Sunday, September 20, 2009

Faster log in in Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" and e17

I'm a long time user of Enlightenment 17, or e17. I mean, a really long time user, since I used it since the end of 2004 or so. If I kept it for so a long time dispite of all its rough edges, it's because I love a lot of things in e17, like the default windows and mouse focusing behaviour, the possibility to have a lot of cool and usefull desktop effects with a real open source driver that doesn't support 3D acceleration.

But what I like above all the the speed of the the environement. In e17, everything seems to be quick and responsive - well almost everything, Firefox and OpenOffice are what they are ;)
For example, the login process in e17 takes a couple of second. I mean, really a couple: I validate my user/password in GDM, and hop, my desktop environement is fully-loaded and usable.

OK, so why I'm talking about that ? Lastly, I tried the new Ubuntu Karmic Koala Alpha 5. Before anything else, I do know what alpha means, and I'm not saying anything against Ubuntu, things are expected to enhance until end of october.
Among a loads of other things, Karmic Koala introduces a new transition screen when X is loading, in order to smoothen a little transitions : XSplash. The problem is that XSplash doesn't seem to be aware of the speed of e17, and when you login, it loops for quite a long time (perhaps 20 seconds ?) before letting the desktop be shown.

So, the solution is simply to disable XSplash for the login, and let e17 loads within its 2 seconds:
in the file /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default comments the things related to XSplash, or if "Default" file only contains XSplash related things, disable it like that (of course, be aware that as Ubuntu is only in alpha phase, this file may be use for other things that Xsplash in the future, and you can break other things with that) :

mv /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default.disabled

That's all ! Now, you can enjoy the lightning login speed of e17 on Ubuntu Karmic Koala.

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