Introduction to Lightdm

The lightdm package contains a lightweight display manager based upon GTK.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS 11.3 platform.

Lightdm Package Information

Additional download



The greeter is a program to present a graphical login screen. There are several alternative greeters, but the gtk+ package is the reference implementation. For a list of other greeters, see

Lightdm Dependencies


Exo-4.18.0 (for the greeter), libgcrypt-1.10.1, itstool-2.0.7, Linux-PAM-1.5.2, and Xorg-Server-21.1.7 (Runtime)



AccountsService-22.08.8 (run time), at-spi2-core-2.46.0, GTK-Doc-1.33.2, Qt-5.15.8, libido, and libindicator

User Notes:

Installation of Lightdm

First, create a dedicated user and group to take control of the lightdm daemon after it is started. Issue the following commands as the root user:

groupadd -g 65 lightdm       &&
useradd  -c "Lightdm Daemon" \
         -d /var/lib/lightdm \
         -u 65 -g lightdm    \
         -s /bin/false lightdm

Install lightdm by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr                 \
            --libexecdir=/usr/lib/lightdm \
            --localstatedir=/var          \
            --sbindir=/usr/bin            \
            --sysconfdir=/etc             \
            --disable-static              \
            --disable-tests               \
            --with-greeter-user=lightdm   \
            --with-greeter-session=lightdm-gtk-greeter \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/lightdm-1.32.0 &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install                                                  &&
cp tests/src/lightdm-session /usr/bin                         &&
sed -i '1 s/sh/bash --login/' /usr/bin/lightdm-session        &&
rm -rf /etc/init                                              &&
install -v -dm755 -o lightdm -g lightdm /var/lib/lightdm      &&
install -v -dm755 -o lightdm -g lightdm /var/lib/lightdm-data &&
install -v -dm755 -o lightdm -g lightdm /var/cache/lightdm    &&
install -v -dm770 -o lightdm -g lightdm /var/log/lightdm

Now build the greeter:

tar -xf ../lightdm-gtk-greeter-2.0.8.tar.gz &&
cd lightdm-gtk-greeter-2.0.8 &&

./configure --prefix=/usr                 \
            --libexecdir=/usr/lib/lightdm \
            --sbindir=/usr/bin            \
            --sysconfdir=/etc             \
            --with-libxklavier            \
            --enable-kill-on-sigterm      \
            --disable-libido              \
            --disable-libindicator        \
            --disable-static              \
            --disable-maintainer-mode     \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/lightdm-gtk-greeter-2.0.8 &&

Now, as the root user:

make install


If you installed Xorg in /opt, you will need to create a symbolic link so lightdm can find the Xorg server. As the root user:

ln -sf /opt/xorg/bin/Xorg /usr/bin/X

Command Explanations

sed ... /usr/bin/lightdm-session: This command ensures that the initial login via the greeter sources /etc/profile and ~/.bash_profile. Without this, commands that depend on different environment variables may not work as expected.

Configuring lightdm

Config Files


Systemd Unit

Install the lightdm.service unit included in the blfs-systemd-units-20220720 package:

make install-lightdm

Available Sessions

The greeter offers a list of available sessions, depending on the Window Managers and Desktop Environments installed. The list includes sessions which have a corresponding .desktop file installed under /usr/share/xsessions. Most of the Window Managers and Desktop Environments automatically provide those files, but if necessary, you may include a custom one.


Installed Programs: dm-tool, lightdm, and lightdm-gtk-greeter
Installed Libraries:
Installed Directories: /etc/lightdm, /etc/apparmor.d, /usr/lib/lightdm, /usr/include/lightdm-gobject-1, /usr/share/help/C/lightdm /usr/share/gtk-doc/html/lightdm-gobject-1, /usr/share/doc/lightdm-gtk-greeter-2.0.8, /var/lib/lightdm, /var/lib/lightdm-data, /var/cache/lightdm, and /var/log/lightdm

Short Descriptions


is a display and login manager


is an auxiliary process that displays the greeter, a graphical user interface that performs user authentication and initiates the selected window manager or display environment