Multiple DE with selection at login screen

I was wondering if I can run multiple DEs with selection at login screen (like normal desktop)
Or if I can replace phosh login screen with any other login greeter.



Yes, it is possible - I recall Fedora builds for the PinePhone shipping with a themed LightDM (that then looked similar to the Phosh lock screen). I personally briefly played with gdm, for a similar usecase, but it am not sure which release it was.
IIRC, systemd starts Phosh on PureOS, so you would have to disable that service and enable another service.

Sorry for not being able to provide more precise information, but I am getting old and these experiments were over a year ago :slight_smile:


Thanks that gave me a thing to search for.
I found I will try it.
I need to figure out what is meta package to install gnome UI (gnome-shell or gnome-session ?)

ok so following is needed:
edit /lib/systemd/system/gdm3.service
and add


Without this gdm service can’t be enabled

After that disable phosh
sudo systemctl disable phosh.service
Enable gdm3
sudo systemctl enable gdm3.service

Now at startup there is option to pick a session (I can pick gnome and phosh).

However I still don’t know what is name of meta package for gnome-mobile or if it is even available in pureOS repo.


[With recent update gdm3.service doesn’t work, need to revert back to phosh.service]
When phone boots to black screen, ssh can still work.

There was a gdm update, but it didn’t really change anything that would be relevant here, so I guess your local changes have simply been overwritten by the new package.

You can prevent that from happening in the future by using sudo systemctl edit gdm3.service instead of modifying the file directly.

Not much reason to use gdm3.service at this point so I can just live it with phosh.
mobile related patches are not upstream to gnome package yet (I guess).
But I’ll keep that in mind and edit the file without enabling service (in case I need it in future)

I tried installing and configuring desktop environments for the PureOS, but it is obvious that there are compatibility issues, up to the point that a soft brick can occur when accessing the OS. I should have known of potential problems to arise for new builds. What was I thinking? I guess I got too hopeful.

At that moment, I had an OS boot installation fiasco. I even followed along the canon flashing solution(s), but apparently, serial, ethernet, workstation connection, and maybe a lack of detail is not enough to flash OS installation.

At the very least, my efforts to comb through the web paid off with success. If anyone ran/runs into the very same soft brick problem, I have found the working solution, at least for now.

Reference material:

@Ribby, Can you be more specific about what problem you encountered or where you got stuck?

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I believe it was simply misconfiguring the display manager with the desktop environment. For instance, I placed the lightdm with the GNOME DE. Then I had doubts and followed up on this topic to rewrite the respective configuration file. I had both gdm3 and lightdm active. I believe what I did was a bad mistake.

I do like configuring and modifying, but it is probably best to stick with the standard installation procedures. It took days to research for the working OS net/image flash installation instructions. I was very lucky to find the right recovery solution. Took a bit of work, but at least the money is still worth the chimes. Next time around, I be on the cautious side whenever I see myself trod off the worn path. I be off the cliff!
I don’t want reinstallation days like Microsoft Windows, but GNU/Linux OS brands are as ‘you get what you paid for’. No doubt that GNU/Linux have its share of troubles, but its availability, claimed security, and customization standards, convince me to keep up with it.

In order to avoid a desktop environment and/or display manager bricking conflict (which prevents OS access/sessions, but you can probably copy the disk’s data files by SSH or serial connection [I tried it, but I think the connection requires working computers and remote access service anyways]), there probably should been a display manager dependency check, if dependency requirement is not met, then the OS would revert to its default DE and DM (which should not be removed at all) as a contingency plan.

As with desktop environments, they may also come with display managers, the core/complementary components to the interface(s) and shell(s) of the DE kit. DMs might be gdm3, kdm, lightdm, etc. We probably need a study on these interface components to determine their effects on computing functions from the CLI (and maybe even firmware/hardware) standard.