Gnome Setup

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Revision as of 18:32, 2 December 2014 by Alacerda (talk | contribs) (Initial setup)
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(Last edited by Alacerda on 2 Dec 2014.)

Initial setup

Start by booting up Alpine (see these instructions on how to do that)
When you Alpine is up and running, do the initial setup.



Install packages

Install basic desktop system and gnome packages.
This might take a few minutes depending on your network speed.

apk add alpine-desktop gnome-base lxdm

Lxdm is a display manager. You can use a different one such as slim by replacing




Optional packages

Video and Input packages

You might also want to install a package suitable for your video chipset and input devices.
For example, if you have an Sis video chipset install 'xf86-video-sis', for Intel video chipset install 'xf86-video-intel'.

apk add xf86-video-sis

and / or

apk add xf86-input-synaptics

If you are running a virtual machine (i.e in VirtualBox or VMware) you probably also want these video drivers:

apk add xf86-video-vmware

Run 'apk search xf86-video*' to see available xf86-video packages.
Run 'apk search xf86-input*' to see available xf86-input packages.


If you installed your Alpine Linux as a VirtualBox or VMWare guest you might find it handy be able send ACPI shutdown.

rc-update add acpid

Configure xorg-server (optional)

You can configure xorg-server and make your modifications

Xorg -configure

This will result in `/root/`. You can modify this file to fit your needs.
(When finished modifying and testing the above configuration file, move it to `/etc/X11/xorg.conf` for normal usage.)


Adding udev might help you with some finicky hardware like touchpads.

apk add udev /etc/init.d/udev start && /etc/init.d/udev-postmount start rc-update add udev sysinit rc-update add udev-postmount default

Adding evdev might also be necessary, for example if the keyboard doesn't work in X...

apk add xf86-input-evdev

Create user accounts

Create a normal user account.

adduser ncopa

Optionally, give that user sudo permissions in /etc/sudoers.

Start your desktop

Start lxdm and log in with your new user.

rc-service lxdm start

Once you have verified that it actually works you can make lxdm start up at boot:

rc-update add lxdm

Or if using slim:

rc-service slim start

and once confirmed as working enable it at boot:

rc-update add slim


If you are unable to login, check /var/log/lxdm.log, there may be output there from X to indicate failed modules, etc.
If you are unable to login, or you see an error "Failed to execute login command", you should check ~/.xinitrc with your preferred text editor (vi, nano, etc) and ensure that it is set to boot into gnome. To do this, the 'exec' line (usually the last line in the file) should read "exec gnome-session". If ~/.xinitrc does not exist, create it and add the exec line. this command will do it:

touch ~/.xinitrc && echo "exec gnome-session" >> ~/.xinitrc