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LightDM Display Manager

LightDM is now the default display manager used by Ubuntu and many other distributions to provide the graphical login screen.

This display manager is not much different from GDM, the code has simply been optimized thoroughly. This display manager will function well with most popular desktop environments. Users can also expect faster loading times with this login manager due to the improved code base.

LightDM Display Manager Screenshot

Here is the LightDM Display Manager with a custom background.

LightDM Display Manager Details

The display manager is an important desktop component that often goes overlooked. There are several other display manager available, but LightDM is becoming quite popular. This display manager was first adopted by Ubuntu and later by Kubuntu.

What Does LightDM do?

The display manager is started automatically when you boot your computer, that is if it installed and configured correctly. The display manager then loads a greeter screen that you can use to authenticate system users. From the greeter screen you can also choose many other options, like which desktop environment or window manager you wish to load, or you can choose which language you want to use for the greeter screen. It handles user authentication, user switching, and much more.

What Greeters Are Supported?

LightDM is compatible with several different greeters which will give your login screen a different look. Each greeter is compatible with a whole different list of shocking login screen themes. LightDM supports GTK+ greeters, QT greeters, WebKit greeters, or the Unity greeter.

LightDM Display Manager Screenshot

This is the default look of LightDM on Ubuntu 13.10.

LightDM Display Manager Installation

Ubuntu users can install this display manager using the commands seen below, if by chance it is missing.

Add the LightDM PPA

First you can add the personal package archive to your sources using the next command.

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:lightdm-team/ppa && apt-get update

Install LightDM on Ubuntu

Now you can begin installing this high quality display manager with the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install lightdm lightdm-greeter-example-gtk

Simple LightDM Manager Configuration Tool

This is the tool we have all been waiting for. The Simple LightDM Manager provides a GUI that can be used to change the login screen logo and wallpaper.

I have had some problems installing this tool via PPA, I recommend downloading the .deb package available on Launchpad.

Download Simple LightDM

Install Simple LightDM Deb Package

After downloading the .deb file you can begin installing Simple LightDM with the following command. Be sure to accept and install any required packages if you get any errors.

$ sudo dpkg -i simple-lightdm-manager_version.deb

Add Simple LightDM PPA

If you want to try the PPA approach you can with the commands below. First you will need to add the new sources and update so the new software becomes available.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:claudiocn/slm && apt-get update

Install Simple LightDM

Now you can begin installing this convenient tool with this final command.

$ sudo apt-get install simple-lightdm-manager