OSS repos.

Edit* /etc/sysconfig/xdmsc* to contain:


where Main.your.domain must of course be replaced with the full qualified hostname as known on your network.

Then I would remove the # at the beginning of the following line in /etc/inittab:

#7:3:respawn:+/etc/init.d/rx tty7

and do a

telinit q

to make it active.

As I am typing this here from theory, whenever you have questions or errors, please report back and see if I can help.

And to go back one step:
What do you mean with “manualy select remote login”. How is that done?

manually select by clicking session type down the bottom and choosing remote.

i think i understand what your suggesting with the install but because of the course rules i have to have a full installation on each computer.

i’m begining to think that just writing a quick note for users telling them how to login may be a better alternative

You might be able to configure xdm/gdm/kdm or whatever DM you are using to not display the local login options and go straight to the remote host chooser or even a particular host. I don’t know the details, but there are lots of config options in /etc/X11/xdm/xdm-config. Bear in mind that if you succeed, you have to undo it using a CLI login as you will have lost the local GUI login.

Failing that you may be able to substitute a DM from a project like LTSP (Thin Client Project) where the only available hosts are remote.

Reading how you flow of working is now I understand for the first time what you mean with “default login”. It seems that the possibillity to use XDMCP is allready there.

I could not find a config file for kdm where this can be done. I did found /etc/kde4/kdm, but there is only a background definition there. Also I am afraid there is some lack of documentation on the system (no man pge). But there is The kdm Handbook. Maybe you will find your solution there.

But you could change to xdm (in YaST > System > /ect/sysconfig editor and then displaymanager + DISPLAYMANAGER. And for xdm there is a big man page as documentation. I did not study it extensive, but assume it can be configured to your liking. This is the direction ken_yap points to.

I had more the idea to start from the beginning (what do you want and how would I do that, starting from the installation of the systems), while you where more going in the direction of what you have (installed without any ideas about the future use) and how to mould that into what you want now. Thus our discussion may have gone in the blue now and them. Sorry for that.

EDIT: found /usr/share/kde4/config/kdm/kdmrc

EDIT 2: And ther I found:

# Specify whether the greeter of local displays should start up in host chooser
# (remote) or login (local) mode and whether it is allowed to switch to the
# other mode.
# "LocalOnly" - only local login possible
# "DefaultLocal" - start up in local mode, but allow switching to remote mode
# "DefaultRemote" - ... and the other way round
# "RemoteOnly" - only choice of remote host possible
# Default is LocalOnly

Is that what you are looking for?