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Simple Desktop Display Manager (SDDM) is a cross-desktop X11 and Wayland display manager. It was built to be modern, fast, simple, beautiful, and highly customizable. It is based on Qt and its markup language QML and has customizable looks using themes. It is the standard display manager of the Qt-based desktop environments KDE and LXQt. It is present in Debian stable since stretch (Debian 9).

To install SDDM, run as root or prepended by sudo:

apt install sddm

or search SDDM in your favorite graphical APT frontend like e.g. Synaptic and install it from there.

System-wide configuration

In the simplest case, configuration is in /etc/sddm.conf.

Configuration files can also be in /usr/lib/sddm/sddm.conf.d/ or in /etc/sddm.conf.d/.

sddm.conf contains a comprehensive list of options.

To change the current default Display Manager, run

dpkg-reconfigure sddm

Enable autologin

Put this stanza in /etc/sddm.conf or in /etc/sddm.conf.d/autologin or in another configuration file in /etc/sddm.conf.d/.


USERNAME must be replaced with the name of the user to be logged in.

DENAME must be replaced with the name of one of the files found under /usr/share/xsessions/ or /usr/share/wayland-sessions/. E.g. plasma for KDE or lxqt for LXQt.

When Relogin is false or left blank, SDDM will autologin only for first login after boot. If set true autologin will be repeated immediately after logout.

See also