Installing – and Uninstalling – LightDM in Linux Mint 18.2

Clement Lefebvre’s blog entry on how to upgrade Linux Mint to Version 18.2 (Sonya) indicates that the new LightDM display manager, along with the “Slick” greeter, is not installed by default. However, a section of the blog shows how to switch from MDM to LightDM.

Having updated my installation to Sonya, I decided to give LightDM a try. Essentially this involves using the command: apt install slick-greeter lightdm-settings. However, rebooting the computer produced the error message “Failed to start the X server”.

Ignoring this error resulted in the new login screen being displayed. The writeup on the Mint web site of Sonya’s new features asserted that the Slick greeter: “…provides the computer with a beautiful login screen…” Regrettably, in my view, the login screen isn’t particularly pretty. So, given this, and the evident need to troubleshoot the failure to start the Xserver, I decided to revert back to MDM.

This was easily done using the command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdm

To clean things up, I also uninstalled LightDM using the command:

sudo apt-get purge lightdm

References:

How to upgrade to Linux Mint 18.2
http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3306

New features in Linux Mint 18.2 MATE
https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_sonya_mate_whatsnew.php

How To Install LightDM In Linux Mint (And Replace MDM)
http://www.webupd8.org/2012/06/how-to-use-lightdm-instead-of-mdm-in.html

How to uninstall lightdm?
https://askubuntu.com/questions/386899/how-to-uninstall-lightdm

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2 Responses to Installing – and Uninstalling – LightDM in Linux Mint 18.2

  1. The error message “Failed to start the X server” in my case appears to be from having both LightDM and MDM installed at the same time and not from a problem with LightDM. If you want to run LightDM the default configuration changes do lead to LightDM starting but MDM tries to start later and can’t when LightDM is already acting as the X server.

    I have successfully installed LightDM and switched to it on multiple machines but on my main laptop I can’t get LightDM to start and when I remove MDM I get no X server.

    With what Linux Mint 18.2 is delivering today I can run MDM when both MDM and LightDM are installed but when I run LightDM with MDM also installed I get the “Failed to start the X server” error but in fact it is really an X server is already running error until I remove LightDM or switch back to MDM.

    • Alan German says:

      Lawrence:

      Thank you for this information. It may well be of assistance to others. For my part, I didn’t really like the look of LightDM and so I was happy to revert to MDM.

      Alan

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