I checked with the source code of the 'actions button' plugin built in to the xfce4-panel and the switch user mechanism uses
gdmflexiserver, while most of the other actions use parameters to
The source was fetched with
apt-get source xfce4-panel; the information was in
succeed = g_spawn_command_line_async ("gdmflexiserver", &error);
You will find the executable at
/usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm/gdmflexiserver, which is actually just a script:
# Copyright (C) 2011 Canonical Ltd
# Author: Michael Terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
# This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
# the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
# Foundation, version 3 of the License.
# See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html for the full text of the license.
if [ -z "$XDG_SEAT_PATH" ]; then
# something went wrong
dbus-send --system --type=method_call --print-reply --dest=org.freedesktop.DisplayManager $XDG_SEAT_PATH org.freedesktop.DisplayManager.Seat.SwitchToGreeter
It isn't in
$PATH, so if you use it in a script, you will need to specify the absolute path. I am not sure whether it takes any other switches, but will add some further information if so.
Useful commands for scripts can also be found in the manpage for
xfce4-session-logout, although the switch user action is not mentioned there, as it uses a different utility called