[nSLUG] Replacement fro gdm

Jack Warkentin jwark at bellaliant.net
Wed Sep 14 14:29:17 ADT 2011

Hi Everybody

At the nSLUG meeting on Monday earlier this week I was asking if anybody 
had any suggestions as to a replacement for gdm3, into which gdm has 
metamorphosed, and is even cruftier than before (IMHO).

Ben had a negative suggestion, ie do *not* use --- can't remember 
exactly what, but it was something like slip or slide.

The results of

# apt-cache search "display manager"

on my Debian testing system yielded

gdm3 - Next generation GNOME Display Manager
kdm - KDE Display Manager for X11
ldm - LTSP display manager
ldm-server - server components for LTSP display manager
ldm-themes - Collection of themes for the LTSP login manager
libxdmcp-dev - X11 authorisation library (development headers)
libxdmcp6 - X11 Display Manager Control Protocol library
libxdmcp6-dbg - X11 authorisation library (debug package)
liblightdm-gobject-1-0 - simple display manager (gobject library)
liblightdm-gobject-dev - simple display manager (gobject development files)
liblightdm-qt-1-0 - simple display manager (Qt library)
liblightdm-qt-dev - simple display manager (Qt development files)
lightdm - simple display manager
lightdm-gtk-greeter - simple display manager (GTK+ greeter)
lightdm-qt-greeter - simple display manager (Qt greeter)
lightdm-vala - simple display manager (Vala files)
nodm - automatic display manager
sdm - Secure Display Manager - secure remote access to X11
sdm-terminal - Secure Display Manager - terminal files
wdm - WINGs Display Manager - an xdm replacement with a WindowMaker look
xdm - X display manager

(Ben's non-suggestion obviously wasn't there.)

I wasn't interested in kdm or xdm for more or less the same reasons that 
I was trying to replace gdm, and ldm & sdm did not appear suitable to my 
single machine systems (desktop and laptop, no server); nodm, for 
smartphones, was a non-starter.

So I first tried wdm. It looked good at first, but when I su'd to root 
and tried to run synaptic, the authorization system said no. There was 
an error message saying "could not open display", which, I have learned 
from previous experience, means that X-authorization has rejected the 
request to open the display.

So I got rid of wdm and tried lightdm and so far it looks good. As a 
result of purging gdm, I have been able to rid my system of roughly 20 
no longer needed packages. Great de-crufting! But there are still a 
*lot* of gnome-ish packages around that are still needed by the 
half-dozen or so gnome applications that I use.

I hope this is of interest to other members of the list.


Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at bellaliant.net
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

More information about the nSLUG mailing list