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Difference between the two xorg auth files
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abduct
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Joined: 19 Mar 2015
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:05 am    Post subject: Difference between the two xorg auth files Reply with quote

So what exactly is the difference between .Xauthority and .serverauth?

I've seen remarks online that .serverauth is not needed and patching startx to write the serverauth to Xauthority files cleans up your home directory.

The reason I am asking is that I wrote a acpi script to lock my session with xautolock, but in order for it to function I had to export my DISPLAY and XAUTHORITY.

Code:
#!/bin/sh
set -e
xpid="$(pgrep -n X)"
xuser="myuser"
display="$(egrep -aoz ':[0-9](.[0-9])?' /proc/$xpid/cmdline)"
export XAUTHORITY="/home/$xuser/.Xauthority"
export DISPLAY="$display"

su - "$xuser" -c "/usr/bin/xautolock -locknow"
sleep 5
/usr/sbin/s2ram


Although somehow my .Xauthority file went stale and my script ceased to function. This non functioning script kept non functioning over many reboots and Xorg restarts telling me that for what ever reason the .Xauthority file was not being updated. This was puzzling for a while, but after deleting the .Xauthority and .serverauth files and restarting Xorg my script started functioning again.

So what is exactly the point between the two files, and does patching startx to use the same file harm anything else? Does anything actually depend on .serverauth?

Here is a link to a discussion about it: https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/199160/what-are-serverauth-files-in-my-home-directory

Edit:: Actually after the first reboot after fixing my .Xauthority file it went stale again and my script is unable to use/find a running xautolock process:

Code:
./suspend-to-ram.sh: line 6: warning: command substitution: ignored null byte in input
Could not locate a running xautolock.


So what on earth are the .Xauthority and .serverauth files for? Is it safe to patch startx to use a single file (.Xauthority)? This must of been a change in xorg recently as probably within the last 6 months it has been working fine.
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josephg
l33t
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Joined: 10 Jan 2016
Posts: 782
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how you start X. I startx, and have not needed to worry about .Xauthority or .serverauth.???? files yet. Those files are automatically created by /usr/bin/startx. Though I remember clearing out several stale ~/.serverauth.???? files, when X crashed for various reasons in the past.

Code:
$ man xauth
...
$HOME/.Xauthority default authority file if XAUTHORITY isn't defined.


You could define XAUTHORITY to be something else than default. I think there are bugs with Xsecurity, which might affect you if you are in a really secure environment.
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abduct
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Joined: 19 Mar 2015
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just run startx after logging in as my user. No different that anyone else using startx.

For some reason my .Xauthority file goes stale or something after a reboot because unless i delete it and relaunch xorg via startx, my script in the first post fails to work. Many months back it would work across reboots and even resumes from disk.
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