I ditched gnome by ditching gdm in my Debian install and replaced it with xdm and fluxbox. The problem that now occurs is that logging in to fluxbox doesn't work. I type my username and password, press enter, the screen blanks out and I get back to the xdm login stage again.
I traced this behaviour to existence of
source <somefile>, or
. <somefile> statements in the .xsession (.xsessionrc) files. This makes it impossible to source
.profile when using the graphical login.
Can someone more knowledgeable about the contemporary login process of Debian elaborate on what is the best place to customise the environment in, or where to source