Up to this point, login to Tribblix has been very traditional. The system boots to a console login, you enter your username and password, and then start your graphical desktop in whatever manner you choose.
That's reasonable for old-timers such as myself, but we can do better. The question is how to do that.
OpenSolaris, and thus OpenIndiana, have used gdm, from GNOME. I don't have GNOME, and don't wish to be forever locked in dependency hell, so that's not really an option for me.
There's always xdm, but it's still very primitive. I might be retro, but I'm also in favour of style and bling.
I had a good long look at LightDM, and managed to get that ported and running a while back. (And part of that work helped get it into XStreamOS.) However, LightDM is a moving target, it's evolving off in other directions, and it's quite a complicated beast. As a result, while I did manage to get it to work, I was never happy enough to enable it.
I've gone back to SLiM, which used to be hosted at BerliOS. The current source appears to be here. It has the advantage of being very simple, with minimal dependencies.
I made a few modification and customizations, and have it working pretty well. As upstream doesn't seem terribly active, and some of my changes are pretty specific, I decided to fork the code, my repo is here.
Apart from the basic business of making it compile correctly, I've put in a working configuration file, and added an SMF manifest.
SLiM doesn't have a very good mechanism for selecting what environment you get when you log in. By default it will execute your .xinitrc (and fail horribly if you don't have one). There is a mechanism where it can look in /usr/share/xsessions for .desktop files, and you can use F1 to switch between them, but there's no way currently to filter that list, or tell it what order to show then in, or have a default. So I switched that bit off.
I already have a mechanism in Tribblix to select the desktop environment, called tribblix-session. This allows you to use the setxsession and setvncsession commands to define which session you want to run, either in regular X (via the .xinitrc file) or using VNC. So my SLiM login calls a script that hooks into and cooperates with that, and then falls back on some sensible defaults - Xfce, MATE, WindowMaker, or - if all else fails - twm.
It's been working pretty well so far. It can also do automatic login for a given user, and there are magic logins for special purposes (console, halt, and reboot, with the root password).
Now what I need is a personalized theme.