gdm − GNOME Display Manager




gdm is the equivalent of xdm(1x) or wdm(1x), but uses the GNOME libraries to provide a GNOME look−and−feel. It provides the GNOME equivalent of a "login:" prompt.

gdm reads /etc/gdm/gdm.conf for its configuration. For each local display, gdm starts an X server and runs gdmlogin(8x) on that display. The main gdm process also listens for XDMCP requests from remote displays. These requests can either be direct, causing gdm to start a gdmlogin(8x) on the remote display, or indirect, causeing a gdmchooser(8x) to be opened.

When managing a display, gdm attempts to execute /etc/gdm/Init/display, or /etc/gdm/Init/Default if that does not exist. When a user logs in, gdm first attempts /etc/gdm/PreSession/display (or /etc/gdm/PreSession/Default), and then one of the sessions in /etc/gdm/Sessions. When the session has completed, gdm attempts to run /etc/gdm/PostSession/display, or /etc/gdm/PostSession/Default. Of all these files, only the /etc/gdm/Sessions one is required to exist.

gdm maintains information about the displays it is managing in /var/lib/gdm. This includes xauth information, so this directory is not readable to normal users.

gdm uses PAM to perform authentication using the config file /etc/pam.d/gdm.


Martin Kasper Petersen <mkp [AT]>

This manual page written by Steve Haslam <araqnid [AT]> for Debian GNU/Linux. Updated by Raphaël Hertzog <hertzog [AT]>. Updated by Ryan Murray <rmurray [AT]>.