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I had a fresh installation of debian 10.3 with gnome installed, and I went ahead and installed the MATE desktop additionally. During installation I was asked whether I would like to use gdm3 or lightdm, and I picked lightdm.

After installation, I noticed that when booting I get instantly logged in, and there is no login screen anymore. As if this was not enough of an issue, I am working from home via VNC, so I am pretty much limited in my options (its my companys PC which is having the issue). And since installing mate, I cannot log lout anymore, because it a) shuts down the vncserver for whatever reason and b) just plain logs in again (I see this when I restart the vncserver and connect again).

So how do I restore the greeter/login upon boot/log off of a user? As I also want to switch from wayland to X11 (for other reasons), I can't do so since I don't have the corresponding options to pick a session in the login screen.

Now I have no login screen, and logging off disconnects the vncserver, so something seems to be pretty broken here, and I have no clue how to repair it.

Out of confusion I did the following additional attempts (without success):

  • following Debian Wiki, I purged gnome*
  • reinstalled gdm3 and tried to switch to gdm3 - same situation

So I am stuck here, please someone come to the rescue! :)

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