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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

The PC-BSD Display Manager (PCDM) is a new, BSD-licensed graphical login utility. In PC-BSD® 9.2, it will replace the GDM login utility. It will be added to a future rolling release to allow testing before the release of PC-BSD® 9.2.



PCDM provides the following features:

  • provides PAM session/authentication using the login PAM module
  • supports remote login with XDMCP (needs additional testing)
  • provides an easy-to-use desktop environment selector
  • provides language and locale selectors during login
  • includes a keyboard layout selector
  • includes a virtual Keyboard (using xvkbd)
  • can be used to shutdown or restart the computer

Getting PCDM

If you would like to help test PCDM before it is available in a rolling release, you can build it on your current 9.x PC-BSD® system using the following instructions.

First, go to System Manager -> System Packages and make sure that Development -> Development-Qt and Development-VCS are installed. You will also need to install system source using System Manager -> Tasks.

Next, open a command prompt, become the superuser, and cd to a directory suitable for downloading the PCDM source. Execute the following commands to download and build the PCDM source:

svn co svn://svn.pcbsd.org/pcbsd/current/src-qt4/
cd src-qt4/libpcbsd
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make install
cd ../PCDM
qmake-qt4 *.pro
make install

Once the installation is complete, instruct the system to use PCDM instead of GDM. Add these lines in /etc/rc.conf:


Save the edits then reboot the system to access the PCDM login prompt.

Display Overview

(post screenshot) Currently its in rather rough shape but functional. When it is nearer to finalized, there will be screenshots.


PCDM themes can be saved to and loaded from /usr/local/share/PCDM/themes/<my-theme>.

PCDM Configuration

(Configuration file can be found at: /usr/local/share/PCDM/pcdm.conf)


THEME_FILE=/path/to/theme/file.theme (default: /usr/local/share/PCDM/themes/default/default.theme)

This variable points to the theme file to be used for setting up the PCDM display

SPLASHSCREEN_FILE=/path/to/splashscreen/file.png (default: /usr/local/share/PCDM/themes/default/splashscreen.png)

This variable lets you set up the image file to use for the static splash screen while PCDM is loading

Base Directories

DE_STARTUP_DIR=/path/to/DE_files (default: /usr/local/share/xsessions)

Directory to look for *.desktop entries that can startup a desktop environment

DE_STARTUP_IMAGE_DIR=/path/to/image/directory (default: /usr/local/share/pixmaps)

Directory in which to look for DE image files (if absolute path not given in the *.desktop file)



Automatically login as a particular user the first time the system starts up
Is NOT used if XDMCP remote logins are enabled


Username of the user to be logged in automatically


*.desktop file for the desktop to be started (absolute path or relative to DE_STARTUP_DIR)

XDMCP Support


Initialize the X Server to allow for remote login using the XDMCP protocol
(WARNING: This type of remote connection is inherently insecure. Use with extreme caution!)

Additional Settings


Set the interface to allow the user to see the currently typed password if the view password button is held down

Modifying a Theme

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