gdm: GDM fails to start Xserver while XDM starts it successfully

Andreas Beckmann debian at
Wed Nov 17 10:54:14 UTC 2010

retitle 586007 GDM timeout is not sufficient for parallel boot

On Tuesday, 15. June 2010 18:37:06 Jakub Lucký wrote:
> my GDM is unable to start Xserver, it fails even before GDM login screen
> appears. Apparently, it seems to be GDM-related problem, because XDM (after
> setting it primary) manages to start Xserver and Gnome then successfully.

This is a more general problem that appeared since parallel boot was 
activated. It can easily be fixed by increasing the timeout GDM uses for the 
Xserver to start. The problem has been reported for KDM, too, but not for XDM 
or GDM3 which seem to have sufficient timeouts. IIRC, there have been reports 
for different graphics drivers: nvidia (non-free), nouveau (free), intel, ... 
as well as slow systems in general (qemu guests).

Dear GDM maintainers, please increase the default timeout a bit.

For more discussion of this problem see the following (merged) bugs:
(these bugs should be reassigned to gdm, merged with the current one and 
closed after the timeout was increased).

The problem discusson for KDM (the KDM maintainers fixed this problem by 
increasing timeouts in 4:4.4.5-4, which is in squeeze already) can be found 
here: and its merged 
bugs #524751, #583312, #583336, #583613, #590626.

Thank you.


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