Getting gnome to work after an initial CentOS installation

While preparing for my RHCE exam, I wanted to install of the system-config-* GUIs to see what functionality they provided. I used the yum groupinstall option to install the GNOME desktop:

$ yum groupinstall ‘GNOME Desktop Environment’

and then proceeded to add my preferred desktop environment to /etc/sysconfig/desktop:

$ cat /etc/sysconfig/desktop
DISPLAYMANAGER=”GNOME”

Once these items were installed I ran ‘init 5’ and was greeted with the following message in /var/log/messages:

init:x respawning too fast, disabled for 5 minutes.

After reading through various logs and scripts, I noticed that the gdm display manager wasn’t installed. I thought groupinstalling the GNOME desktop would force a display manager to be installed, but alas that isn’t the case. To get everything working I fired up yum and installed gdm:

$ yum install gdm

Everything worked as expected once gdm was installed, and I could fire up the GUIs without issue.

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