What is Linux Display Manager?



On this chapter of the Linux Jargon Buster, you’ll find out about show supervisor in Linux. Is it a part of the desktop atmosphere? What does it do?

What’s show supervisor in Linux?

In easy phrases, a show supervisor is a program that gives graphical login capabilities on your Linux distribution. It controls the person classes and manages person authentication. Show supervisor begins the show server and hundreds the desktop atmosphere proper after you enter your username and password.

The show supervisor is commonly synonymous to the login display. It’s the seen a part of it in spite of everything. Nevertheless, the seen login display, additionally known as greeter, is just part of the show supervisor.

login screen opensuseLogin display is the seen a part of a show supervisor

Like numerous desktop environments and show servers, there are numerous show managers obtainable as properly. Let’s take a look at them.

Totally different show managers

Some folks consider the show supervisor as a part of the desktop atmosphere however that’s not true. It’s a separate program.

A desktop atmosphere might advocate a sure show supervisor nevertheless it doesn’t imply that it gained’t work with another show supervisor. For those who ever put in multiple desktop atmosphere in the identical system, you’d do not forget that a login display (i.e. the show supervisor) means that you can change the desktop atmosphere.

Deepin Session UbuntuA show supervisor can be utilized with numerous desktop environments

Although show supervisor shouldn’t be a part of the desktop atmosphere itself, it’s usually developed by the identical improvement staff because the desktop atmosphere. It additionally turns into identification of the desktop atmosphere.

For instance, the GNOME desktop atmosphere develops GDM (GNOME Show Supervisor) and simply by wanting on the login display, you’d consider GNOME desktop atmosphere.

Login Screen 1GNOME Login Display screen with GDM

Some common show managers are:

  • GDM (GNOME Show Supervisor): most well-liked by GNOME
  • SDDM (Easy Desktop Show Supervisor): most well-liked by KDE
  • LightDM: Developed by Ubuntu for Unity desktop

Show managers might be custom-made

There are such a lot of desktop environments obtainable. Do all of them have their very own show managers? No. That’s not the case.

As I discussed beforehand, the seen login display known as greeter. This greeter might be custom-made to vary the appears of the login display.

In actual fact, many distributions and/or desktop environments have written their very own greeter to present customers a login display that resembles their model.

For instance, Mint’s Cinnamon desktop makes use of LightDM however has its personal greeter to present it extra Minty (or ought to I say Cinnamon) appears.

Linux Mint Login ScreenLinux Mint login display based mostly on LightDM

Check out Kali Linux’s login display:

Kali Linux Login ScreenKali Linux Login Display screen

If you’re into coding and tweaking, you might modify or code your personal greeter as per your liking.

Altering show supervisor

It’s possible you’ll change the show supervisor if you would like. You should set up the show supervisor first. You’ll see the choice to modify the show supervisor whereas putting in.

Switch between gdm and lightdm

For those who didn’t do it at the moment, then you’ll be able to change the show supervisor by manually configuring it later. The strategy to reconfigure the show supervisor is barely totally different for various distributions and never within the scope of this text.


I hope you have got a slight higher understanding of the time period show supervisor in Linux. The goal of this jargon buster sequence is to clarify frequent Linux colloquial and technical phrases in non-technical language with out going into an excessive amount of element.

I welcome your feedback and suggestion.


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