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Eliminate prefdm and use systemd units directly in Mageia 7.


  • Name: Neal Gompa
  • Email:


This will require developers to adjust initscripts to not include prefdm and ship a systemd preset in mageia-release to trigger the correct enablement of display managers. In addition, the drakdm tool needs to become aware of this mechanism and handle it correctly.

Current status

  • Targeted release: Mageia 7
  • Last updated: 2017/09/19
  • Percentage of completion: 0%

Detailed Description

We currently use the legacy prefdm mechanism in initscripts to support different display managers. However, as we use systemd, we can leverage the display-manager.service target that all display manager service units use to directly manage which DM is used.

With Mageia 7, we want to drop prefdm and move to the modern mechanism.

Why it would be good for Mageia to do it

During Mageia 6 development, it was discovered how brittle the prefdm mechanism is, and while we wanted to remove it in favor of the systemd mechanism, we put it off because we thought we would release Mageia 6 shortly afterward. Now that Mageia 6 is released, we should move forward with plans to remove prefdm and migrate our tooling to the newer mechanism.

Test case

To be determined...


  • Drop prefdm from initscripts.
  • Add systemd presets for the display managers (example from Fedora) to mageia-release
  • Make drakdm aware of this mechanism and teach it to use it for helping the user select a display manager
  • Ensure that there's a migration path from Mageia 6 prefdm to Mageia 7 display-manager.service selection

Software / Packages Dependencies

  • initscripts
  • drakxtools
  • mageia-release

What could disrupt development of this new feature

If we can't get everything changed, this feature will not be able to be completed.


This should happen as soon as possible to get the widest array of testing.


If this fails to be ready for Mageia 7, then we revert this and try again for Mageia 8.

Release Notes

The release notes should indicate that prefdm is no longer supported as a mechanism for configuring display managers. Instead, using systemctl enable _dm.service_ will switch the display manager for next boot.


Associated Bugs

Packager comments