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I installed Debian 6.0 with Gnome desktop environment yesterday.

Because I want to connect to the gdm from another computer which is running an X server, there is no need to run the X server on the Debian system, but I have found that the local X server is always started automatically when I start gdm3.

My question is how to configure gdm3 so that it will not start the local X server automatically when I run gdm3?

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migrated from Jun 23 '13 at 13:54

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You can configure GDM to disable the local X server in /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf.

In Debian 6 (squeeze), use:

NoConsole = true

In Debian 7 (wheezy), use:

ShowLocalGreeter = false

Of course, this assumes that you are running GDM with XDMCP enabled. Otherwise, you might as well disable or remove GDM.

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You can run GDM without local X-display (native or virtual).

X11 is a network protocol and GDM is only "client" that connects (via net) to the X-server, it doesn't matter if it is local or remote.

Of course there can be problems if you have NAT (remember! there must be GDM → NAT → X-server port forwarding, not X → NAT → GDM like on VNC or RDP) or firewall (closed ports) on machine, where you have X-server but it works.

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I'm afraid you can't. Gdm must have a display to do something useful, so it is programmed to start X to do so. If there's no X server, there's no session.

You also cannot connect "to the gdm". It's my hunch that you want to have a GDM session running continuously on a system, and then dynamically connect and disconnect an X display to that session from whatever machine you're working on. X doesn't work that way.

The closest you can get is by running your GDM session on a machine with its own X server (wchich can be a Xvfb virtual framebuffer) and use x11vnc or something similar to view the output remotely.

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