Ubuntu – How to log out with a command in a gnome-less environment


I installed various window managers (Awesome, dwm, etc.) from which I am not able to log out back to the login screen (gnome-session) in order to switch to another window manager. I need to reboot to do that, which is a waste of time (and can lead to data corruption).

Question How can you log out via the terminal? didn't work..

dbus-send --session --type=method_call --print-reply --dest=org.gnome.SessionManager /org/gnome/SessionManager org.gnome.SessionManager.Logout uint32:1

..neither did this:

gnome-session-save --force-logout

..nor that:

gnome-session-quit --force-logout

they all returned:

Failed to call logout: The name org.gnome.SessionManager was not provided by any .service files

Is there a quick way to log out back into Gnome's session manager from a non-Gnome desktop manager using a terminal emulator? I know that CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE can be configured to restart X, but I'm looking for the easiest way to log out.

Best Answer

You could restart the desktop manager, which is similar to restarting X.

On Ubuntu 11.10:

sudo service lightdm restart

On earlier versions:

sudo service gdm restart

If that fails or you are on a very old system, try:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

One of these should take you back to the login screen. Be aware that you will not be prompted, so save any work before running this command!

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