skip navigation

Content:: SLiM Login Manager

SLiM as a Desktop Manager/Login Manager
Last Modified: 2015-09-06
A Display Manager or Login Manager is a graphical login display for your linux operating system that will log you into your GUI. We will be using Simple Login Manager (SLiM) as it is easy to configure the display to our taste. SLiM is very rudimentry in its features and might not be a fit for all users, however it handles the basic login and it's easy to modify the look and feel of the system easily.

Table of Contents
Installing SLiM
# apt-get install slim
Special Users and Keys
SLiM handles shutting down and restarting a bit different. Instead of clicking a shutdown button you will need to login as the user halt. If you are like me and can't remember all the special users you can easily modify the background image of the login manager and add them to the image!

These special users will require you to enter your password.

halt will run the shutdown command halting your system.
reboot will run the reboot command rebooting your system.
exit should exit SLiM
suspend should suspend your computer.

You can use the F1 to cycle through the available window environments, e.g. Blackbox, Openbox, XVWM F1 options select session
Testing Themes
To test the themes slim has a command line option to select the path of a theme for preview, the -p command line switch.

Change to the themes folder $ cd /usr/share/slim/themes from the folder run the slim command, this will save you from typing the full path... $ slim -p <themefolder>
Changing Themes
To change the theme we will need to change the current_theme line in the slim configuration file. On debian the file will be in /etc/slim.conf. # nano /etc/slim.conf In Debian 8, Jessie, the default theme is debian-lines
current_theme	debian-lines
Change debian-lines to the folder of your desired theme.
Theme Structure
Themes will contain three files.
  1. A background image - background.(jpg/png)
  2. A panel image - panel.(jpg/png)
  3. A theme configuration file - slim.them
Theme Editing
The slim.theme configuration file can be broken down into four parts Messages, Background, input and username/password.

msg_color			#RRGGBB
msg_font			Name:Size=#:dpi=#
msg_x				#%
msg_y				#%
msg_shadow_color	#RRGGBB
msg_shadow_xoffset	#
msg_shadow_yoffset	#
background_style	<center,stretch,tile>
background_color	#RRGGBB
Input - This will handle the location of your "panel.(jpg/png)" location based off of a percentage with the input_panel x and y variables and exact locations with the input_name x and y and input_pass x and y.
You can have it display both a username and password at the same time by changing the offset of the input_name and input_pass. (I should note that having a user name and password field feels a bit rough in comparrison to most gui's. You are limited to hitting the enter key like a submission for each field and have no way of going back).
input_panel_x	#%
input_panel_y	#%
input_name_x	#
input_name_y	#
input_pass_x	#
input_pass_y	#
input_font		Name:size=#:dpi=#
input_fgcolor	#RRGGBB
input_color		#RRGGBB
username_font			Name:size=#:dpi=#
username_color			#RRGGBB
username_x				#
username_y				#
password_x				#
password_y				#
username_shadow_color	#RRGGBB
username_shadow_xoffset	#
username_shadow_yoffset	#

username_msg			Username :
password_msg			Password :