Set Variables in Glue Using X Windows for UNIX

This page is based on MIT Dotfiles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It has been modified to reflect the Glue computer system environment. These files should not be removed from your account unless you know what you are doing.


The xsession file runs xrdb (Xserver resource database utility) on /local/lib/init/Xdefaults and ~/Xdefaults if the file exists in your home directory. This loads the preferences for X applications. ~/.Xdefaults can be used to change colors, specify locations, fonts, and other application specific settings. Xdefaults are stored in a database, not as variables. This is another user created file and is not created by default when you get your account.

Samples of ~/.Xdefaults.*foreground: white*background: blue*geometry: +0-0*geometry: +0-0*geometry: -0-0*geometry: +c+c*geometry: -0-0
zwgc*minTimeToLive: 1000
zwgc*reverseStack: on
XTerm*foreground: black
emacs*foreground: black
XTerm*background: blanchedalmond
emacs*background: blanchedalmond
XTerm*scrollBar: true
XTerm*saveLines: 500
XTerm*scrollTtyOutput: false
XTerm*scrollKey: true
XTerm*Scrollbar*thickness: 5
XScreensaver*geometry: 20x20+0+0
XScreensaver*lockCommand: zaway
XScreensaver*float.bitmap: /joeuser/Bitmap/Smiley
xclock*font: -*-helvetica-*-r-*-*-14-140-*-*-*-*-*-*
Console*autoUnmap: 30
Dash*logoutButton.window*geometry: 90x36-0-0
Dash*logoutButton*background: black
Dash*logoutButton*foreground: white
Dash*logoutDialog*background: black
Dash*logoutDialog*foreground: white


This user created file is sourced near the end of the session initialization by the xsession. ~/.startup.X is where you can specify programs you want to run upon start-up. Some common files to start at the beginning of a session are xmh (a program that provides a graphical user interface to the Message Handling System) and xclock. This file will only be sourced in X window sessions. ~/.startup.tty is for programs to be started in terminal style sessions. Commands put into this file should have an " & " after them unless the command will finish quickly (inc, fortune, etc...). Otherwise the initialization will come to a halt until the program exits; you probably do not want this to happen. Emacs and xmhare are programs that will not exit without user interaction. This means your session initialization will not finish and logging out may be difficult. See below for more information.

Samples of ~/.startup.X
     xset b off #turn bell off
     xsetroot -bitmap ~/pictures/dobbs.xbm #set background
     xmh &
     xclock &
     xterm -geometry 80x40+0-0 &


This file is sourced by the /local/lib/init/xinitrc after logout is entered. ~/.logout can be used to run programs or scripts just before the session is over.

Other ways to log out:

Sometimes dotfile errors or a windowmanager failing can make it difficult to logout. Here are some ways to logout.

• Enter logout in any xterm window
• Enter dash to choose the special menu and the logout option.
• Click on the root window, background area on the screen, to get a menu. Depending on the type machine you are logged into you may be able to select logout or a new xterm window. If you get the xterm window simply enter logout at the z:~: prompt.
• If none of these options are available or fail due to changes you made, do not reboot the workstation. Contact the Call Center.