LightDM To Replace GDM And Dialog Sheets To Make An Appearance In Ubuntu 11.10
By on May 12th, 2011

As you are probably aware, the Ubuntu Developer Summit – Oneiric is going on in Budapest to decide on the different aspects of Ubuntu 11.10. We have already had a lot of interesting news from USD such as Deja Dup being accepted and Thunderbird almost certainly replacing Evolution.

Well, the excitement has not ended. Here are some more details of the changes coming in Ubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”:

LightDM Will Replace GDM

The GDM (GNOME Display Manager) is the first thing that greets you when you boot into Ubuntu. It provides the login screen and the option to select different users, sessions etc. In Ubuntu 11.10, GDM will be replaced by a lighter display manager, which is rather unsurprisingly called LightDM.

LightDM provides a lot of improvements over GDM:

  • It has all the features that GDM supports.
  • It has a much smaller codebase. LightDM has 5000 lines of code while GDM is composed of 50,000. This makes LightDM easier to maintain.
  • LightDM is much faster than GDM. GDM requires the GNOME session to start, while LightDM does not have any such requirements.
  • LightDM supports more theming  capabilities  compared to GDM.
  • LightDM is independent of the desktop environment and can be used with GNOME, KDE, Xfce etc.

Here is a mockup of a login screen made using LightDM:

Dialog Sheet instead of Dialog Box

A dialog sheet is basically a dialog box which is attached to its parent window. It is used in both OS X and recently introduced in GNOME 3 as well. With Ubuntu 11.10 adopting GNOME 3, Ubuntu 11.10 will also have the dialog sheet. (Note: Ubuntu 11.10 is using GNOME 3 only, not the GNOME Shell. Unity will still be used in Ubuntu 11.10.)

The beauty of the dialog sheet is that, unlike dialog box, it cannot get lost among a number of Windows. In Ubuntu, though, it will be called Slate Style Dialog.

Here is an example of a Dialog Sheet:

[sources: Digitizor, OMG!UBUNTU!]

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Author: Ricky Laishram Google Profile for Ricky Laishram
Ricky Laishram is a Linux and FOSS enthusiast. He is passionate about open source technologies and likes to keep abreast with the latest developments in KDE and Ubuntu. He also loves listening to music and is a huge Tegan snd Sara fan. You can follow him on twitter @ricky_lais.

Ricky Laishram has written and can be contacted at

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