Configure the New Defaults in TerpConnect and X-Windows


In This Article:

A new set of UNIX and X-windows defaults have been developed. A default is an action that a computer performs if no alternatives are specified. The system defaults can be used as a starting point for developing a personal set of defaults.

The new defaults are designed to allow the underlying computer system to be modified and upgraded without forcing users to modify any of their customized defaults, or repeatedly re-install the defaults.

The new defaults modify the behavior of five different aspects of the computer system: terminal settings, the UNIX shell, X-windows programs, the X-windows manager and logout processing.

These defaults are completely new to TerpConnect, and probably different than what you are used to. Please report any problems that you have with them. If they are not to your liking, this solution details what files you need to change. If you have made changes to the old defaults, this solution will tell you how to change the new defaults to incorporate your changes.


Install the new defaults

All TerpConnect users are urged to switch to the new defaults. Do this by typing the command:

newdefaults

If you get the message Command not found, try typing the command:

/usr/local/scripts/newdefaults

If this does not work, please contact the system staff.

The newdefaults command copies files into your home directory. If a file with the same name as a new defaults file already exists, the old existing file is renamed. This gives you a backup copy. The new name of the file consists of the file's old name concatenated with the date. For example, if the file .Xdefaults exists in your home directory and today's date is September 23, 1991, the newdefaults command will rename .Xdefaults to .Xdefaults-91-09-23, and put a new copy of .Xdefaults in its place.

Run the newdefaults command whenever you want to get a fresh copy of the defaults. This is useful if you make a change to a start-up file that results in undesirable behavior.

The new default files

Here is a brief description of each file that is copied into your home directory:

Files that are used to affect the shell

.cshrc
The commands in this file are performed each time a shell is started. This file contains commands that configures your shell. Do not edit this file.

•  .environment
This file contains customized environment variable settings in C-shell syntax. The newdefaults command gives you a . environment file with a couple of lines as an example. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to change any environment variables.

• .path
This file contains your customized search path. The specified path will be used in place of the default path. The file provided by the command newdefaults gives you the same path as the system default; it is provided to give you an example of how the file should look. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to change your search path.

• .cshrc.mine
This file contains commands that are performed each time a shell is started. This is the file that you use to modify shell variables. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to change any variables.

• .aliases
This file contains C-shell command aliases. You can use it to add your own aliases, or to re-define system aliases. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to change any aliases.

Files that are used to affect terminal settings

• .login
Commands in this file are performed each time you log in to a computer using a workstation's console or network connection. This file contains commands that configures your terminal. Do not edit this file.

• .startup.tty
This file contains the customized terminal settings which are performed when logging in from a terminal. The .startup.tty can be deleted if you do not wish to change any of the terminal settings.

Files that are used to affect X-windows

• .xinitrc
Commands in this file are performed when X-windows is started. It calls a system-wide program that performs various system functions. These functions can be overridden by using environment variables in your . environment file. Do not edit this file.

• .startup.X
This file contains commands that are performed when X-windows is started. It is called by the system file that is called by .xinitrc. It contains the commands that put up the xterms, the clock and the xbiff that you see when you log in and start X-windows. Modify this file if you wish to modify the set of tools to be run.

• .Xdefaults
This file contains values of X-windows resources. These affect how X-windows applications look and act. You can override an application's default resources by adding lines to this file. The newdefaults command gives you a .Xdefaults file with a couple of lines as an example. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to change any resources.

 .xserverrc
Do not modify this file.

• .xsession
This is a link to your .xinitrc file. Do not modify this file.

Files that are used to affect logout processing

 .logout
The commands in this file are performed when you log off of the system console or log in remotely. Do not edit this file.

• .logout.mine
This file contains commands that you want to have performed when you log out. This file can be deleted if you do not wish to add any special commands to be performed when you log out.

Convert your old start-up files to the "newdefaults" start-up files

You can just rename the .aliases backup file that was created by the newdefaults command to be the . aliases file.

The old .cshrc file contained both system commands and any of your modifications. Your modifications should be distributed amongst the files .cshrc.mine, .path, .environment, and .aliases, as appropriate.

The old .login file contained both system commands and any of your modifications. Your modifications should be put in the file .startup.tty.

The old .logout file contained both system commands and any of your modifications. Your modifications should be put in the file .logout.mine.

What happens when logging in and starting X-windows

If you are logging in on an X-terminal, go to Part B.

Part A

Log in, either via a network connection or on a workstation running in console mode. Use the following files. Each level of indentation indicates one file invoking another.

• ~/.cshrc
• /local/lib/init/cshrc
• ~/.environment
• ~/.path
• /local/software/bin/.twigrc
• ~/.cshrc.mine
• ~/.aliases
• ~/.login
• /local/lib/init/login
• ~/.startup.tty (only if using a tty)

Part B

After logging in on an X-terminal or workstation console and starting X, use these files:

• ~/.xinitrc
• /local/lib/init/xinitrc
• /local/lib/init/cshrc (see above)
• xrdb is called using:
• /local/lib/init/Xdefaults
• ~/.Xdefaults

• fvwm2 is called using:
• /local/lib/init/fvwm2rc (if it exists)
• else

• ~/fvwm2rc

• ~/.startup.X

Part C

When logging out from the console or remotely, these are the files used.

• ~/.logout
• /local/lib/init/logout
• ~/.logout.mine

Part D

When logging out of an X-terminal, no files are used.