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How to select the correct display manager

This document (7000889) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


GNOME and KDE components are both installed.
DISPLAYMANAGER can be set to either "gdm" or "kdm".


GNOME and KDE both provide their own display manager.  Both should work fine with either desktop but occasionally an odd problem comes along related to the desktop environment that is difficult to figure out.  A good first step is to make sure that you are running the correct display manager for the associated desktop.


There are two ways to modify the displaymanager setting.  Manually by editing the configuration file or through YaST.

Using YaST
Open the YaST application and select "System" on the left and"/etc/sysconfig/Editor" on the right.

On the left side of the editor expand "Desktop/Display manager/DISPLAYMANAGER".  With DISPLAYMANAGER highlighted you will see the current setting at the top of the window and will most likely be set to either kdm or gdm.  Use the pull-down selection to choose the appropriate displaymanager for your desktop:

GNOME = gdm
KDE = kdm

Accept the changes and reboot the system.

Manually Editing the Configuration File
As the root user use your favorite text editor to edit the file"/etc/sysconfig/displaymanager".

Locate the line "DISPLAYMANAGER=" (usually about 3 settings down).  It will probably be currently set to "gdm" or"kdm".  Change it to the appropriate one for your desktop as indicated above.

Once the setting has been changed and the file saved run the following command as the root user for the change to be recognized:


When SuSEconfig is complete reboot the system.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7000889
  • Creation Date: 09-Jul-2008
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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