New session manager

  • May 21, 2004
  • Benedikt

I’ve been working on a new session manager for about three months to fix the shortcomings of the old session manager. The code has now finally made its way into CVS. Its not yet in production state, but its already usable. The new version is completly incompatible with the old one, that counts for session save format – which is now plain text – as well as for splash themes. Old themes won’t no longer work with the new session manager. Francois is currently working on splash themes. I will wait for him to tell me whats missing until I declare the new format stable.

Besides that, the file system layout of the session manager has changed. It follows the XDG basedir spec now, that says, you’ll find the session data files in ~/.cache/sessions/ and the configuration in ~/.config/xfce4-session/ (the global config can be found in $sysconfdir/xdg/xfce4-session).

There are currently several options to customize xfce4-session, where most of them are “hidden options”, that is they are not changable from the settings dialog. I don’t want too much options in the GUI, to not confuse new users. The question is now, what options are important and what are “geek options”. If you have any opinion on this, please let me. Also if anybody thinks, there should be an option to customize behaviour ABC, please send mail to xfce4-dev.

The shutdown code was changed to be sudo-only. That is, if you use plain xfce4-session, you’ll need to have sudo installed to shutdown/reboot the computer, see README for details. Packagers can easily change this to use distribution specific methods, by replacing xfsm-shutdown-helper.c with their code.

And last but not least, multiple sessions are now supported (a nice side effect of the new design). I’ll add “realtime checkpoint” support soon. This will allow you to instantly switch between sessions – or “checkpoints” in this context – without having to relogin (the problem here is, how to handle non session aware applications).

So, for the brave, go to get your copy from CVS – and no, there’s no version available for the 4.0 branch, since xfce4-session makes heavy use of new features in libxfce4util. As usual, send bug reports and feature requests using the bug tracker or mailing to xfce4-dev.