Also applies to other distributions based on it, how do you change the display manager, aka login screen.

  • --needed makes pacman not install packages that are already installed.
  • uncommented line = line that doesn’t begin with #.
  • to change DM you don’t need to reboot, you can also sudo systemctl stop olddm and sudo systemctl start newdm, but this logs you out.
  • my personal recommendation is using LightDM if it works for you, otherwise sddm. I personally use LightDM, because sddm is missing support for sudo passwd -de user sddm/sddm#472

LightDM gtk greeter

  • sudo pacman --needed -S lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter accountsservice numlockx

Edit the file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and find the uncommented line that starts with greeter-session= and change it to greeter-session=lightdm-gtk-greeter.

If you have keyboard with numpad you might want to enable Num Lock by default by finding the uncommented line starting with greeter-setup-script= and changing it to greeter-setup-script=/usr/bin/numlockx on. If there isn’t uncommented line anywhere in the file, just uncomment one or add it under the commented line.

Then enable it by running sudo systemctl enable -f lightdm and reboot.


  • sudo pacman --needed -S sddm

SDDM is simple display manager for all desktop environments and is successor of KDM which is the KDE Display Manager.

To create a config file and enable it for next reboot:

sddm --example-config | sudo tee /etc/sddm.conf
sudo systemctl enable -f sddm

The lines you might want to change are the one starting with Nucmlock= and I recommend changing it to Numlock=on if you have the numpad. The other line starts with Current= and is used to select the current theme. Available themes can be seen with ls /usr/share/sddm/themes.

KDE users might also want to install sddm-kcm which gives GUI for controlling sddm.


  • sudo pacman --needed -S gdm

The last display manager I am mentioning is the Gnome Display Manager and is only for Gnome users and I am not so familiar with it and I believe using it is just sudo systemctl enable -f gdm.