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LightDM is a cross-desktop display manager whose aim is to be the standard display manager for the X server.

The key features (as listed by upstream) are:

  • A well-defined greeter API allowing multiple GUIs
  • Support for all display manager use cases, with plugins where appropriate
  • Low code complexity
  • Fast performance


Install x11-misc/lightdm:

→ Information about USE flags
USE flag Default Recommended Description
gtk Yes Pull in the gtk+ greeter
introspection Yes Use dev-libs/gobject-introspection for introspection
kde No Pull in the kde greeter
qt4 Yes Adds support for the Qt GUI/Application Toolkit version 4.x
razor No Pull in the razorqt greeter
root # emerge --ask lightdm


The configuration file for LightDM itself is: /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf





The LightDM KDE greeter also provides a KCM (KDE Control Module), which appears in the System Settings under System AdministrationLogin Screen (LightDM).

Due to LightDM currently assuming GTK+ greeter as the default, if the KDE greeter is requested, it needs to be specified in the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file:




The RazorQt greeter currently does not offer any configuration options.

Boot service


Set LightDM as the default display manager:



To start LightDM on boot, add dbus & xdm to the default runlevel:

root # rc-update add dbus default
root # rc-update add xdm default

To start LightDM now:

root # /etc/init.d/dbus start
root # /etc/init.d/xdm start


To start LightDM on boot:

root # systemctl enable lightdm

To start LightDM now:

root # systemctl start lightdm