Introduction to GDM

GDM is a system service that is responsible for providing graphical logins and managing local and remote displays.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.6 systemd platform.

Package Information

GDM Dependencies


AccountsService-0.6.37, GTK+-3.12.2, ISO Codes-3.56, libcanberra-0.30, Linux-PAM-1.1.8, and yelp-xsl-3.12.0



Runtime Dependencies

gnome-session-3.12.1, gnome-shell-3.12.2, and Systemd (for Logind)

User Notes:

Installation of GDM

It is recommended to have a dedicated user and group to take control of the gdm daemon after it is started. Issue the following commands as the root user:

groupadd -g 21 gdm &&
useradd -c "GDM Daemon Owner" -d /var/lib/gdm -u 21 \
        -g gdm -s /bin/false gdm

Install GDM by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --sysconfdir=/etc    \
            --localstatedir=/var \
            --disable-static     &&

If you have installed Check-0.9.14 and you wish to run the testsuite, issue: make check.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Install the systemd unit by running the following command as the root user:

install -v -m644 data/gdm.service /lib/systemd/system/gdm.service

Command Explanations

--disable-static: This switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.

--with-initial-vt=7: Use this switch to make GDM start on VT7 instead of the first free VT.

--with-default-pam-config=lfs: Use this switch if you did not create the /etc/lfs-release file or distribution auto detection will fail and you will be unable to use GDM.

Configuring GDM

Config Files


Configuration Information

The GDM daemon is configured using the /etc/gdm/custom.conf file. Default values are stored in GSettings in the gdm.schemas file. It is recommended that end-users modify the /etc/gdm/custom.conf file because the schemas file may be overwritten when the user updates their system to have a newer version of GDM.

Systemd Units

To start the gdm daemon at boot, enable the previously installed systemd unit by running the following command as the root user:

systemctl enable gdm


Installed Programs: gdm, gdmflexiserver, and gdm-screenshot
Installed Libraries:
Installed Directories: /etc/gdm, /usr/include/gdm, /usr/share/gdm, /usr/share/help/*/gdm, /var/cache/gdm, /var/lib/gdm, /var/log/gdm, and /var/run/gdm

Short Descriptions


is the GNOME based login prompt.


is a GDM screenshot tool.

Last updated on 2014-08-25 18:22:00 -0700