Chapter 3. The Login Window

The user interface to kdm consists of dialog boxes. The main dialog box contains:

  • Widgets allowing you to authenticate. When the "classic" authentication method is chosen, these are:

    • A Username: field for you to enter your username.

    • A Password: field for you to enter your password.

  • (Optionally) a list containing entries with the name and graphical image of each user (for example, a digitized photograph). Clicking a list entry is equivalent to typing the associated username into the Username: field.

  • (Optionally) a region to the right of or above the authentication area which can be used to display either a static image or an analog clock.

  • A Login button that validates the username/password combination and attempts to start a session of the selected type.

  • A Menu button that opens an action menu with the following items:

    • (Optionally) A Session Type item to choose the type of session (desktop environment, window manager) to start. See Chapter 8, Supporting multiple window managers to find out how to configure different session types.

    • (Optionally) A Authentication Method item to switch between different authentication methods like the classical username+password, smartcard, biometry, etc. The actual authenticators are combinations of PAM modules and matching frontend modules (conversation plugins). See PluginsLogin.

    • (Optionally on local displays) A Switch User... item to switch between local sessions running on different virtual terminals of this computer.

    • (Optionally on local displays) A Restart X Server item that terminates the currently running X-Server, starts a new one and displays the login dialog again. You can use this if the display content seems to be broken somehow.

    • (Optionally on remote displays) A Close Connection item that closes the connection to the XDMCP server you are currently connected to. If you got to this server through a host chooser, this will bring you back to the chooser, otherwise it will only reset the X-Server and bring up the login dialog again.

    • (Optionally on local displays) A Remote Login item that displays a host chooser dialog with XDMCP servers one can log into remotely.

    • (Optionally on local displays) A Console Mode item that terminates graphical login and leaves you at the console. See ConsoleTTYs and ServerTTY.

    • (Optionally) A Shutdown... item that displays the Shutdown dialog box.

The Shutdown dialog box presents a set of buttons that allow one of these actions to be executed:

Turn Off Computer

Shut the system down in a controlled manner, ready for power-down.

Restart Computer

Shut the system down and reboot. For systems that use Lilo or Grub, an optional drop down box allows you to select a particular operating system to be used for the reboot.


If this option is enabled, you may use it to enter a more complex shutdown dialog. See ScheduledSd for details.

Pressing the Cancel button returns to the main kdm dialog box.