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17 Responses

  1. slumbergod says:

    There’s info online to suggest some people have managed to downgrade gdm 2.28 to the much better Jaunty gdm 2.20. Unfortunately, it looks risky to try with Xubuntu even though the log-on is provided by gdm. For now, it looks like the first method you outline is the only solution for Xubuntu Karmic users.

  2. Ross says:

    Thanks for this!

    Having one half of your login/password appear automatically seemed like a poor idea to me.

  3. Chad says:

    I totally agree with you, Ross. I don’t understand why they choose to do this other than to look more like Windows. It might make people new to Linux feel more comfortable but it still seems like a bad idea.

  4. anonymous says:

    use ‘sudo service gdm start’ (or stop, or start, or status)

    the use of /etc/init.d/XXX is gettng phased out due to the use of Upstart.

  5. Tommy Butler says:


  6. Rodemire says:

    Thanks guys, i really needed this. The login with your name already there is one of the reasons i hated Windows. I was very shocked after migrating to Karmic from Jaunty to see this screen. Thanks a lot.

  7. Spera says:

    There’s another way to do this, to have a “hidden” user available on that box:

    1. sudo useradd -d /home/HIDDEN_USER -m HIDDEN_USER
    2. sudo passwd HIDDEN_USER
    3. sudo usermod -u 999 HIDDEN_USER

    Now for the details:

    0. HIDDEN_USER will be the login you’ll use – in other words, replace with what you want to use.
    1. Create your hidden_user and his/her home folder
    2. Set the password for that new user
    3. change the account’s settings below the “1000” level, therefore making it unlisted in the login box

    And why do I have that ? Well, my grandkid has a ‘Buntu box, and I sometimes need to work on it. She likes selecting her name on the login script, so I didn’t want to take that away from her – I also didn’t feel like showing her/anyone that I have an account on the machine. Makes sense ?

  8. Andrew says:

    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.

  9. Spera says:


    HAT is a piece of cake. I assume you know the names of those account/users you want to hide, for the sake of the exercise we’ll call them Bob, Joe and Bill.

    1. sudo usermod -u 999 Bob
    2. sudo usermod -u 999 Joe
    3. sudo usermod -u 999 Bill

    And there you have it, the logins have only been modified in a way that they will not APPEAR in the login list.

    For more details, feel free to run the MAN USERMOD command in a terminal. You’ll see the nitty gritty of the command, and the parameter -u

    To summarize, MAN will confirm that the accounts with UID between 0 and 999 are usually saved for system (and therefore hidden) accounts.

    It will also tell you that the UID should never have a NEGATIVE value.

    And MOST IMPORTANT, as a ‘Nix user you should remember to differentiate between upper case and lower case parameters. The -u param relates to the UID, whereas the -U param is used for unlocking an acccount. I thought I’d remind everyone of that essentil point, just in case ?

    Have a Fantastic Day !


  10. Greg says:

    Andrew’s solution works. But it also removes the user from the GUI System>Admin>Users and Groups, so you can no longer see that user there. (BTW, you can set the user number to 999 from that GUI interface as long as you’re not logged into that account.)

    Nevertheless it’s what I need to hide the only account with admin privileges, allowing the rest of my family to click in. I figure their ease is no big risk considering they don’t have any significant privileges.

    In Karmic, I can still click “other” and then enter my admin username and password.

  11. BenB says:

    Look. The answer to have the UID’s all as 999 is wrong.

    Unix does not care about ben, bob, jim, carol, joe, ..etc. You are just a number. In this case you are UID 999.

    For all intents and purposes as far as unix is concerned ben, bob, jim, carol, and Joe are the same person and that means that they will be able to access each others files, modify, delete, and read …etc. There is no end to what could go wrong and the security problems associated with this solution.

    I know what the person who is asking about the hidden user wants. He probably has a user that he uses for some administrative purpose that he doesn’t want people to see. There should be an easy way to do this without modifying the source code. GDM is missing a useful option. End of story. The developers have to address this issue.

  12. Spera says:

    BenB, I see your point – and you’re right that I let something erroneous slip through my keyboard… Allow me to correct now:

    For the sake of the exercise we’ll keep calling them Bob, Joe and Bill.

    1. sudo usermod -u 999 Bob
    2. sudo usermod -u 998 Joe
    3. sudo usermod -u 997 Bill

    Now those three “Admin” accounts will be properly identified by their own, unique UID. And they won’t appear in the list of users at the login screen.

    Hope this corrects your opinion of me 🙂

    Oh – and I can see why this might need to be done in Terminal. After all, some of us do use it to unleash the full powah of ‘Nix – and the original request was to hide special accounts… So not such a big deal if it requires those simple four lines to create such an account ?

  13. vimrc says:

    there’s another true way to hide users from the gdm list. Added that strings to /etc/gdm/custom.conf:

    Exclude=user1, user2

  14. enko says:

    How do I undo method 1?:
    Open the terminal and enter the following comamnd

    sudo gconftool-2 –direct –config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory –type Boolean –set /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list True

  15. enko says:

    Nevermind, I figured it out.

  16. Samuel says:

    HELP!!! How do I reverse the process??? i cant remember my user name!

  17. enko says:

    u could go to safe mode and type this in root termnal:
    gconftool-2 –direct –config-source xml:readwrite:/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.mandatory –type Boolean –set /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list False

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