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Lightdm LightDM is a cross-desktop display manager that aims to be the standard display manager for the X server.


You can install lightdmAUR from the AUR.

Warning: Lightdm changes your $PATH and it might create issues. See [1] for how to fix the $PATH.

Enabling Lightdm

Lightdm can be loaded on startup by entering it in your daemons array in rc.conf, or by appending the following line to inittab:

x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/lightdm 2>&1 /dev/null

If you're using systemd, Lightdm also has a systemd service file, start it with systemctl start lightdm.service or enable it for boot with systemctl enable lightdm.service.

See Display Manager for detailed instructions.

Required Configuration

Lightdm will only show a blank screen until a greeter is chosen. Open the the configuration file at /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and find the #greeter-session= option, uncomment it, and change it to the greeter of your choice. For example, to use the default gtk3 greeter, change it to this:


Additional greeters are available in the AUR. To see which greeters are installed, look in /usr/share/xgreeters. Do not include the .desktop extension when setting your greeter.

Note: The following requires xorg-server-xephyr to be installed.

It is possible to test lightdm with the following command:

$ lightdm --test-mode -c /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Optional Configuration and Tweaks

Changing Background Images/Colors

Users wishing to customize the wallpaper on the greeter screen need to edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter.conf defining the background variable.


Note: It is recommended to place png or jpg files in /usr/share/pixmaps since the lightdm user needs read access to the wallpaper file.

Users wishing to have a flat color (no image) may simply set the background variable to a hex color.



Changing the Icon

Users wishing to customize the icon (by default, the 'computer' graphic) should follow this 3-step procedure:

  1. Copy a 64x64 png to /usr/share/icons/hicolor/64x64/devices
  2. Run gtk-update-icon-cache /usr/share/icons/hicolor
  3. Edit /usr/share/lightdm-gtk-greeter/greeter.ui

Search for 'image1' and edit the 'property' xml to be the filename (less the extension). By default it should be 'computer' by default.

Enabling Autologin

# gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Change these lines to:


(last one might need to be created)

# gedit /etc/pam.d/lightdm-autologin

(create if it doesn't exist) Add:

auth requisite
auth required
auth requisite
auth sufficient uid >= 1000 quiet
auth required
account required
password required
session required
-session optional
session optional revoke
session required
session required

NumLock ON

Install numlockx.

for lightDM to turn your NumLock On do this:

# gedit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

add the next line at the end:

greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on