I'm tired of GNOME's problems with my Fedora 18 instance, and decided to move on to another desktop environment. After successfully changing to Xfce, I still couldn't get rid of GDM which annoys me a lot: it is super slow and slows down my boot time by 2 seconds, sometimes more.

I have installed slim but just installing didn't change anything. After searching thoroughly through Google, the only solution I found was to edit the file /etc/sysconfig/desktop but it doesn't work. The file doesn't even exist. Either way, I created it and edited as it was told (DISPLAYMANAGER="SLIM") and... it doesn't work.

Other websites told to edit /etc/X11/prefdm file but guess what? This doesn't exist too. And now I'm getting afraid of changing and creating such files, as I have already rendered my system unbootable more than 10 times this year.

I'm out of ideas to make it happen, how can I replace the shitty GDM with SLiM?

2 Answers 2


Just disable gdm.service and enable the service unit for your preferred display manager, so something like:

systemctl disable gdm.service
systemctl enable lxdm.service

Would switch from gdm to lxdm.

  • I already did it, but Fedora is very stubborn and this does not make any changes. I managed to change to LightDM with system-switch-displaymanager, but this tool is very limited (works only with GDM, KDM and LightDM) and I want SLiM for now
    – ranieri
    Jul 4, 2013 at 7:40
  • @ranisalt: Does SLIM have a systemctl service file? Jul 4, 2013 at 7:51
  • As far as I can see SLIM is not packaged at all for Fedora so @ranisalt would need to package it himself (or install from source) and part of that would be to write a service file - it's pretty trivial if you just copy the gdm one and tweak it.
    – TomH
    Jul 4, 2013 at 8:24
  • Slim is present in official repositories and the package provides slim.service file.
    – ranieri
    Jul 4, 2013 at 22:13

So I managed to do that. It is very dark in Fedora how to change that, but I could make it. So: I backuped /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service and deleted it, and then made a symlink to /usr/lib/systemd/system/slim.service for the same file. Now, display-manager.service redirects to slim.service when before it redirected to gdm.service.

I don't really know why this is not changeable easily. Neither installing another DM nor disabling the actual one changes, because you have to disable display-manager and not the specific DM service.

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