Current status of LightDM

LightDM is a cross-desktop display manager that was developed by Canonical. It was used as the default display manager in Ubuntu from 11.10 to 17.04 after which it was replaced with GDM. It continues to be part of Ubuntu and other distributions and is used by the smaller desktops as a display manager.

Since it was no longer the default display manager in Ubuntu development resources have reduced, but it continues to work. There is some bit rot that has occurred as things change around it.

All development is done in GitHub. You are welcome to file issues and pull requests there. Discussion is done here on Note that even though this is the Ubuntu discourse, LightDM is still expected to work on other distributions and this is not an indication that this project only relates to Ubuntu.

LightDM used to follow a release cycle that matches the Ubuntu release cycle. Currently no releases are being made, you can either use the most recent release or use the main git branch. The main branch should always be usable.


Looking at the GitHub page, there are a number of open PRs that have yet to be merged.

Is there anything we as the users can do to help move things along? Given how many DEs/distros rely on LightDM, it’s important for the Linux ecosystem that things are kept updated and working smoothly.

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Yes x1000 please update the locales and why not ping all translators if there are changes?

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It’s difficult to review the PRs as many of them aren’t as simple as they initially look. I’ve landed the simple ones, and others I’ve investigated but not had time to sufficiently review. Useful things that help PRs to filter to the top:

  • Confirming if a PR works and is useful. (Unless it’s already been done - please avoid too much “me too” comments).
  • Indicating which patches are being carried by distros is useful.
  • Upvoting by adding responses to the first comment.
  • Becoming a developer/maintainer!
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The issue with locale PRs is I can’t review them as I don’t speak those languages. We really need to link up to a translation service and have these automatically land. This used to be Launchpad, but it no longer works.

Note that the LightDM translations shouldn’t be particularly important - the user visible strings will be done in the greeters.


Drop the CLA, transfer the repo to a new LightDM organization, and new developers will arrive.

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Hello, is there any plan to make a new release in the future? Though v1.30.0 works, there are lots of commits in the main branch that could solve other’s problems; and without a new release, no distro could update LightDM unless they provide a “lightdm-git” package~

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@jezerm I’ve made a 1.32.0 release. This is the current code from the main branch. Let’s consider the 1.32 series to have no close date and new releases will be made when anything significant lands in main.


Can you clarify the support status of the different branches? The last update on that seems to be from 2019. Debian is interested in knowing what would be the best to go with for the next stable release.


The other branches are end-of-life. The only branch that will see releases is main.

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Hi @robert.ancell , thank you very much for the valuable information.

As I understand, other branches including 1.26 will not see any new release. Just to make things clear, several questions about maintenance:

The answer would be vailable since it helps with the decision on whether Debian 12 would ship lightdm 1.26.x or 1.32.x branch. Thanks in advance!

No updates or maintenance on the 1.26.x branch should be expected. I would consider an exception for an obvious security fix if that is being used in any currently deployed lightdm 1.26 version for the purposes of reducing having to maintain that downstream, however I would not recommend relying on this.

For that reason, I would recommend Debian 12 ship lightdm 1.32.

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