CentOS6 – Failsafe Terminal On Login Screen

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I have some clients that run CentOS6 and I need to have users be able to access the “failsafe terminal” from the login screen. The old options (from
4/5) for choosing your session aren’t present. I’ve googled a bit on this but don’t seem to be using a good search string as most of the hits have nothing to do with this and the rest aren’t helpful.

So, just wondering if anyone knows what I need to do to “turn on” session choosing from the login screen, and how to include the failsafe terminal.


8 thoughts on - CentOS6 – Failsafe Terminal On Login Screen

  • so, if I understand correctly, you want to be able to choosoe “Gnome”,
    “XFCE”, etc., etc. from the login screen, right?

    the feature is there, but it doesn’t show up until you’ve chosen a username either from the list displayed, or entered one manually. so, enter a user ID and then choose, before completing the password.

  • fred smith wrote:

    If you install xorg-x11-xinit-session you get a option once you’ve entered a username that will run your ~/.xsession or ~/.Xclients files
    (if they exist)

    You can use the file it installs
    (/usr/share/xsessions/xinit-compat.desktop) as a template to create your own ‘desktop’ file that will start what you like – I have a
    /usr/share/xsessions/failsafe.desktop file that just starts xterm

    James Pearson

  • Miranda Hawarden-Ogata wrote:

    You could write a simple script that does all you need and just call this script via the “Exec=…” line – this is actually what I do in my failsafe.desktop file – although I don’t know if this will help in your case

    James Pearson

  • Thanks, James, that did the trick. So now I have set up two desktops, one a vanilla xterm and the other specifically for this purpose, runs my script in a gnome-terminal and it appears to be working properly, no funky pop-ups or anything. Thanks again for your help!


  • Glad you got it working Miranda. A silly side-question…

    Would a regular ol’ text console have done what was needed? CTRL-ALT-F1…

    Did your users need the real-estate of an X based terminal in the recovery console?

  • Nate, to be honest I’m not 100% sure, but I think it would not… the script needs to be functional whether the user is sshing in from a remote location or sitting at the workstation, and it needs to be automatic. As soon as they log in as that user, it runs the guest user creation script and verifies that they are permitted to create an account at this time. Also, the main server is completely blocked by the firewall, so the user “leapfrogs” over by sshing to the one computer with external SSH access which then SSH the user over to the main server where they can do the account set up. Currently the same script works whether they sit down at a console and log in as the creation user or if they remotely login, and it needs to stay like that, otherwise it gets too messy to maintain.

    Not sure if I answered your question or not :)


  • Yep, you did. I thought you were helping folks who were always sitting at a physical machine console.

    Disregard all after “Good afternoon”! GRIN… the comment didn’t apply to remote setup over the network.

    Best regards,