KDM plans and lightDM

Martin Gräßlin mgraesslin at kde.org
Mon Jun 13 20:34:56 BST 2011

On Monday 13 June 2011 21:10:36 Alex Fiestas wrote:
> Hi there
> Today something happened to me again, I turn on my laptop at the begining of a 
> meeting and when I needed it the battery was over because the laptop didn't 
> went to suspension (as I'm used). 
> That makes me wonder what are the plans for KDM in this and other regards 
> since I haven't seen much activity on it (apart from bugfixing).
What does power management has to do with KDM? This belongs into powerdevil where to 
my knowledge it should be handled fine, if configured correctly.

Btw. I consider it as a very good thing that KDM does not require any more changes than 
bugfixing. I think it is extremly important to have a rock solid DM.
> Also, since the last Ubuntu Development Summit I started to look into 
> lightDM[1] as a possible alternative (at least for my use), I event managed to 
> patch kdisplaymanager.cpp to play nice with it.
To me the question is: what does lightDM offer what KDM does not provide? If it does not 
have any new cool feature impossible to add to KDM I would vote for "don't fix what is not 
broken". KDM has served us very well over the last years and I think it is one of our best 
products in the workspace.
> I'm not an expert on Display Managers so I can't really tell if lightDM is 
> good enough (or will be good enough) to replace KDM. When I asked to some 
> distribution people the first thing they told me is: "Does it support XDMCP?" 
> and I don't know even what XDMCP is...
> So, what are the plans for KDM? can we expect some power management 
> integration? and plymouth?
I don't see what power management and plymouth have to do with KDM. Power managmeent 
is after KDM and plymouth is before KDM. To my knowledge there is some work going on to 
bring a Plasma interface to KDM which would be a very unique feature.

We will also have to do some work to bring Wayland support to KDM. I do not have an idea on 
how to do it, but it's one of the big issues (btw also for lightDM).
> For the experts: Does lightDM feel nice as a cross-desktop solution? is it 
> good enough?
Rhethorical question: how can it be "cross-desktop" if KDE has not been involved in the 
development effort so far? Who is the "cross-desktop", who is behind it?

I have no idea what lightDM provides and what not, but I am very sceptical about changing 
this important part of our workspace offerings. We are just at the edge to transit to another 
windowing system which will require changes in the DM area, so if lightDM supports 
Wayland it makes sense to consider it as an option. If it does not, we should better stick to 
what we have for X11 in order to not change the DM twice in a short time. We also have to 
keep in mind that even when we transit to Wayland as our default we will also have to offer 
an X11 solution. For me it is clear that users should not notice a difference whether they use 
X11 or Wayland - also in the login manager.

Kind Regards
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