I’ve posted several articles about XDMCP in the past, and the most popular ones by far have concerned its removal from Ubuntu, and alternatives and workarounds to get the functionality back. I have to admit that I didn’t see much hope for its return to any future Ubuntu release, and have moved on to other solutions (in particular I now use Linux as my main work environment with Windows in a virtual machine, so I no longer have a need for the XMing solution I used in the past to let my Windows box access my Linux box).
But today this article on Phoronix caught my eye which claims that the next release of Ubuntu will replace GDM with LightDM. Full of skepticism – especially given its name – I assumed that LightDM would have even less functionality than GDM, but I went off to find out some more details nevertheless.
Fortunately it seems that although LightDM is a cut down display manager, it’s also planned to be a modular one. Furthermore the LightDM design document specifically mentions XDMCP more than once, so it’s clearly not been forgotten by the LightDM developers.
Now this doesn’t mean that XDMCP support will definitely return to Ubuntu. Before that can happen the XDMCP code will have to be written for LightDM (if anyone wants to give that a go, it sounds like there’s a developer willing to provide some support, according to this Launchpad entry). Once that code is available – presumably as a module or extension of some sort – it will also need to be packaged for Ubuntu. And even then, I don’t hold out much hope for the module making it into the default Ubuntu configuration and hence it’s not likely to make it onto the CD.
But this is perhaps the most promising sign of a return from the wilderness for XDMCP. It may be old and insecure, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve that other systems lack. I will be keeping my fingers crossed – and based on the number of visits to my XDMCP posts, I won’t be the only one.