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Lesson 4 The GNOME Display Manager
Objective Use the GNOME Display Manager to manage X Sessions.

GNOME Display Manager to manage X Sessions

A display manager presents users with a login session that is graphical from start to finish. It is an X application, and it uses the X server to create the familiar Red Hat graphical login screen. Click on the thumbnail of the image to see the full screen.

The display manager allows users to type their username and password, and then logs users into their X windows session.
The display manager allows users to type their username and password, and then logs users into their X windows session.

Starting the GNOME Display Manager

The GNOME Display Manager (gdm) process starts automatically when the system enters the graphical environment run-level. When you log in, gdm stays active to handle the possibility of further login requests.



Configuring the GNOME Display Manager

gdm is highly configurable, and the gdm configuration file, /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf, stores many of the configurable options.
Sections divide this file into logical units, and each section configures a single piece of gdm's behavior. For example, the section labeled [greeter] configures the login window displayed when gdm waits for a user to log in. In this section, you can configure the greeting message, select an option to have the screen "quiver" when authentication fails, display a user browser, and many more features.
The following simulation allows you to practice setting several options in the /etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf file and to see the results.
Gnome Configuration Options

The graphical login is typically your entry into the graphical user interface (GUI). For the current Fedora release, the login screen is enabled for Face Browsing. This means that user accounts you add appear on the login screen, so you can click one to log in as that user. Users also can add an image (96x96 pixels by default) to represent themselves in the About Me window (select System --> Preferences --> Personal --> About Me to add your own image).
To log in, type your user name and, when prompted, your password. Or you can click on a Face Browser user listing. You can log in as either a regular user or as the root user:

Gnome Display Quiz

Before moving on to the next lesson, click the Quiz link below to check your understanding of the Gnome Display Manager.
Gnome Display Quiz
The next lesson explains the need for a window manager to get the most out of X.