Remove The User List From Ubuntu 9.10 GDM Login Screen

By | 2009/12/23

I’m really enjoying the latest additions in GNOME 2.28, but one thing that has been bugging me is the rewrite of the GDM login screen. Historically it has been possible to customize a number of options, including features such as activating or deactivating the user list. With this latest upgrade it seems that GDM has been completely rewritten and those previously accessible customizations are now gone or well hidden. I have, however, been able to find a way to disable the user list and, again, require a username to login.

I’m curious to see further improvements to the new GDM system, but until that time I prefer to require username and password to login, not just a password.

Disable User List

In order to disable the user list you’ll need to open a terminal and run the following command:

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list true

Enable User List

If you’d like to re-enable the user list you can revert the above command using:

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list false

6 thoughts on “Remove The User List From Ubuntu 9.10 GDM Login Screen

  1. Alex W.

    I've tried this fix, and while it works at first, the effect does not seem to persist, and it reverts to the list after one (or maybe two) cold starts for some reason. This happens for me on multiple machines running Karmic.
    Overall, I really like the GNOME desktop, but this kind of incessant dumbing-down of the UI — coupled with unreliable alternatives for the "power user" — gets to be annoying!

  2. Andrew

    I’m trying to hide a single user from the login list. I allow a few friends to have shells remotely from this box and I would prefer if their logins didn’t show up. I’ve looked for such an instance but I can’t seem to find it. This method will work for me although if you know of how to do what I want it would work just a little better. Thanks.

    1. Christer Edwards Post author

      Andrew – The list of users at login should be generated based on users above a certain UID number. If you were to re-create the account for your friend to use a UID number less than 1000 he _probably_ wouldn’t show up in the list.

      Check out the man page for ‘adduser’, or try to manually set the UID for that account.

  3. Stefan

    @Christer Edwards

    I used the user / groups editor to change some of the ones that were showing to UID numbers of 900, 901 and 902, and now, I don’t see them in the user editor anymore (though they are still real, and I can login with them)… what gives???

  4. kashu

    Thank you for your nice article!

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