Since the transition from GDM 2.20 to 2.26 there is no longer a graphical facility to configure preferences for GDM.

Ubuntu bug:

GNOME bug:

GNOME task to add background setting to appearance applet:


Without a tool an average user will not be able to change the login settings from the default.

Use cases

  • Mike wants to have his user automatically log in
  • Jim wants to change the background of the login screen


The changes will involve

  • Producing patches to implement the user interface


Option A

  • Produce a stand-alone gdmsetup tool with the following options:
    • Default user
    • Login delay
    • Background

gdmsetup-2.28-mockup-unauthorised.png gdmsetup-2.28-mockup-authorised.png

Option B (this is the option suggested by halfline on #gdm)

Option C

  • Implement configuration on login screen as described in the LoginExperience specification


  • Option A chosen for first release to provide functionality in time for Karmic
  • Implemented in C (match existing GDM code)
  • GTK+ GUI
  • Use PolicyKit for authorisation using the existing org.gnome.DisplayManager.Settings interface



  • - BaptisteMilleMathias: GDMConfigureTool should also permit to change the GTK+ theme used. Perhaps a specific tab will be required for theming parameters.

    - MatTomaszewski: great work! I've started working on a spec for the login experience:

    • - After discussing with pitti and seb128 we decided to propose including the config tool in the gdm itself. There's also a discussion whether the background should be configurable, currently the design team recommendation is to not have it configurable, to avoid potential conflicts between preferences of different users. So the login space is to remain a "public space", as opposed to "personal space" of the user's session.

      - (To RobertAncell: BTW, there's a crazy time zone difference between us, so please feel free to drop me an email if there's anything you'd like to discuss! Thx!)

    - Configuration specs which seem to apply to 2.26 two:

Spec/GDMConfigureTool (last edited 2009-07-25 14:05:10 by 195-240-186-6)