Brief Explanation on Linux Login Screens and How-To Change It


As we can see now, there are two types of login screen in Linux based machines.
What’s the meaning of login screen? I believe that to understand a thing, we must first understand the terms. Login screen is something that appears on the screen after system initialization. On Windows® machine login screen called as Welcome screen.
Basically on the Unix systems, there is only one type of login screen: text based login. But in the modern Linux (which was build from Unix to Minix) we know that there are two types of login screen.

img1. Graphical login screen

Fig.1. Graphical login screen

Fig.2. Text-based login screen

Fig.2. Text-based login screen

For anybody who prefer a “simplified” Linux distribution likes Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu means that when the system loads, it will show you a graphical login screen similar to the Windows® environment. But there is also another type of distribution which serve a text-based login screen like on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) family or Slackware Linux. Now for the practice, we can modify the boot screen by editing the /etc/inittab as root by using any favorite text editor, for example vi or vim, pico, and nano. Inside the script, find the line wrote id:3:initdefault and change the number 3 into:

0 = halt
1 = single user mode
2 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
3 = multiuser mode (default Slackware runlevel)
4 = X11 with KDM/GDM/XDM (session managers)
5 = unused (but configured the same as runlevel 3)
6 = reboot

The runlevel maybe different on your machine, so you must read also inside the preconfigured inittab script. Reboot the system then and see your modified login screen. Curious about how exactly Linux runs its boot sequence? I found a links that will explain you in clearly how the boot process runs from computer Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) initialization until the login screen appear. In my opinion, this kind of article will give everyone a clear understanding so I demand you to read it at IBM DeveloperWorks: Slackware Linux 101

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