Login or display manager is an interface for users to log in to their Linux system. Different Linux distributions choose other login managers for the system, and you can install and configure display managers on your own.

Ubuntu's default display or login manager is GDM, while Kubuntu uses SDDM. Some other display managers for Linux are XDM and LXDM.

If you install a new login manager using apt, the installation script will prompt an option for you to choose which login manager to use for system login. If you already have multiple display managers installed, you can use dpkg-reconfigure to select the login manager to use.

Steps to switch login manager for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Debian:

  1. Launch terminal.
  2. Get current display manager using systemctl.
  3. Use dpkg-reconfigure to configure default desktop manager.
    $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3
    [sudo] password for user: 

    Replace gdm3 with the display manager you want to use. For example, sddm for Kubuntu.

    systemctl will gracefully exit if no other display manager is installed.

  4. Use arrow key to select your preferred display manager, use <tab> key to navigate to the Ok button and press [ENTER].

    Use <tab> key to navigate to the Ok button and press [ENTER] if you're first presented with the following screen. You'll get this screen if you're using a low resolution monitor and/or not running terminal in full screen.

  5. Reboot your system to start using the newly selected display manager.

This guide is tested on Ubuntu:

Version Code Name
22.04 LTS Jammy Jellyfish
23.10 Mantic Minotaur
24.04 LTS Noble Numbat
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