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I am using Natty with with classic GNOME desktop.

I use Empathy and sometimes Skype.

Both these get the online state from the system itself somehow.

If I don't touch my keyboard for a few minutes - even when watching a YouTube clip or something - the inactivity triggers an auto-away state on my messaging apps.

It's synchronized so I imagine its coming coordinated from the system, and not the two apps making the same decision individually.

How can I disable this? I want manual control - I'm only away when I set it to away in a messaging app.

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Install dconf-tools and open dconf-editor.

Go to org.gnome.Empathy and change autoaway like you want.

enter image description here

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Empathy has a default auto-away configured. If you want to change it, hit Alt+F2 and type dconf-editor. On the left hand side you'll a tree view. Click on apps -> empathy. Now you see some settings on the right. The first line is the auto-away setting. If you uncheck it, Empathy will not automatically set you away.


At is a nice answer regarding to Skype: Does my Skype status ever change to 'Away' automatically?

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Years later, and a similar problem. I use Skype with Lubuntu and the "show me as away after 0 seconds setting" has no effect.

Changing this line in the Skype config.xml so that the value is 0 instead of 1800 worked for me.

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