Introduction to LXDM

The LXDM is a lightweight Display Manager for the LXDE desktop. It can also be used as an alternative to other Display Managers such as GNOME's GDM or KDE's KDM.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.7 platform.

Package Information

LXDM Dependencies


GTK+-2.24.26, ISO Codes-3.57 and librsvg-2.40.7 (runtime, for default theme background)




User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/lxdm

Installation of LXDM

First, some fixes.

cat > pam/lxdm << "EOF" &&
auth        required    pam_unix.so
auth        requisite   pam_nologin.so
account     required    pam_unix.so
password    required    pam_unix.so
session     required    pam_unix.so

sed -i 's:sysconfig/i18n:profile.d/i18n.sh:g' data/lxdm.in &&
sed -i 's:/etc/xprofile:/etc/profile:g' data/Xsession &&
sed -e 's/^bg/#&/'        \
    -e '/reset=1/ s/# //' \
    -e 's/logou$/logout/' \
    -e "/arg=/a arg=$XORG_PREFIX/bin/X" \
    -i data/lxdm.conf.in

Install LXDM by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr     \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --with-pam        \
            --with-systemdsystemunitdir=no &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

cat > pam/lxdm << "EOF" ...: Replace default /etc/pam.d/lxdm by another one appropriate for BLFS.

sed -i ... data/lxdm.conf.in: Modifications in the default configuration: (1) fix the background to the default one; (2) restart X when session is close; (3) typo; and (4) include XORG_PREFIX, which may be different from /usr.

sed -i ... data/Xsession: Source /etc/profile, instead of other file, according to BLFS standard.

sed -i ... data/lxdm.in: Fix greeter's locale for BLFS specification.

--with-pam: This parameter enables use of pam authentication.

--with-systemdsystemunitdir=no: BLFS does not support systemd.

Configuring LXDM

Config Files


Boot Script

Install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/lxdm init script from the blfs-bootscripts-20150304 package.

make install-lxdm

Configuration Information

The LXDM daemon configuration /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf file options includes numlock on/off, backgraound image (bg), session, etc. You can set a default session by uncommenting the line: session=/usr/bin/startlxde and replacing startlxde with your session of choice. For GNOME session=/usr/bin/gnome-session. For OPENBOX session=/usr/bin/openbox-session and for XFCE session=/usr/bin/startxfce4.

It is also possible to set the preferred session on a per-user basis by editing the ~/.dmrc file for each user and adding:


You can replace the default dummy face in the greeting screen by other image representing your user. For that, copy or symlink the desired image to your home directory, with the name .face.

Starting lxdm

You can manually start lxdm, e.g, if the bootscript has been installed, by running, as root user:

/etc/rc.d/init.d/lxdm start

By definition, X should be executed at runlevel 5, consequently, the same is true for lxdm. However, BLFS default runlevel is 3. Changing to runlevel 5, from the terminal, as root user, makes the lxdm bootscript to be executed, obtaining the greeter screen:

init 5

In order to permanently set the default to 5, obtaining the lxdm greeter screen automatically, you can modify /etc/inittab, as root user (the instructions below also make a backup, so you can easily revert the modification):

cp -v /etc/inittab{,-orig} &&
sed -i '/initdefault/ s/3/5/' /etc/inittab

One important script, executed after login, is /etc/lxdm/Xsession, which we have fixed to fit BLFS specifications.


Installed Programs: lxdm, lxdm-binary and lxdm-config, and, under /usr/libexec/, lxdm-greeter-gdk, lxdm-greeter-gtk, lxdm-numlock, and lxdm-session.
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /etc/lxdm and /usr/share/lxdm

Short Descriptions


is a script to execute lxdm-binary


is the actual Display Manager; needs to be executed with option -d to daemonize


is a graphical customizing program


is the graphical login greeter, where, between other options, user name is chosen and password is typed (if not in auto login mode)


is a program to set the numlock key, if so defined in /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf

Last updated on 2015-03-01 02:42:20 -0800