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Solaris 10 on x86 - start desktop problem

On Software » Solaris Operating System

4,819 words with 1 Comments; publish: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 03:19:00 GMT; (400171.88, « »)

I apologize for the lengthy blow-by-blow below. But I am hoping that more info of my problem is best. There are a number of forum posts that I have read regarding not getting to a desktop, but I haven't seen one with my problem, of not being able to get to a command line either.


Can not consistently get to a desktop on Solaris 10 (x86, 32-bit). And now, no command line either.


Are their 2 different windowing systems competing against each other here? I have seen multiple types of graphical login screens during this problem.


I installed Solaris 10 on x86 (32-bit). I installed everything possible (short of docs and Java Enterprise as I do not have CDs for those).

Upon first trying to boot after install, it said I needed to run kdmconfig to fix some video settings.

No matter what I try for video settings (video card, monitor and resolution), including the correct settings, the "test" for the new settings hangs indefinately.

I restart, tell it to skip the test (using F3), it gets me to a command line.

I can enter /usr/bin/gdm, and X starts (saw this on this forum).

Restart the machine and it gives command line login, but then automatically goes to:

"Starting Desktop Login on display :0..."

"Wait for the Desktop Login screen before loggin in"

Then it hangs indefinately. Let it go overnight and it is still hanging. I can not get command line. I know on a Sun box I can use Stop-A during boot. But how about on x86? I don't know. So I can not get to command line to do any kind of trouble-shooting (or, I just don't know how to get a command line).

Finally realized that before it says "Starting Desktop Login", it allows about 7 seconds at command line before freezing. If I type really fast and login in (this takes about 4 seconds to execute), and then quickly use: /usr/bin/gdm, it goes into the login for JDS.

I saw suggestion on this forum to run this to possibly fix problem:

/usr/dt/bin/dtlogin -D

/usr/dt/bin/dtconfig -e

The commands executed, but upon restart it brought me to that error at the very beginning of this saga saying I needed to run kdmconfig. I did so, reluctantly tried to test my new settings, and it hangs as before. I restarted, went back into kdmconfig mode and pressed F3 to skip the new settings/test procedure.

It now went to a completely different looking graphical login screen. This one has Solaris 10 branding and a small login box in the bottom right-hand corner (opposed to a gnome-looking box centered on the screen). It also asks me if I want CDE or JDS3 as a default. I say JDS3 and it starts the desktop successfully. Is this a different windowing handler? So I had to see what happens when I restart.

I restarted and a message comes up saying (this is from memory, it has left my screen) something like I need to run error management, provide root password. I do so, and it does its routine of:

"Starting Desktop Login on display :0..."

"Wait for the Desktop Login screen before loggin in"

...but then gives me a command line already logged in. But, no keyboard response. Locked up, logged in as root, with a blinking cursor. Can't do anything but reboot.

I do so, and it is back to asking telling me I have unfinished configuration and sends me to run kdmconfig after asking for a root password.

I do so and it goes back to the "run kdmconfig" message again. Now if I test the new kdmconfig settings, it hangs indefinately. If I skip the test (F3), it hangs (this used to get me to a command line, but no more). If I wait and don't enter kdmconfig it gives me "Wait for the Desktop Login screen..." and hangs.

OK, so what can I possibly do now? My goal is any of these:

1) Have it boot to command line where I can log in and execute /usr/bin/gdm

2) Have it boot to graphical log in

3) Any other method (don't care how) of getting to a JDS desktop

Thanks for any guidance.


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    • Should anyone be stuck like myself, I received an answer from a kind poster in a different location. He suggested:

      [start other poster comments]

      Boot single user, disable dtlogin, reconfigure and test the X server, enable dtlogin.


      x86: How to Boot a System to Run Level S (Single-User Level)


      How do I disable CDE auto-start upon booting multi-user?



      [end other poster comments]

      Thank you, John, for that help.


      #1; Thu, 05 Jul 2007 22:50:00 GMT