Five Amazing Linux Display Managers

If you are using Linux, you are probably using a display manager, also called a login manager. This is what you are going to use to login to your desktop environment. There are many, many options. Today, I am going to list 5 display managers, along with their pro’s and con’s.

LightDm

This is one of the most popular display managers. It is super customizable, as it supports GTK and QT themes. It was designed to be used with multiple desktop environments, so it has no dependencies with any desktop environment. There is even a separate app to customize it. It is used by a lot of Linux distros by default. Including Ubuntu up to version 16.04, Linux Mint, Debian, and many more. Switching desktops, customizing, and installing is super simple and easy.

XDM

This is the default display manager for the X window system. It is super old. The first release of XDM was in 1988. Due to this fact it is super stable and fast. Configuration can be done using the XDM config files to add more functionality. The only real problem with XDM is that it does not support switching desktop environments on the fly. There is no button or list to switch, which might put some people off.

CDM

CDM stands for console display manager. Because that is exactly what it is. CDM is super fast and minimal. It will work great for any desktop/window manager, as it has almost no dependencies. This is a display manager that I would recommend running with just a window manager on an old machine. If you don’t really care about customization and just want something fast that does it’s job, CDM is a great choice.

Entrance

Entrance was made for the Enlightenment desktop environment. However, it can function well with any Linux desktop environment. It is not the lightest of Display managers, as it has animations and visual effects, but it can look stunning. Customization is easily done by editing a config file. It isn’t even Linux specific, as it runs great on the BSD family of Operating systems.

TBSM

Much like CDM, TBSM is also a terminal based display manager. However while CDM is navigated by using the arrow keys to move around and select things, TBSM requires you to type out different options. It also displays some system information like the name of the OS and the last login time when starting. It is super minimalistic and great for anyone who wants to get to their desktop as fast as possible.

Conclusion

These 5 display managers are all great. Whether you don’t care about customization at all and just want something that boots up fast, or you want to add all of the bells and whistles to your desktop environment, these are all amazing options that you should consider.

If you would like to see the website for these display managers, they are linked right here. Keep in mind that most of these display managers don’t have official websites, so for some I have linked it to a wiki page.

LightDM: CLICK ME!

XDM: CLICK ME!

CDM: CLICK ME!

Entrance: CLICK ME!

TBSM: Click ME!

Written on September 6, 2021