[Pkg-xfce-devel] Bug#714480: Bug#714480: Unable to start xfce if home in different locations

Carlo Contavalli ccontavalli at gmail.com
Wed Jul 3 05:21:33 UTC 2013

On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 10:32 PM, Yves-Alexis Perez <corsac at debian.org> wrote:
> On lun., 2013-07-01 at 22:06 -0700, Carlo Contavalli wrote:
>> On Sun, Jun 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM, Yves-Alexis Perez <corsac at debian.org> wrote:
>> > On sam., 2013-06-29 at 12:35 -0700, Carlo Contavalli wrote:
>> >> This bug to track two things:
>> >> 1) it'd be nice to log those messages somewhere, so one can find them in the logs.
>> >
>> > Aren't they in .xsession-errors?
>> argh, missed it. Good point, thanks, was probably looking in the wrong place :).
>> >> 2) xfce4 should use ~/ or any other mechanism to detect the position of the home directory, rather than hard code paths.
>> >
>> > ~ is a shell alias, nothing you can pass to glib.
>> uhm .. wordexp() can expand it if needed, you could easily fetch home
>> with getpwent() or looking at $HOME and replace /home/myhome with ~
>> when storing the path, and the other way around when referring to it.
> Sure, a lot of stuff is possible. It's also a lot of work and something
> which can open a can of worms.

agreed. But certainly something that could be supported in glib or
through any other API if deemed useful.

>> Eg, if you wanted to, you could support the use case.
> Actually, no, I couldn't. I'm a Debian packager, not upstream. This is
> not the correct place to have a debate over upstream code, for that you
> need bugzilla (http://bugzilla.xfce.org) or mailing lists
> (https://mail.xfce.org/mailman/listinfo/)

Will bring it up upstream, thanks for the pointer.

This is probably not a good idea here - I don't disagree. But your
role as a packager certainly does not preclude modifying the code.
There's plenty of other packages in Debian that have been modified to
provide a better user experience / integration / fix bugs that were
not fixed upstream.

>> The question in
>> general is if having the same home mounted in different places or
>> having the ability to move the home directory without issues should be
>> supported, and if not, where to document it.
> Actually you seem to be the first one in years to even try, so I'm
> pretty sure it's not really something people need. Also, afaict (but
> since you only gave some examples, I can't be completely sure) it
> especially affects the session cache, which is definitely not something
> I'd like to share on multiple boxes.

Not sharing session cache on multiple boxes sounds reasonable. The
point here is that xfce4-session does not start up properly and gives
me a crippled user experience whenever I try to do any of the things I
pointed out previously.

As a sysadmin, I can't even change how I name home directories for
users (eg, by introducing a first letter for the username
c/ccontavalli) without breaking everyone's xfce. But maybe that's been
the case for a while and is the same for kde / gnome or others, and
I'm just wrong for wanting to do this.

Feel free to mark this bug closed or lower priority as appropriate.

Thanks anyway,

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