[Mageia-dev] ANN: X11 now starts on tty1

Colin Guthrie mageia at colin.guthr.ie
Wed Dec 28 21:23:23 CET 2011

'Twas brillig, and P. Christeas at 20/12/11 07:56 did gyre and gimble:
> On Saturday 17 December 2011, Colin Guthrie wrote:
>> Back in the day, text logins were the norm, graphical logins came later.
>> Text logins got ttys 1-7... These days they are pretty much useless for
>> 99.5% of the use cases ...
> I'd like to question that.
> You see, machines still have 'init 3' (or did Fedora remove that, too?),

Yup they remove it! Well, technically not, it's just not called "3" any
more, it's called "multi-user.target" which is altogether more sensible.

> there 
> is still people wanting a Linux box (not desktop) not to have X. And that's 
> way more than 0.5% .

OK, the text you quoted is somewhat taken out of context. I never
suggested removing text logins or not catering for server installs sans
X (I use this setup myself). All I'm suggesting is that the first, say
six TTYs are reserved for the current target's preferred login system.
If you are on multi-user.target (aka runlevel 3) then you 1-6 offer you
a text login as before. However if you are on graphical target then 1-6
should offer you graphical logins instead.

> Or, X may be broken sometimes.

And I proposed that some higher numbers would be reserved for text-only
logins - i.e. tty's 8-9 or something.

> So, standardization of tty1=text makes sense, is not just an old habit.

No, it's an old habit so you are defaulting to it as a solution when
there are a myriad of others out there that (IMO) fit better.

> Because, you are *always* expecting to find a working tty console on a Linux 
> box[1], while X only launches a bit later, if it can[2]. Putting the one that 
> works in the default place is more reasonable, see?

I also thing it's reasonable that *something* pops up when X tries to
start and fails. Whether this is a getty that allows you to log in or
something even more friendly, doesn't really matter.

> Really, why don't you patch the kernel to start at tty7? you could call that 
> "progress", too.

IMO, no it's not progress. It's keeping the same conventions for the
sake of it rather than evaluating what makes sense with a fresh pair of
eyes. The ONLY valid reason I can see for keeping graphics on tty7 is
simply that's that's how it was done before. Now this does carry some
weight I agree, but when evaluating what makes Linux hard to use for
newbies and novices, we sometimes have to through out "quirks" that we
are used to for the sake of a more logical approach.

> Some things in Linux could improve, but some don't need change. Unix legacy is 
> what makes Linux great[3]

Citation needed. And your footnote is complete nonsense. Time has not
proven it right at all. It's proven that it works, but that doesn't mean
it's optimal. I mean time has proven that a bubble sort works. Does that
mean we should not look to e.g. quick sort algorithms etc? Of course not.

>, IMHO. Part of that legacy (the "old school") is to 
> have failsafe defaults, is to start with a minimal design and then build the 
> extras on top.

And you are welcome to your view, but you have to admit it's clouded. I
try very hard to discard any clouded views I have due to habits. I mean
a regular newbie user doesn't consider "graphical UI" to be an "extra
that you built on top"... it's the core to them. Anything less and it's
not an operating system!

> That's why Unix principles (or "hangovers") have survived so 
> many decades, while other OSs have gone with the wind[4]. 

A lot of unixisms are good. But some are bad and just didn't have any
viable alternative until people pull their finger out and design and
develop some stuff to replace it! You cannot say "unix is good" as a
broad statement. You have to each component on it's own merits.



Colin Guthrie

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