Display manager

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Revision as of 04:19, 27 November 2005 by WillySilly (Talk | contribs) (Relect change in location of gdm)

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This is very easy to do, and will add the login manager as a daemon that will automatically load upon the startup of your computer. All you need is root access.

Just a reminder: The *dm login doesn't allow empty passwords!

Just do the following:

1. Login as root with su.

2. Open the file /etc/rc.conf in your editor of choice.

3. Scroll through the file until you see a line that looks similar to the following (it is most likely near the bottom):

DAEMONS=(syslogd klogd !pcmcia network netfs crond)

4. After the last listed program, add the login manager that you want to use, either KDM, GDM or XDM, such as the following:

# This would load KDM on startup
DAEMONS=(syslogd klogd !pcmcia network netfs crond kdm)
# This would load GDM on startup
DAEMONS=(syslogd klogd !pcmcia network netfs crond gdm)
# This would load XDM on startup
DAEMONS=(syslogd klogd !pcmcia network netfs crond xdm)

5. Save the file, and exit the editor. The next time you reboot, the login manager should run. If it does not, make sure that your file is correct, and that the program is installed.

Extra Notes:

  • The KDM package is a part of the kdebase package. You can acquire it with this pacman command as root:
pacman -Syu kdebase

Alternate method

While the above method will work, a side effect is that there will be no difference between run levels 3 and 5, and actually if you start up run level 5 you may have both xdm and kdm/gdm running, depending on what your /etc/inittab looks like. To avoid this, instead of the above, do the following:

1. Login as root with su.

2. Open /etc/inittab using an editor of your choice.

3. Change the line




4. Make sure the line

x:5:respawn:/usr/X11R6/bin/xdm -nodaemon

appears in the file.

5. (Optional) If you just want xdm, skip this step. If you want gdm or kdm, change the line

x:5:respawn:/usr/X11R6/bin/xdm -nodaemon

to one of

x:5:respawn:/opt/gnome/sbin/gdm -nodaemon
x:5:respawn:/opt/kde/bin/kdm -nodaemon

6. Save the file and exit the editor.

That's it -- next time you boot, your chosen display manager will appear. To start it without rebooting, execute the following command (still as root):

/sbin/telinit 5

If you ever need to stop X (to upgrade your video drivers, for example), you can execute (as root):

/sbin/telinit 3

to get back to a console-based login. After you're done, you can telinit back to run level 5, no reboot necessary.