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I'm running Debian Buster with Xfce4 on two different systems, each with a long history going back 3 or 5 Debian releases. After booting into Linux, they show completely different screens with completely different login widgets (prompting for account name and password). Once logged in, the customized Xfce4 desktop looks the same on both systems.

Which different software could be running the login dialogs?

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The software showing a graphical login dialog is generally called a display manager.

To find which display manager is in use, check /etc/X11/default-display/manager (or /etc/X11/default-display-manager), or check which package provides the x-display-manager virtual package:

dpkg-query -W -f='Package: ${Package}\nProvides: ${Provides}\n'   | grep -B 1 -E "^Provides: .*x-display-manager"

To set the default display manager, reconfigure its package, e.g.:

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
  • Sounds pertinent, thank you very much. If you don't mind, could you possibly add an explanation how to »check which package provides the xy virtual package«? – Joachim W Jul 26 '18 at 8:01
  • Isn't it rather /etc/X11/default-display-manager? – Joachim W Jul 26 '18 at 8:05
  • Done. And, both paths seem to be referenced online, the location probably changed at some point. – Vladimir Panteleev Jul 26 '18 at 8:06

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