From ArchWiki
Revision as of 20:26, 31 August 2012 by Radioactiveman (Talk | contribs) (lightdm-gtk-greeter is in the AUR)

Jump to: navigation, search
Summary help replacing me
Provides an overview and setup of the Light Display Manager.
Display Manager

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


Currently, lightdmAUR resides in the AUR. Install it like any other AUR package.


You will also need lightdm-gtk-greeterAUR from the AUR.

Other greeters can be installed:

To change the default greeter (lightdm-gtk-greeterAUR) edit the lightdm PKGBUILD and change the line




Enabling Lightdm

Lightdm can be loaded on startup by entering it in the daemons array in rc.conf, or by modifying inittab so it points to lightdm:

x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/lightdm &> /dev/null
Note: The 'inittab' method is the preferred method to use a graphical greeter. See Display_Manager#inittab_method.
Note: Lightdm needs dbus to be running. If you get an error about "respawing too fast" you may have forgotten this. Ensure that dbus is in your DAEMONS array in rc.conf.

For systems 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.

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 image 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.

Sources of Arch-centric 64x64 Icons

The archlinux-artwork package in [extra] contains some nice examples that install to /usr/share/archlinux/icons and that can be copied to /usr/share/icons/hicolor/64x64/devices as follows:

# find /usr/share/archlinux/icons -name "*64*" -exec cp {} /usr/share/icons/hicolor/64x64/devices \;

After copying, the archlinux-artwork package can be removed.

Enabling Autologin

Edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and change these lines to:


PAM settings

Lightdm goes through PAM even when autologin is enabled. You must make sure that PAM allows the login without prompting for a password.

Create a new group called, say, autologin and add yourself to the group:

 groupadd autologin
 gpasswd -a username autologin

Edit /etc/pam.d/lightdm-autologin and locate the line "auth required". Add new lines before and after it so that the section now reads:

 auth [success=1 default=ignore] user ingroup autologin
 auth required
 auth optional

This ensures that the user will not be asked for a password when logging in through Lightdm autologin.

NumLock ON

Install the numlockx package and the edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf adding the following line:

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

User switching under xfce4

With the release of xfce4 v4.10, user switching is supported natively. To use it with lightdm, users need only to create a symlink:

# ln -s /usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm/gdmflexiserver /usr/bin/gdmflexiserver

Alternatively, see the [Xscreensaver#Lightdm] article.