New OpenRC Display Manager Initializer Scripts

Title: New OpenRC Display Manager Initializer Scripts
Author: Aisha Tammy <>
Author: Andreas Sturmlechner <>
Posted: 2021-01-30
Revision: 6
News-Item-Format: 2.0
Display-If-Installed: sys-apps/openrc

There has been a refactoring of the old 'xdm' init script into a new
script called 'display-manager', provided by a new package that will
be introduced by your @world update routine as a dependency of


The package is now in ~arch and will be available to stable users
starting with 2nd March 2021. [1]

Its purpose is to provide the same startup mechanism for your chosen
display manager (like GDM, SDDM etc. [2]) as xdm did previously, but
without depending on x11-base/xorg-server. This is necessary to
support new DMs that no longer depend on Xorg.

Existing settings from /etc/conf.d/xdm will be migrated to new
/etc/conf.d/display-manager config, however after installation it is
vital not to forget to run either `etc-update` or `dispatch-conf`.
Afterwards check that /etc/conf.d/display-manager contains the
desired value for DISPLAYMANAGER.

The old 'xdm' init script is no longer supported and henceforth
removed from x11-base/xorg-server-1.20.10-r1, so it is imperative that
you switch from xdm to display-manager service in default runlevel:

	# rc-update del xdm default
	# rc-update add display-manager default

The changes are complete and on the next reboot, 'display-manager'
will start your chosen DM.

To switch to the new script without rebooting, run the following
commands in a tty:

	# rc-service xdm stop
	# rc-service display-manager start

Finally, the following action is necessary *ONLY* if you are running
	a) a DM (and rest of system) without Xorg
	b) a DM from an overlay, to make sure display-manager persists

	# emerge --noreplace gui-libs/display-manager-init

[1] To make this change *now*, and proceed with this news item already,
stable users would need to add the following entries to
/etc/portage/package.accept_keywords [3] and update @world: