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Recipe 15.11. Changing Your Login Display Manager
You don't like your login display manager, and you want to try a different one. Perhaps your distribution installed xdm, which is rather bare-bones, and you'd like to try a login display manager with more features, like gdm or kdm. Or you've having problems, such as hanging at shutdown, and you think a different login manager might help.
$ ps ax | grep dm 3796 ? S 0.00 /usr/bin/kdm -nodaemon
Most distributions use /etc/X11/default-display-manager. It should contain a single line:
Change this to the display manager of your choice, using the full pathname:
Red Hat and Fedora do it a little differently. Edit /etc/sysconfig/desktop, and add this line:
or "KDE," or "XDM." Don't use the paths to the executables; that doesn't work.
xdm, the X display manager, can be thought of as a graphical replacement for the login command. It requires only the X Windows System to run, unlike gdm and kdm (which require Gnome and KDE, respectively).
gdm and kdm do the same thing as xdm, plus allow users to shutdown or restart; select a different window manager or desktop; and customize the login screen with a picture or logo.
Red Hat and Fedora use the /etc/X11/prefdm script to start the display manager, which is called from /etc/inittab. /etc/X11/prefdm looks to /etc/sysconfig/desktop for the default display manager, as you can see by reading the script:
$ less /etc/X11/prefdm ... preferred= if [ -f /etc/sysconfig/desktop ]; then . /etc/sysconfig/desktop if [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = GNOME ]; then preferred=gdm elif [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = KDE ]; then preferred=kdm elif [ "$DISPLAYMANAGER" = XDM ]; then preferred=xdm fi fi
This is where we see that it wants DISPLAYMANAGER = "GNOME", instead of /usr/bin/gdm.
If you peruse Red Hat's /rc*.d directories, you'll notice there are no entries for any display manager. How can this be? Take a look at the bottom of /etc/inittab:
# Run xdm in runlevel 5 x:5:respawn:/etc/X11/prefdm -nodaemon
The moral is, in Linux, there are always many ways to do things.
15.11.4 See Also
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