GNOME Display Manager

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GNOME Display Manager
GNOME Display Manager
Developer(s) The GNOME Project (William Jon McCann, Brian Cameron, Ray Strode)
Stable release 3.26.0 (13 September 2017 (2017-09-13)[1])
Preview release 3.27.2 (15 November 2017 (2017-11-15))
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like (includes: BSD, Linux, Solaris)
License GNU General Public License

GNOME Display Manager (GDM) is a display manager (a graphical login program) for the windowing systems X11 and Wayland.

The X Window System by default uses the XDM display manager. However, resolving XDM configuration issues typically involves editing a configuration file. GDM allows users to customize or troubleshoot settings without having to resort to a command line. Users can pick their session type on a per-login basis. GDM 2.38.0 is the last version that features customization with themes; subsequent releases do not support themes.

Software architecture

GDM is a display manager that implements all significant features required for managing attached and remote displays. GDM was written from scratch and does not contain any XDM or X Consortium code.[2]


GDM comprises the following components:

Hidden features

GDM on Ubuntu 8.04

Until version 2.22,[3] GDM had a few Easter eggs, in the form of strings to be entered in the username box. These can be found in the source file "gui/guilogin.c", in a function named "evil".[4]

  • Dancing login – type "Start Dancing" to start, and "Stop Dancing" to stop. (This requires the standard greeter, rather than the graphical one).
  • "Gimme Random Cursor" – can be used repeatedly.
  • "Require Quarter" (or "Require Quater", for backward compatibility with a typo in the original),[5] then log in normally – a dialog box appears after entering the password.

Queen of England

Some of the copyright notices of GDM refer to the "Queen of England", whom release announcements from version 2.2.1 also named as a maintainer.[6] Subsequently, developers realised that the title "Queen of England" has not existed since the Acts of Union of 1707.[7]

Removed features

As of version 3.0 the GNOME display manager switched to using AccountService for saving the user's selected session rather than storing it in the user's home directory, effectively making it unusable in a networked environment.[8]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "GDM documentation". 
  3. ^ "migrate gui to new config framework with a chainsaw". 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  4. ^ "gdm – guilogin.c". Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  5. ^ "GDM commit ee8de912". 5 March 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  6. ^ "ANNOUNCE: GDM 2.2.1, the 'Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you' release". 4 May 2001. Gdm2 was originally written by Martin K. Petersen <mkp mkp net>, and is now maintained by the Queen of England. 
  7. ^ "ANNOUNCE: GDM (unstable), the "Nose poking" release". 4 Mar 2004. 
  8. ^ "Bug 617465 - GDM ignores user's default session in ~/.dmrc". 5 Jul 2013. 

External links