XDM-External Greet

Note: This software isn't really being actively maintained anymore. It may or may not compile and work on your system. Let me know if you wish to take it over.

The XDM program, which allows people to log directly into X without having to go through a terminal session first, is generally a good program. It does have one flaw, however... The Login widget which prompts for your username and password, is horribly ugly.

Luckily, the original designers provided an interface for replacing this Login widget. This allows one to (Somewhat) change the look of XDM. Unfortunately, modifications that use this hook are linked into XDM, limiting the number of options one has in writing them. (An example of this is xdm-photo.)

XDM-External Greet is a patch to XDM that allows it to use an external program to prompt the user for their username and password. These external programs can be written in any language or toolkit, provided that they can implement a minimal interface.


Gtkgreet is a sample program that implements this minimal interface. As you may have guessed from the name, it uses the gtk toolkit to implement it's interface. It's a simple program that implements the external greeter interface.

Gtkgreet is included in the XDM-External Greet distribution.


The current version is 1.00, which was released on April 11, 1998.

Since this is a patch to XDM, to compile it, you'll need a copy of the XDM source code. For your convenience, two versions are available from this web site.

User-Contributed Greeter Programs

This section of the page is dedicated to contributed greeter programs. For details on the interface between the greeter program and XDM-External Greet, please take a look at the README file from the distribution. If you write a greeter program, please send it to the maintainer address below.


This is a greeter program with a new look, and some code to allow the changing of background. It was written by jbjohns4@unity.ncsu.edu, and I'll have to admit I've been unable to get it to compile. Nevertheless, you can download it from here.


XDM-External Greet is maintained by Tom Rothamel <software page, or to Tom's top page.