Linux Desktop How to shutdown, restart or logoff gnome via command / Launcher

last updated in Categories Debian Linux, Howto, Linux desktop, Suse Linux, Ubuntu Linux

It is true that Gnome desktop provides nice facility to logoff, shutdown or restart computer with dialog. You can create a nice shortcut to avoid the GUI confirmation dialog box to speed up work.

(A) Shutdown computer
i) Right click on Desktop > Select Create Launcher
ii) Type the Command in text box “sudo /sbin/shutdown -h 0” and for rest of properties refer following figure:

iii) Click Close to save. Please note that only root will be able to shutdown system. However with the help of sudo it is possible that non-privileged can also shutdown the system (without password). Type following commands:
a) Login as root user

b) Type visudo command:

c) Append following text of line, so that all commands will be excuted without password.
vivek localhost= NOPASSWD: /sbin/shutdown -h 0
vivek localhost= NOPASSWD: /sbin/reboot

By default, sudo requires that a user authenticate him or herself before running a
command. This behavior is modified with NOPASSWD flag i.e. shutdown and reboot command would allow user vivek run as root on the localhost as root without authenticating (password) himself

d)Save the file and replace command in above figure with sudo /sbin/shutdown -h now and close the dialog Launcher dialog box.

(B) Restart computer
i) Right click on Desktop > Select Create Launcher
ii) Type the Command in text box “sudo /sbin/restart” and for rest of properties refer following figure:

(C) Logoff Gnome

i) Right click on Desktop > Select Create Launcher
ii) Type the Command in text box “/usr/bin/gnome-session-save –kill” and for rest of properties refer following figure:

iii) Make sure you turnoff user logout dialog box. Type command OR Click on Applications > Desktop Preferences > Advanced > Sessions and clear the option box ‘Prompt on logout’ > Click close to save changes.

You can also use logoff script, to logoff KDE/Gnome desktop session. All these hacks should also work with FreeBSD or OpenSolaris desktop.


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

10 comment

  1. With Gnome in OpenSuse 11.1 the shutdown dialog lets you only logout to single user mode instead of shutting down. Seems like this tutorial is just the solution needed, thank you. I’ve found that “shutdown -P” also causes the system to switch to single user mode, while “shutdown -h” lets it shut down. Is there any way to change the behaviour of “shutdown -P” to actually power down? It only makes sense that the -P option should switch off the pc and Gnome most probably uses that as well.

  2. Hey thanks for all the usefull info,

    In this article, for the restart command first say you say to type “sudo /sbin/restart”; But then the picture says “sudo /sbin/reboot”, On Intrepid I checked my sbin file to wich one exists and only the reboot command(application) was there.

    I still found what i was looking for though, and hope you will fix that so others dont mess up.

  3. I wasn’t satified by the “sudo shutdown” because shutdown doesn’t require specific rights in desktop environnement. Therefore I’ve searched for something else and finally found these commands using dbus (working on ubuntu Lucid) :

    dbus-send –system –print-reply –dest=org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit /org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Manager org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit.Manager.Stop

    dbus-send –system –print-reply –dest=org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit /org/freedesktop/ConsoleKit/Manager org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit.Manager.Restart

  4. hey, I know the easiest way to make a logout and shutdown launcher.
    first step is create launcher as usual, like right click any place on desktop
    then in command box, type “gnome-session-save –logout-dialog”
    without quote, this will launch the default logout dialog.
    and type “gnome-session-save –shutdown-dialog” without quote to show shutdown dialog.
    as you can see, this just can be done in gnome. so, make two launcher for logout and shutdown.

    thanks for your attention 🙂

  5. Thanks for this post! I really needed it. I knew how to create launchers for shutdown and reboot, but not for logoff. I really miss that single multi-purpose button Gnome use to have.

  6. Had to comb through a lot of dreck on the net before I found this vein of gold, these nuggets of information. Thank you from a noobster

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