I'd like to install and use mdm over lightdm with Cinnamon.

I've installed mdm, but gksudo mdmsetup just opens a dialogue requesting authentication, then immediately exits with code 1. There's nothing in any system logs.

Am I missing a package, or should I configure by hand?

Here are the results requested in the comments:

$ uname -a
Linux mint-kitty 4.2.0-24-generic #29-Ubuntu 15.10 SMP Mon Jan 11 18:00:07 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$ apt-cache policy mdm
  Installed: 0.1.3-2.1
  Candidate: 0.1.3-2.1
  Version table:
 *** 0.1.3-2.1 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

$ which mdmsetup
process terminated with exit status 2
  • have a look at this how-to here if you missed something during installation maybe: webupd8.org/2012/05/install-mint-display-manager-mdm-in.html – ostendali Jan 11 '16 at 15:24
  • there is no such package mint-mdm-themes or mdm-themes even after adding that repository. – cat Jan 11 '16 at 16:04
  • I am sorry to hear that but visiting the launchpad repository I can clearly see all packages in place including the 2 packages you just mentioned. Not sure how much experience you have with ubuntu or linux in general but I didn't really asked youa ctually to perform the how-to. I just suggested to cross-check with what you did and see if you have missed anything. And for the record, here you can see the repo packages: launchpad.net/~nilarimogard/+archive/ubuntu/webupd8/… – ostendali Jan 11 '16 at 16:10
  • 1
    @cat: I guess you're trying wrong command to configure mdm. Instead of gksudo mdmsetup just try sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdm and then select mdm from the list and press ok. Then try to reboot your system. if sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdm doesn't work then you can also try sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm and then select mdm from the list. – Saurav Kumar Jan 12 '16 at 17:01
  • The package won't appear in the package list until you run sudo apt-get update. – QwertyChouskie Jan 14 '16 at 21:16

There is another package in the Ubuntu official repository/universe with the same name mdm, see packages.ubuntu.com

Package mdm

xenial (utils): Utilities for single-host parallel shell scripting [universe]
0.1.3-2.1: amd64 i386

Possibly, you have installed the wrong package. Check:

sudo apt-cache policy mdm
which mdmsetup

I think this should be reported to Mint dev as bug.

Well now it is clear that you don't have mint mdm installed.

  1. Remove mdm got from official repository

    sudo apt-get purge mdm
  2. Download mint mdm and its related themes from a mirror or the Mint official repository:


  3. Install it using software center (double click) or command, example:

    sudo dpkg -i mdm_2.0.7+rosa_amd64.deb
  • dpkg: regarding mdm_2.0.4+rafaela_amd64.deb containing mdm: mdm conflicts with gdm gdm (version 3.16.2-0ubuntu2) is present and installed. Can I safely remove gdm? – cat Jan 15 '16 at 21:07
  • @cat As you have lightdm it OK? In case mdm didn't work and you couldn't get graphic interface, reboot to recovery mode and set lightdm instead or reinstall gdm. – user.dz Jan 15 '16 at 21:17
  • the mdm deb requires mdm-themes but it has no installation candidate, and it is not available from the PPA mentioned in the other answer either. – cat Jan 15 '16 at 21:37
  • @cat while looking for theme package I noticed that mirror was old. I updated my answer that page also contains the links to theme packages. Sorry I'm far from pc, that why icould't test things before posting. – user.dz Jan 16 '16 at 3:36
  • 1
    Well I did accept your answer but I didn't leave enough time between clicks on the the reward and accept buttons. – cat Jan 16 '16 at 4:06

Since you can't just install mdm you need to type sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/mint then update and type sudo apt-get install mdm mdm-themes. You can use the other official repository or if you have access to the root account. You may be able to run this command without the mdm window.

sudo apt-get update
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
sudo apt-get purge mdm
dpkg-reconfigure mdm

If that did not work I suggest you type apt-cache policy mdm then which mdmsetup.

Also try uninstalling lightdm and install mdm. That may also solve your problem. To do this run these commands:

sudo apt-get purge lightdm
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mdm
sudo reboot
  • I can't actually install the mdm desktop package; when I reconf lightdm I'm only shown gdm and lightdm – cat Jan 15 '16 at 15:54
  • I'll try building from source. – cat Jan 15 '16 at 15:54
  • You also may want to run all of the commands above, Try using root and see if it won't ask. – Thomas Wilbur Jan 15 '16 at 16:16
  • Try looking on packages.ubuntu.com – Thomas Wilbur Jan 15 '16 at 16:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.