1. Home
  2. Docs
  3. Desktops
  4. Desktop Managers (Desktop Login) [DM]
  5. Installing Display Managers

Installing Display Managers


Display Managers are provided for a login screen, which protects your desktop from unauthorized users.  Display Managers all provide their own styles, and different types of skin support. Their system resource requirements vary.

Note:  This installation guide is assuming you are already using the default Lightdm Display Manager.

Display Manager Options

To change the default DM from lightdm to the one of your choice you need to follow to simple steps:

  • install the one you want
  • use systemd to remove the entry from lightdm end enable the new one to start on bootup

This is done in one task by using systemctl -f (force)

SDDM (Recommended for KDE):

sudo pacman -S sddm sddm-kcm
sudo systemctl -f enable sddm

More info at the Arch-Wiki SDDM

sddm-kcm is integrating sddm settings into plasma native settings, where you can configure default settings.

GDM (Recommended for GNOME):

sudo pacman -S gdm
sudo systemctl -f enable gdm

More info: GDM

There is no GUI tool to configure GDM settings aviable, as GNOME do not provide any basics for this.

You can change background with a hack provided in the Arch-Wiki: GDM-background-hack

After running GDM (native DM for GNOME) you are able to use all lock- and power-settings inside gnome-control-center. 

Reboot Your System:

After installing and enabling a display manager, reboot your login system. You should now see the newly installed display manager’s login screen.

Side Note:

You do NOT need to remove (uninstall) lightdm and light-locker as it will not run anymore, and if you keep it, t will be at hand if you get problems with enabled DM!

If you want to uninstall you will loose also the meta packages what can cause inconvenience, if there come some major updates to the installed DE (Desktop Environment), this will not harm your system as long as you have this in mind!

LightDM – change the greeter (not the DM!)

The default DM for Antergos can also run with different greeters, this is not changing the DM it will only give another style to LightDM.

All 3 needs only to install the greeter and configure lightdm configuration to use the specific greeter:

sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

and change the line:


To fit the greeter you want to use:





Save the file with [Ctrl + X]

restart lightdm to see that all is working:

sudo systemctl restart lightdm

Now you can configure style as you want with the given tools.

Multiple screen arrangement

To get dual/multi Monitor/Display setup working for slick-greeter we need to edit /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and create a xrandr script to make this working:


needs to be added at the end of the file.

Now we are going to create the script:

Open Arandr (if not installed do it: sudo pacman -s arandr)

Arandr is mostly self explanatory: setup your displays as you need it.

Save the file to your home with the name: display_setup.sh and close arandr.

Open a terminal, move the script to the right place, make it executable and restart lightdm:

sudo mv display_setup.sh /etc/lightdm/display_setup.sh
sudo chmod +x /etc/lightdm/display_setup.sh 
sudo systemctl restart lightdm

That should work, if not you may need to reconfigure display setup and startover from “Open Arandr …”

Something does not work at all?

If you have any trouble or want to know how to install a display manager that isn’t listed on this page, post a new question on the Antergos Forum.

Share if you care:
Was this article helpful to you? Yes No