Note : Modern Desktop environment also have (easier|GUI) session management tools. (Under Gnome System Menu > Preferences > session). Except for very specific purpose, it shouldn't be necessary to touch xinitrc file.
The xinit program is used to start the X Window System server and a first client program on systems that cannot start X directly from /etc/init or in environments that use multiple window systems. When this first client exits, xinit will kill the X server and then terminate.
If no specific client program is given on the command line, xinit will look for a hidden file in the user's home_directory called .xinitrc to run as a shell script to start up client programs
A .xinitrc sample is:
# ~/.xinitrc # This file is sourced when running startx and # other programs which call xinit # As in all Bash/sh scripts lines starting with # '#' are comments # Set background to your favorite pic xsetbg -fullscreen /morphix/background.png & # Start a XTerm /usr/bin/X11/xterm & # Start the systems window manager. # See WindowManagers for other choices. exec /etc/alternatives/x-window-manager # To run Gnome instead of system default, place a # '#' before the previous line and uncomment the # next line. # exec gnome-session
Note that ~/.xinitrc is only for configuring the initialization of xinit. If you want the script to be called when ever an X Session is started, then you should instead use ~/.xsession. Most WindowManagers also have a method of starting programs when they first startup.