CrunchBang 11 Interlude

[If you don’t know who or what these (*) are, check the Glossary page]

First Pothole

I hit my first CrunchBang 11 pothole last night. I sat down to do some work on Defiant*. I wasn’t happy with the speed of the trackpad. The pointer was moving too fast for my taste, so I Googled it and came up with a page from the CrunchBang Wiki. We’ve used a lot of lx**** stuff with good results. While TheFrog* likes command line, I prefer nice, tidy, easy-to-use GUI* utilities. The CrunchBang Wiki page told me that if I loaded lxinput I’d get a GUI utility that allowed me to adjust mouse and keyboard settings. Terrific! Using a terminal window, I installed lxinput. (Can also be done with Synaptic: Settings->Synaptic Package Manager, search for lxinput.)

sudo aptitude update

sudo aptitude full-upgrade

sudo aptitude install lxinput

sudo reboot

This can be done in one line:

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude full-upgrade && sudo aptitude install lxinput && sudo reboot

[&& means AND]

I did an update and upgrade before installing lxinput, then rebooted. It probably wasn’t necessary to reboot, but as a survivor of the Windows 3.1 era, I always feel more secure after a reboot.

My login window came up…I entered user id and password…and:

failed to execute login command

Tried again with the same result. With growing feelings of trepidation and despair, I realized that I needed to get RoboFrog* involved. (Don’t get me wrong. TheFrog is able to fix most of our problems, but wow! It’s usually pretty ugly. HE can’t help tinkering. I just want to get some work done.)

“What’s up?”

“I broke Defiant. I can’t log on.”

“Really,” said TheFrog. “Cool! What did you do?”

Cool! See what I mean?

“I updated her and loaded lxinput.”

“What did you do for?” HE’s giving me that look. (Not that look; the other one.)

“I wanted to change the mouse speed. The pointer is too sensitive.”

“Why didn’t you say something?” said RoboFrog. “I could have fixed that without lxinput. Did you reboot before you loaded lxinput?”


“So you don’t know whether the update or lxinput broke Defiant?”

“I guess not.” This conversation wasn’t doing much to cheer me up.

“Let me see her.”

Hands shaking, I handed Defiant to TheFrog. HE* sat down with her, tried a few reboots without success. Then HE switched to a console window (Ctl+Alt+F4) and logged on (It really is handy to know CLI*); poked around in a few configuration files, then loaded something and rebooted.

“Here.” He handed Defiant back to me. “She’ll work now. Tomorrow I’ll figure out what happened.”

Mouth hanging open, I blinked a couple of times and said, “That’s it? What did you do?”

“Not much. Slim’s not working, so I loaded gdm. I’ll fix her tomorrow.” (sudo aptitide install gdm3)

[Slim and gdm (Gnome Display Manager) are display managers. They manage your login when you start your system. CrunchBang 10 uses gdm as its default display manager while CrunchBang 11 uses Slim. Debian Wheezy (testing), on which CrunchBang 11 is based, uses gdm as its display manager. I suspect that’s how TheFrog knew it would work. Also, I suspect that the CrunchBang team switched to Slim because its a much lighter-weight display manager than gdm.]

I tried logging on.

“It’s still not letting me log in.”

“What does it say in the login session box?,” asked TheFrog.

“Default session,” I reply.

“Click on the drop-down box and set the session to Openbox.”

I did, and sure enough, everything was fine. Other than having a different login screen, I couldn’t tell the difference. And…I got a lot of work done. For once, RoboFrog simply fixed the problem without tearing the machine apart. Now that was cool.

Good to HIS word, by the time I got to the RFCC* this morning, RoboFrog had Defiant completely restored to her pre-lxinput condition. Apparently, HE wasn’t interested in worrying about what lxinput did. HE confirmed, though, that is was lxinput and not the system update that caused the problem. HE reinstalled CrunchBang 11 and restored my backup.

If you’re running CrunchBang 11…DO NOT…install lxinput!

By the way, TheFrog also fixed my mouse pointer speed. That’s a story for another time.