How To Enable A Display Manager In FreeBSD (SLiM, LightDM, etc.)Written by: Donovan / Last updated: Nov 1, 2023
Need to enable a display manager in FreeBSD?
Popular display managers in FreeBSD include:
Enabling one of these display managers means that a graphical login screen will open up automatically when you start your computer, instead of running
startx in a terminal. Obviously, this assumes that your graphic card drivers are set up correctly.
In FreeBSD, display managers are typically enabled by adding an entry to
Here’s a general process:
1. Install the display manager if you haven’t already
This should be obvious.
If you want to enable a display manager, you should install it first. This can be done using
pkg or compiling from ports.
$ sudo pkg install slim
2. Enable the service or manually add an entry to rc.conf
Open up your
rc.conf file. For example:
$ sudo vim /etc/rc.conf
3. Add the appropriate entry to enable the display manager after boot
Let’s say you want SLiM. Add this line:
For LightDM, add:
And so on (consult the man pages for the others if you need to).
4. Insteading of manually editing rc.conf, enable the service
You can skip step 3 and do this instead if you prefer.
Just enable the service:
sudo service lightdm enable
This adds the appropriate entry to
You can start this service immediately, rather than reboot, just by starting the service like so:
sudo service lightdm start