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Definition

In the X Window System, an X display manager is a graphical login manager which starts a session on an X server from the same or another computer. A display manager presents the user with a login screen. A session starts when a user successfully enters a valid combination of username and password.1

Available X display managers

Package name

Screenshot

Description

 

gdm3

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/gdm3

Gnome Display Manager

sddm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/sddm

Display manager that supports both X11 and Wayland, default for KDE

lxdm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/lxdm

LXDE display manager

xdm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/xdm

Xorg's default display manager.

lightdm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/lightdm

Desktop-independent customizable display manager

slim

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/slim

Desktop-independent graphical login manager for X11

wdm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/wdm

WINGs Display Manager (using the WINGs widget-set used in Window Maker)

nodm

https://screenshots.debian.net/screenshot/nodm

Automatically start an X session at system boot (without prompting password, for single user environment).

 

More display managers

Search on Debtags: tag:x11::display-manager AND tag:role::program

Selecting a default display manager

Whenever a package containing a display manager is installed and configured, it'll try to detect if there's another display manager currently installed. If so, it'll open a dialog asking which one you'd like to use as a default. To change this later, you can reconfigure any display manager package that you have installed, and the dialog will reappear. For instance:

# dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
# dpkg-reconfigure gdm3
# dpkg-reconfigure sddm

Any one of these would be valid. Please also note that your options aren't limited to these three packages, but they're given as common examples of installed display manager packages. It must be a package already installed, so if it's not one of these, you should exchange the package name with one that applies to your setup.


CategoryBootProcess CategoryDesktopEnvironment CategoryXWindowSystem CategorySoftware

  1. Source: Wikipedia (1)