SLiM display manager installation and customization

SLiM is an acronym for Simple Login Manager. Lightweight and easily configurable, SLiM requires minimal dependencies.

SLiM is very easy to install and customize, and it looks pretty nice.

SLiM theme consists of 2 images and a configuration file.

It comes with 5 different themes upon installation.

There are also many nice themes available for download on the internet.

I decided to modify my SLiM login-in screen so that it matches my winter theme.

I started with the Material theme.

I downloaded the theme, replaced the background.png, and modified the panel.png.

It was pretty nice, but it had the wrong colors.

Recoloring in GIMP

GIMP can easily swap the colors.

All one needs to do is choose which color to change and into what color.

In my case, that was from #ed2553 to #ae3a3a.

Here are some of the variations:

SLiM installation

After I was done with modifying the files I needed, I moved the theme to my home folder and started the SLiM installation.

Open the Terminal and type:

sudo apt install slim

Choose the default display manager (slim).

Go to the SLiM themes directory, and there, open the terminal by right-clicking. ("Open Terminal Here")


sudo mv ~/winter .

Check the ownership and rights (ls -la).

Set the proper ownership and rights, just for the case.


sudo chown -R root:root winter
sudo chmod 755 winter

Control with ls -la

Now we need to set our new theme as the default.

Open another Terminal and type:

sudo nano /etc/slim.config

Scroll down until the line "current_theme" and enter the theme name, here "winter".

Restart your computer.

Upon boot, SLiM should greet you.

Some additional information and screenshots of SLiM customization:

Configuration options:

Theming options:

More themes:

Known issues:

Have fun!

This login manager looks pretty cool, I mean better than the actual used one (no to beautiful, basically), maybe can be a future replacement candidate for the lightdm one

Just some notes:

  • it is all compatible? (bugs can happen in the desktop if not, like permission denied or unable to mount disks)
  • where you select the windowmanager (for example between E16 or E25) on it?
  • does support multi-user sessions? (like, ctrl + space --> switch user, so you have F7 and F8 different user sessions running at the same time)

If only lightdm supports the needed / wanted features, another options is to make a better customization for lightdm

Entrance should be the default login-manager to use in Elive, but as mentioned previously it should support some features like multi-user sessions and/or others, in any case it is avaialble but it needs to be betatested if anybody wants to #get-involved on it, remember to always report the found bugs (or fix them in the code) to Issues · Obsidian-StudiosInc/entrance · GitHub <-- anybody with free time? @TheTechRobo @triantares


Not sure about that. It's old and unmaintained.

F1 (pressing multiple times scrolls through all installed WM or DE)

I don't know, but there is a file:

Otherwise, maybe this is accomplishable by starting two X servers on different virtual terminals, so you can then switch between them using ctrl-alt-F6/F7 or whatever. I haven't tried it.

Also check: SLiM login manager - new upstream project
New fork:

You could change greeter. There are a few available.

My Fedora i3 uses Slick Greeter by default. The nicest one would be:

LxDM is the only one that lets you customize it to your liking in a simple way, even if it's not as simple as SLiM. LxDM has a similar principle but a few more files to take care of.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Display manager backgrounds

Unfortunately there's a few issues on slim that you listed that doesn't makes it a good candidate, also unmaintained

Yes I was always thinking to change the greeter at least, just didn't found time for it yet

Reddit - Dive into anything

This one looks amazing and perfect

BTW it is supposed that the login manager should support (in the future) wayland, since the world is moving to wayland (since years) so X11 will be probably deprecated in the future.

Entrance is probably not hard to move to wayland, but it has not an active developer / maintainer to work on that project, maybe @TheTechRobo would like to work on it, since he wanted to get involved in some development project

lxdm could another candidate if supports the multiple needs

note: if im not wrong, lightdm is not strictly required to be gtk, so the greater can be made in any type of interface :thinking: if so, this can be the best option to pick, i just didn't had time yet to start investigating it

That looks pretty cool for a next retrowave build default wallpaper :slight_smile:

My C skills are still pretty bad, but I can take a look. What issues specifically are blocking its inclusion in elive?

No it isn't and we don't use the gtk version.

If in need of customizing:

Install "lightdm-settings" and run it using sudo privileges from the commandline (or edit "/etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf directly)

It has a GUI and quite a few options to customize.


"Entrance" somehow doesn't want to log into E16 on my work machine, I was hoping for a better result after Rasterman had givven the dev some tips. So not a real contender yet :frowning:

Other than that .... all login managers should be able to offer a virtual keyboard to accommodate tablets (or broken keyboards).

4 of them are reported by me: Issues · Obsidian-StudiosInc/entrance · GitHub not sure which ones are "blocking" right now but if you feel motivated you can fork the project and start playing with the code and running it, if you do good fixes you can directly "pull request" to the main project

not sure to understand (and I didn't investigated big on lightdm yet) but if im not wrong, the greeter (interface) of lightdm uses a gtk version:

~ ❯❯❯ dpl | grep greeter
ii lightdm-gtk-greeter

I included the link of the entrance source code project on which we are actually using the builds if you want to play with that (or just use the elive packages). If I'm not wrong there's logs in /var/log/ for entrance specifically so it can tell you what's happening with your session that doesn't login :thinking: I didn't investigated much on it yet

that's one of the reasons I would like to stick to lightdm, too much resource-investing to integrate all the needs in other login managers

Yeah, it would look that way but that isn't the only available greeter. When installing "lightdm-settings" it will also pull in "slick-greeter" which by default looks something like this:

There's also a package "lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings" ("slick-greeter" can be installed as a seperate package but doesn't have its own settings GUI) that offers various options:


It seems to have a few more options available there than the "lightdm-settings" one. :slight_smile:

Neither did I and I think there's an Entrance upgrade coming so waiting that one hurry.
BTW, I think lightdm also supports videos but not 100% sure.
Personally I still think that that login box chasing to enter the name was the coolest ever (was that version 2.0?). :madness: