Creating Your Own Booth in GNU/Linux Ubuntu Lucid (nodm)

It’s been a while since I blogged since its a busy day nowadays. Anyway, here it goes.With the usage of upstart, many SYS V style ways becoming obsolete. One of the prominent thing is the lost of /etc/inittab. Usually, when we created a standalone booth, we would embedded our setup using that; we put our script into it. If we are using X, one of the alternative is to use GDM. For the low cost solution often this solution is cumbersome. After some digging, I’ve found another neat solution: using nodm.

To install nodm:

$ sudo apt-get install nodm

To enable nodm:

$ sudo $EDITOR /etc/default/nodm

[Note: Change $EDITOR to whatever your text editor]

Change NODM_ENABLED value into true:

NODM_ENABLED=true

Usually, standalone booth run as root user because of the nature of its purpose: single user experience. However, you can make a user and set the user to be able to access the X.  We can set a non-root user by editing NODM_USER value  into:

NODM_USER=$USER

[NOTE: Change $USER with whatever user you have setup before]

By default nodm uses XSession, so here some tips regarding XSession:

  1. To run scripts/applications that need to be executed with root privilege, put the script into /etc/X11/Xsession.d directory.
  2. To run scripts/applications that runs with normal user, put the script into ~$USER/.xsession

[NOTE: ~$USER means the home directory of the chosen user.]

Please bear in mind, both are incompatible. If you put .xsession, XSession will use it instead scripts in Xsession.d directory. With some scripts, we can achieve both; the script left as an excercise to the reader. :P (Or may be later, remind me to do so)

Bye for now.

Jan Peter Alexander Rajagukguk

One of system administrator at Universitas Indonesia. His current interests are in smart card technology, pervasive computing, and free/open source software. He is an evangelist of free/open source movement and using FOSS actively.