In today’s article, we’re going to help you find out which display-manager you’re using. Your display-manager is an easy thing to change, but you should probably know which display-manager you’re using before you go about trying to change it. Either way, this article isn’t about changing your display-manager, it’s about finding out which one you’re using.
Sure, you could use a search engine and find out what the default display-manger is for your distro of choice, but where’s the fun in that? There are a few ways, some distro-specific, to find out which display-manager you’re using.
So, what is this ‘display-manager’? Well, a display-manager is often called a ‘login-manager’, and that’s actually a better name for it. It’s the (usually graphical) bit that shows up at the end of your boot process. It’s where you type in your username and password, and can sometimes make some other choices like keyboard layout.
The display-manager is a bit more than that, behind the scenes. It does things like manage authentication and manage user sessions. You can do all these things from the terminal, but your display-manager will let you do that graphically while not having to worry about anything deeper than that.
I guess it’s worth knowing which display-manager you’re using. After all, you might not want to change it, you might be having some issues with it and need to know which one you’re using so that you can start digging into solutions. I’m sure there are all sorts of reasons why you’d want to know this information. So, without further ado…
Find Out Which Display-Manager You’re Using:
Like many other articles on this site, this one requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press
Once you have your terminal open, you can try one of the following (because this data is stored in different places on different distros):
Those are drawn from my old notes and probably still work today (I haven’t rechecked them all), but chances are good that you’re using a distro with systemd and, as such, it’s a simple (and universal) command to find out which display manager you’re using. The following command will give you the name and a bunch of other information about your display-manager:
systemctl status display-manager
The outcome of that should look similar to this, where the answer is in the first line of the output:
That command will work on pretty much any modern distribution, so long as it uses systemd – as most of them do. If you’re using another distro, the commands above should help you find out which display-manager you’re using.
Yup… Another article. I’m well past the year mark and still haven’t decided to skip a day. I don’t have a bunch of articles in the queue currently, so it’s a bit more taxing but not too bad. Either way, now you now how to determine which display-manager you’re using.
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2 thoughts on “Find Out Which Display-Manager You’re Using”
Issuing ‘inxi -xxxS’ showed ‘dm: N/A’, so I followed the article and got:
$ cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager
slimski is a lightweight DM. I’m using antiX 21 based on SysV init and slimski.
Glad it works. One of the commands should work for pretty much everyone, I am pretty sure.
I actually don’t know much about slimski, though I have played with antiX before.