Linux Command Library


The MDM Display Manager

mdm [options]
mdmsetup [options]

MDM is a replacement for XDM, the X Display Manager. Unlike its competitors (X3DM, KDM, WDM) MDM was written from scratch and does not contain any original XDM / X Consortium code. MDM runs and manages the X servers for both local and remote logins (using XDMCP). See for more details.

mdm is main executable. mdmsetup is a graphical tool for easily changing the most commonly used options.

For full documentation see the GNOME help browser under the Applications / System Tools section.

mdm and thus also mdm accept the following options:

Do not fork into the background


No console (local) servers to be run


Preserve LD_* variables


Print the MDM version


Print simple description of accepted options

mdmsetup accepts all standard GNOME options.

Configuration is done either by running mdmsetup or by editting the /etc/X11/mdm/mdm.conf (usually, could also be /etc/mdm/mdm.conf) file. The graphical tool does not support all the options possible so editting the configuration file is sometimes necessary.

MDM is being written and maintained by George (Jiri) Lebl <> based on the original codebase by Martin K. Peterson <>.

X(7x), xdm(1), Xsecurity(7x), Xserver(1),

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