GDM3 vs LightDM | Detailed Comparison

If you are a Linux user, then you might be familiar with GDM3 and LightDM which are two well-known display managers. Choosing the right display manager is very crucial as the entire user experience, performance, and customization choices can all be significantly impacted by it. 

This post will compare these two display managers in detail to assist the users to choose the option that best meets their needs.

The content of this article will mainly focus on the following key points discussed below:

GDM3 vs LightDM: Detailed Comparison

When it comes to choosing between GDM3 and LightDM, there are several key factors to consider. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important ones.


GDM3 comes with more customization options compared to LightDM where you can change themes, wallpapers, and layouts. LightDM is still customizable, with most of the same features that GDM3 has but they are limited.

User Experience:

GDM3 provides a more modern and user-friendly interface than LightDM, with fast user switching and supports multiple monitors but not as fast compared to LightDM.LightDM comes with a minimalistic feature and is very lightweight and fast as well which is preferable for those users who can’t afford a high-end system.


Configuring GDM3 contains more steps as it has a variety of different options compared to the LightDM making it more time-consuming and somewhat complex as well.LightDM can be configured easily due to its minimalistic features and is also less time-consuming.


GDM3 comes with additional features that LightDM lacks in LightDM and due to this its performance is slower.As LightDM comes with fewer features this makes it faster compared to the GDM3.

Available on Different Distributions: 

GDM3 can be used in a variety of different Linux distributions that use GNOME, namely Fedora and DebianLightDM, on the other hand, can also be accessed on different Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, and Arch Linux.

How to Install GDM3 on Linux?

To install GDM3 on Linux you can type any of the following commands depending on the distro that you are using:

$ sudo apt install gdm3                    #For Debian/Ubuntu-based
$ sudo yum install gdm3                    #For CentOS/RHEL
$ sudo dnf install gdm3                    #For Fedora/CentOS 8

How to Install LightDM on Linux?

To install LightDM on Linux you can type any of the following commands depending on the distro that you are using:

$ sudo apt install lightdm                 #For Debian/Ubuntu-based
$ sudo yum install lightdm                 #For CentOS/RHEL
$ sudo dnf install lightdm                 #For Fedora/CentOS 8


Q. Can GDM3 be Used on a System With Limited Resources?

Yes, GDM3 can be utilized on a system with limited resources, however, it could be slower and require more resources than alternative display managers, such as LightDM. 

Q. Does GDM3 Support Multiple Languages?

Yes, GDM3 supports multiple languages, making it an ideal choice for users who prefer to use a display manager in their native language.

Q. Can I Customize the Appearance of LightDM?

LightDM comes with a basic level of customization options, so for a higher level of customization, you should choose GDM3.

Q. Is it Easy to Switch Between GDM3 and LightDM?

Yes, you can choose your preferred display manager during installation for the majority of Linux distributions, or you can change your display manager after installation by using the right tools and instructions.


GDM3 and LightDM are two of the most popular Linux display managers with unique features and capabilities. GDM3 could be the best option if you are looking for a display manager that is more eye-pleasing and configurable. However, LightDM could be a better choice if you are looking for a lightweight display manager.