The login screen appears in a much older style:

login window

Output of cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager:


How can I change it back to normal?

  • 1
    What is the output of cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager? – steeldriver Jan 19 '18 at 14:16
  • 1
    It's /usr/bin/xdm – Kish Jan 20 '18 at 8:53

You have set your default display manager to xdm in place of the default more modern lightdm or gdm

You should be able to change back to your preferred display manager by reconfiguring the package using

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xdm

and then navigating the menu with your arrow and TAB keys and confirming your selection with the ENTER key or SPACEBAR.

dpkg-reconfigure xdm

The choice will take effect next time you reboot - or you can stop then re-start the display manager manually using systemctl (note that this will terminate any running desktop session as well):

sudo systemctl isolate multi-user.target


sudo systemctl isolate graphical.target
  • 1
    It worked!!! I changed it to gdm3 – Kish Jan 22 '18 at 20:22

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