MDM 1.2.0 in Linux Mint 15
by clem 36

Linux Mint 15 RC will feature MDM 1.2.0 and use the “Clouds” HTML theme by default.


The theme features keyboard navigation and the selection of languages and sessions is rendered by nice bootstrap modal dialogs. It looks very nice.

What looks even nicer though, is the “Clouds (WebGL)” theme. In this one, the theme is animated and the login screen flies through the clouds in 3D. There’s even a plane button you can click to take control of the flight (you then move your mouse around to change the direction you’re flying towards). Unfortunately, this theme is quite heavy on resources. It is slow in Virtualbox and doesn’t work well on all machines so we couldn’t use it by default.

Also included are a collection of animated themes made by samriggs. They’re not using WebGL so everybody should be able to use them.

Samriggs is working on them as we speak, he probably doesn’t know about MDM 1.2.0 yet and he probably has newer themes than the ones we included in the RC :)

It’s all happening here if you are interested in following this:

We’ll catch up with him and bring improvements to all the included themes in time for the stable release.

MDM itself was greatly improved in the last few days. The HTML renderer no longer shows a grey screen before loading the theme and GDM themes are now allowed to ask for borders around text fields.

If the theme specifies background=”true”, a border is drawn on the text field.

For instance, <item type=”entry” id=”user-pw-entry”> is rendered like this:


and <item type=”entry” id=”user-pw-entry” background=”true”> is rendered like this:



The GDM themes previously included in Linux Mint 14 are still there in Linux Mint 15 and some of them now take advantage of these new borders to look nicer.

36 thoughts on “MDM 1.2.0 in Linux Mint 15

  1. samriggs May 9,2013 14:52

    I better get busy and make the three aren’t done yet in those images lol.
    It won’t take me long hopefully :)

  2. Emmanuel May 9,2013 19:09


    That would really be nice if you could add MDM 1.2 in Romeo at the time you put Nemo & Cinnamon for LMDE.
    That would be a great surprise.

    Does this version includes a correction for the very long time between login and desktop appearance ?

    Thank you so much for all the work.


    • clem May 9,2013 23:06

      No. I looked deep into that though and my conclusions are that MDM is doing things right. We talked about it within the team and we think the blame is on muffin/cinnamon themselves. We’re taking over settings daemon and session in cinnamon 2.0 and that’s something we’ll look into a lot for the next iteration.

      • mtwebster May 9,2013 23:31

        So i was messing around with plymouth, trying to restore my boot splash (the graphical one), and between update-grub and update-initramfs, my login time went from 10-20 seconds on average to about 3 seconds. I have no idea why. Just some food for thought.

        • clem May 10,2013 22:19

          Hmm… wait, what?! :) MDM does wait for Plymouth to end, but I thought that happened before the greeter, not after.

          But now that you say that.. if you ps -ef –forest, you can see that MDM launches /usr/bin/X for the session on the tty… it’s launched by the slave after you log in. And X needs plymouth dead… so maybe we’re worried about killing plymouth only after we login instead of doing it before the greeter appear? I’m very intrigued by this :)

      • Emmanuel May 10,2013 13:54

        No problem Clem. A lot of work has already been done for Cinnamon 1.8.

        I will maybe try later to use GDM again to see if the waiting time is there too.

        • clem May 10,2013 22:25

          On the session/consolekit front, MDM is doing things right. I reviewed the entire code there. mtwebster might have found something though when it comes to how we handle plymouth. We’ll look into that.

  3. samriggs May 9,2013 19:30

    Lost Planet is now finished and up for download, it can be downloaded here: where all them are.
    Nice work on getting rid of the white screen :) that was annoying, glad to see it go.
    I tested the Lost Planet with mdm 1.2 on lmde and it works but any bugs let me know.
    Next will be steampunk fututre city then sky mountain, they can all be gotten at the same place, that will complete the image above :)
    Hopefully I can get them all done today.

    • clem May 9,2013 23:07

      Hi samriggs,

      Check clouds for keyboard navigation. It uses mousetrap.js and you only need a few lines of code. Great work on the themes!

      • samriggs May 9,2013 23:53

        Yup will get at it, I planned on it anyhow, I finished porting over all the above themes now, (sky mountain, steampunk future city and lost planet).
        There all up ready to be downloaded at deviantart.
        Just been busy with my other stuff, but I will get at mousetrap for all of them, that’s 13 of them to add it to, so it might take a bit unless it’s really easy, never really had a chance to look at it yet.
        I have the clouds so it shouldn’t be to hard to add it to these.

  4. samriggs May 10,2013 00:11

    Not sure if this is the right place to do this, but is this all that is needed for mousetrap?

    Mousetrap.bind('up', function() {
    select_user(selected_row - 1);

    Mousetrap.bind('down', function() {
    select_user(selected_row + 1);

    Mousetrap.bind('ctrl+l', function() {

    Mousetrap.bind('ctrl+s', function() {

    Mousetrap.bind('esc', function() {

    Mousetrap.bind('tab', function() {

    That’s all I seen in clouds after the final int() in the script.
    I’ll wait until I hear before adding it to all of them just in case.
    and of course the link to the mousetrap javascript file is at the top.

    • samriggs May 10,2013 01:08

      I moved this over to the html5 thread, since anyone else who is making these will want to know where to change things to get mousetrap to work as well, I looked at it a bit more, there’s some more stuff to add, the .modals and the loop in the users by the looks of it so far plus a couple more.
      Clem if you have time to go through this and add it at the html5 thread that would be great, otherwise I’ll get at it soon as I get some time here, probably tomorrow.
      I plan on adding where things need to be added to get this to work so all can know.
      Just makes it easier for anyone else who wants to add it.
      I know your busy getting 15 up and going so no problem. :)

      • clem May 10,2013 22:24

        I’m completely focused on Mint 15 at the moment. With that said, the best thing to do is for us to chat on the IRC. I’ll be there during the week, tuesday onwards for sure at #linuxmint-dev on

    • clem May 10,2013 22:22

      Well, there’s the include of the mousetrap.js file. And then at the bottom, the calls to Mousetrap.bind(). The init() is there to initiate the state of the theme, it’s nothing to do with mousetrap. I tell you what, the best thing to do is to read, the instructions are very clear and very straight forward there.

  5. samriggs May 11,2013 00:23

    Yup I read it, it makes sense and pretty simple to do by the looks of it. I was fooling around with it in the wee hours of the morning,
    All I see you have to do is call a class or div and it should work.Mousetrap.bind('ctrl+s', function(e) {
    opacity: 1
    }, 5000);

    from a tut I seen about it obviously this calls the div .animate and changes the opacity when ctl + s is pressed.
    I added some tabs also to the one I’m playing with, the only thing I would like to see is with the
    Mousetrap.bind('ctrl+l', function() {

    Mousetrap.bind('ctrl+s', function() {

    parts, to actually open the drop downs instead of a dialog box, still figuring out the users part, you added a separate section with a loop for that one, I want to see if I can make it work with the original theme and keep it as simple as possible, so other can use it with the main theme example.
    I do have the dropdown open on tabs with enter though.
    I just stayed away from it today for the most part, riding on 2 hours sleep so my brain is a bit mush today, good old insomnia, I suffer from it big time, but I get a lot done usually with it, just not today.
    I’ll get at it tomorrow when I get some rest tonight sometime.

    • samriggs May 11,2013 00:31

      forgot, I know your extremely busy with the rc and getting it all ready, so don’t worry about it, soon as I’m awake again I’m sure I’ll figure it out, it’s only 6 functions with tabs added its no big deal to really figure out. Just have to be awake to do it. I’ll keep with your key presses to keep it standard so anyone making these add the same ones so all mint users will know what key will do what across the board in all themes, sort of a small white paper for mousetrap.
      I’ll post that part and the whole thing with the main theme example on the thread once I get it done, if you see any changes that need done then its up to you, you can can make them, but the RC is a lot more important then a theme that only needs mousetrap :)

  6. Kirk M May 11,2013 13:01

    @Sam Riggs – Thanks for all your work on the MDM themes. I’ve been using the Cinnamon nightly PPA for quite awhile now so I’ve got the latest build of MDM and I love these HTML5 animated login screens of yours. So I’ll just add the latest 3 to my collection shall I?

  7. Anand May 11,2013 14:48

    Nice work. Clem & co for new MDM and Samriggs for themes. They’re uber-cool :-) Am on Mint KDE. Will it be packaged as default login manager for Mint 15 KDE?
    Currently, using LightDM and finding it difficult to configure. Will be good to have a small config UI tool for MDM, like changing background imahe,etc. Or MDM emulator tool is easy-to-use without coding?
    Also,I suppose login screen will user account profile picture. Was hoping to see Clem’s pic there as shown in new “Away Message” on locked screen:-P

    • clem May 13,2013 07:41


      Yes of course. The screenshot here was made in a VM so I didn’t have any user picture set up… but yes, it does show your userpic. Other than that, the HTML greeter comes with an emulator so you can test your themes easily and almost all aspects of MDM are configuration via UI (mdmsetup).

  8. samriggs May 11,2013 16:26

    Thanks Kirk glad you enjoy them, the latest three are at you can get them all there. I take it you know this but just in case, you can extract it, re-compress the extracted folder as a tar.gz instead and just drag it into the login window screen (html section) for it to install that way, deviant art won’t allow tar.gz I tried, I even tried adding the tar.gz inside a zip but it won’t allow that either, so I got stuck with zips.
    I got more coming down the road hopefully, and hopefully once this gets out, more will jump on board and make some themselves, it be nice to see some other styles out there, like Clem’s clouds, I like the layout of it, nice and clean.

  9. Matthew McAllum May 11,2013 20:11

    I really appreciate the way Mint uses graphics in a way that doesn’t crash any computers in the drivers they use.

    I try to install Ubuntu and its ‘Spins’ but they just don’t function after the first couple of installation screens (on my Acer Aspire 5020) so can’t be installed… unlike Linux Mint which installs fine.

  10. Richardo May 13,2013 02:24

    My apologies if this was listed elsewhere and I just didn’t see it – will MDM support a long-desired ability to remember the previous user after a logout, such that you can just type in the password without having to always type in your username/click on the user first? For a single-user machine it’s always been an extra step that’s not necessary in Windows or Ubuntu’s LightDM, so it’d be nice if MDM could do this as well.

    • clem May 13,2013 07:42


      Yes. It’s been talked about and agreed. We just need to find the time to implement it.

  11. SevenBits May 13,2013 14:01

    Wow… the DM looks so stylish and modern. Totally cool! Can’t wait for Mint 15!

  12. bimsebasse May 13,2013 14:20

    Who wants to play games or fiddle about or look at animations on a login screen? Isn’t its sole purpose to provide the user with quick and easy session actions? *don’t understand things*

    • samriggs May 13,2013 16:27

      Hi bimsebasse
      Yes it purpose is for ease of login, it still does that, same as usual, but this just adds extra toys for those who want it, there is still the normal gdm that can be chosen with no animations and can be used instead for those who want that instead, it’s just an extra choice for those who want it, and if html5 screensavers get implemented (for those who want that) it can use the same animations to the screensaver as well, once converted over to that of course.
      Some won’t like it, and some will, that’s normal, it’s just one more extra choice for the user, personally me and the wife like it, but I know others will want to just get in there and won’t want it.
      For me it just gives me something to fool around with lol.

  13. Anand May 15,2013 02:48 – i got MDM from here for my Maya KDE and works fine. How can I get Clouds theme with mouse animation? Any links please?

  14. samriggs May 15,2013 04:08

    you can get the Clems Clouds theme from the from the forum thread here:

    All my themes now are finished with mousetrap included, I couldn’t get bootbox to work on lmde so I just added some keystroke for the following (in case anyone was wondering and wanted them)
    ctrl+s = shutdown
    ctrl+i = suspend
    ctrl+r = restart
    ctrl+q = quit
    ctrl+x = XDMCP
    tab = entry (for the login input box)

    If I can eventually get bootbox working in lmde I’ll switch all these over to the same ones Clem uses in his Clouds theme with bootbox (it’s clean and nice and can be dropped into any theme) but it doesn’t work yet in lmde, so I’m leaving it out for now, but it does work fantastic in mint’s main edition, so no worries there :)

  15. Anand May 15,2013 15:35

    I have the Clouds theme installed but am getting error message
    “Sorry your browser does not support WebGL. Please try with Chrome 10, Firefox 4 or Safari 6”. I am running Mint 13 so obviously all better versions. Is it taking Konqueror as default browser (chrome is default) because am on KDE? Just thinking aloud.
    I tried mdm-theme-emulator and yields same result. – Screenshot reference.
    I have Nvidia 540 M graphics card (Optimus), if that matters.

    • clem May 15,2013 18:51

      Sadly, that’s one of the reasons we don’t use that awesome theme as default in Linux Mint 15. It’s included for those lucky enough to be able to run it. On some specs it’s slow though or it doesn’t work at all.

      • samriggs May 16,2013 13:05

        Hi Clem this could be made without webgl as well with sort of a fake 3d effect using opacity and scale that could be used by everything, the only other thing would be the bootbox, which I extremely liked the way you did this, but I couldn’t get it working for LMDE but it probably works on all main editions, hopefully I can find a way to get bootbox working on LMDE because I really want to use that for all the mousetrap stuff and just drop it in all the themes.So far though, it’s a no go.
        I just like this theme a lot and think it would be a great default theme for it.

  16. Anand May 18,2013 08:10

    What is the font used in Clouds theme? Very pleasant. #justasking

  17. samriggs May 19,2013 02:13

    The only one I could see at a quick glance was Monospace in the html file, I seen none in the theme.css but might be some in the bootstrap.min.css I never checked there.

  18. Anand May 23,2013 07:08

    I have a doubt – How secure is a login manager with HTML5? Am asking this because there were certain misgivings (could be untrue) for adopting HTML5 as seen in comments here. Am sure, you would have considered these security aspects. Just wanted to get it clarified here.

    Also, does MDM as such support logging in a networked environment like Workgroup / Domain? In simple words, does MDM fulfil the requirements of rolling this out in enterprises?

    Also any efforts on integrating user authentication based on face recognition / finger prints in MDM?

  19. jkw Jun 8,2013 09:09

    Is there any reference manual, function list or such around?

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