Graphical Display Managers

Jonas Norlander jonorland at
Sun Apr 27 14:22:06 UTC 2008

2008/4/27 Scott <slewin at>:
> Michael wrote:
>  > What is the difference between GDM/KDM/XDM?
>  GDM is the Gnome Desktop Manager and it is GTK based which is community
>  based.  KDM is the K Desktop Manager (Kubuntu), it is Qt based which is
>  designed by a company called Trolltech that haves released QT as open
>  source.  XDM is the Xfce Desktop(Xubuntu) which is a lightweight open
>  source desktop.

Not true. XDM (X Window Display Manager) is the default display manager for the
X Windows System and is not related to the Xfce Desktop environment.

>  > What is the difference
>  > between typing KDM/GDM/XDM at the command prompt and typing startx at
>  > the command prompt?
>  What I think it means, and I am no expert :), is if you type "startx"
>  you get the default login and if you type a specific manager you get
>  that specific manager.

KDM, GDM and XDM are a graphical login interface. After login they
will start your
desktop environment/Windown manager. If you login from a console with login(1)
it would not start X Windows and you have do it by running the startx script.

/ Jonas

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