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I never need my user name to be shown on the desktop as I am the only one to use my computer. I'd prefer if there would be something like a shutdown icon instead of the user name to open the session menu. How to achieve this in XUbuntu 11.10?

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For regular Ubuntu, see… – scribu Sep 30 '11 at 18:09
In case anyone interested to restore the Session Menu without user name in Xubuntu, I have added detailed steps in my answer below. – clearkimura Jun 24 at 17:52

You can remove the session menu and add an item called 'Action Button' instead. Per default, it will display the usual xfce log-out menu (same as the main menu item).

If this is too pristine, you can add a custom launcher and add the various commands supported by xfce4-session-logout: (excerpt from xfce4-session-logout --help)

  -l, --logout             Log out without displaying the logout dialog
  -h, --halt               Halt without displaying the logout dialog
  -r, --reboot             Reboot without displaying the logout dialog
  -s, --suspend            Suspend without displaying the logout dialog
  --hibernate              Hibernate without displaying the logout dialog
  -f, --fast               Log out quickly; don't save the session

N.b.: This is from xubuntu 11.04, should still work in 11.10.

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Not the exactly correct answer but a practical solution. So I vote up. Thanks. – Ivan Sep 27 '11 at 21:43

Since Xubuntu 14.04, the Session Menu has been removed from panel and replaced by log out button in the Whisker Menu. The session menu can be easily restored by adding "Action Buttons" to the panel. But the item doesn't have any option to hide just the user name.

This answer will explain how to create the Session Menu without the user name by using "Launcher" in Xfce panel. Xubuntu users who missed the Session Menu will find this answer useful.

The steps

  1. Right-click on panel, then select Panel > Add New Items...

  2. In "Add New Items" window, select Launcher and click Add button. An empty launcher will be added to the panel. Then, press Esc key or click Close button to close the window.

  3. Right-click on the launcher (shown with default icon) and select Properties. In "Launcher" window, there are only two buttons enabled by default. The "Launcher" window shall remain open until the last step.

    How to create Launcher - Part A

  4. To begin with, click on the lower icon to add the first new empty item. In "Edit Launcher" window, fill in the following details.

    Launcher #1

    • Name: Lock Screen
    • Comment: Run xflock4 to lock this session
    • Command: xflock4
  5. For "Icon:" field, click No icon button and select an icon from the window. The icon used in this step is system-shutdown-panel from "Status Icons". Click OK button to confirm.

  6. Returning to "Edit Launcher" window, click Save button to add the first launcher to the panel. The previously selected icon will now appear as single button in the panel.

    How to create Launcher - Part B

  7. To add the second launcher, click again on the same icon in "Launcher" window and fill in the following details in "Edit Launcher" window.

    Launcher #2

    • Name: Log Out...
    • Comment: Log Out of the Xfce Desktop
    • Command: xfce4-session-logout
  8. For "Icon:" field, leave it empty. The icon is not needed for the second and subsequent launchers.

  9. Click Save to add the second launcher. The launcher will now show an arrow button beside the first launcher; Click the arrow button to show the second and subsequent launchers.

    How to create Launcher - Part C

  10. Continue to add the remaining launchers by repeating step 7, 8 and 9 with the following details.

    Launcher #3

    • Name: Switch user
    • Comment: Run dm-tool to return to greeter
    • Command: dm-tool switch-to-greeter

    Launcher #4

    • Name: Suspend
    • Comment: Suspend without displaying dialog
    • Command: xfce4-session-logout --suspend

    Launcher #5

    • Name: Shut Down
    • Comment: Halt without displaying dialog
    • Command: xfce4-session-logout --halt
  11. Rearrange the launchers by clicking the top two icon buttons, so that the launchers will be listed in the following order.

    Lock Screen

    Switch User


    Shut Down

    Log Out...

  12. Click on Advanced tab, then set the following options.

    [x] Disable tooltips

    Arrow button position: Inside Button

  13. Finally, click Close button to finish.

    How to create Launcher - Part D

The Launcher will now appear and behave similar to the Session Menu, except for the arrow button is seen inside button and no separators. Another difference is, Launcher will always allow "Switch User" menu regardless of single or multiuser host system. This action doesn't switch directly to other user but returns to login screen (Same behaviour as "Switch Users" in Whisker Menu).

The caveats

Above steps are not perfect. There are trivial issues when using launchers, but these can be improved by workarounds.

Session Menu using Launcher appears ugly, with uneven spacing and icon.

Xubuntu by default show images on buttons and in menus. User can disable the option "Show images in menus" in Appearance > Settings > Menus and Buttons. This will hide the icon in the menu all together, which includes application menu, context menu and panel menu.

Else try to add other icons for the remaining launchers to make spacing equal, but the menu will appear unnatural due to wide spacing.

Except for "Log Out..." launcher, other actions will not display any confirmation dialog.

Unlike Action Buttons, Launcher has no obvious way to show the confirmation dialog. This may be solved by assigning command each action with helper dialog in Zenity or configuring relevant key in GSettings, if any. I couldn't find any straightforward solution in this matter.

Trivial issues using Launcher

Above all, I didn't find any serious caveats while using the Session Menu that has been created using Launcher. The substitute menu works as expected and could be improved by modifying the command to change the behaviour.


Tested working in Xubuntu 14.04 (Xfce 4.10) and Xubuntu 16.04 (Xfce 4.12). Screenshots were taken using Xfce Screenshot and Shutter, arranged and color to alpha in GIMP, then added annotation using built-in editor in Shutter.

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