GNOME Display Manager

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GNOME Display Manager
Gdm logo.png
GDM Fedora 20.png
GNOME Display Manager
Developer(s) The GNOME Project (William Jon McCann, Brian Cameron, Ray Strode)
Stable release 3.24.1 (12 April 2017; 11 days ago (2017-04-12)[1]) [±]
Preview release 3.24.0 (21 March 2017; 33 days ago (2017-03-21)[2]) [±]
Written in C
Operating system Unix-like (includes: BSD, Linux, Solaris)
License GNU General Public License

GDM (the GNOME Display Manager) 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[edit]

The GNOME Display Manager (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.[3]


GNOME Display Manager (GDM) is the name, which is used to describe the software package as a whole. It comprises the following components:

Hidden features[edit]

GDM on Ubuntu 8.04

Until version 2.22,[4] 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".[5]

  • 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),[6] then log in normally – a dialog box appears after entering the password.

Queen of England[edit]

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.[7] Subsequently, developers realised that the title "Queen of England" has not existed since the Acts of Union of 1707.[8]

Removed features[edit]

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.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clasen, Matthias (12 April 2017). "GNOME 3.24.1". gnome-announce-list (Mailing list). Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Clasen, Matthias (21 March 2017). "GNOME 3.24". gnome-announce-list (Mailing list). Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  3. ^ "GDM documentation". 
  4. ^ "migrate gui to new config framework with a chainsaw". 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  5. ^ "gdm – guilogin.c". Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  6. ^ "GDM commit ee8de912". 5 March 2001. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  7. ^ "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. 
  8. ^ "ANNOUNCE: GDM (unstable), the "Nose poking" release". 4 Mar 2004. 
  9. ^ "Bug 617465 - GDM ignores user's default session in ~/.dmrc". 5 Jul 2013. 

External links[edit]