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I recently switched from Unity (Ubuntu 11.10) to the Gnome Shell. It took some tweaking to have it all to my liking, but one thing keeps bothering me: I cannot find the 'shutdown' and 'restart' buttons in applications anymore, let alone place them in favorites!

In unity this was a piece of cake. i just opened the Dash home and searched for 'shutdown' or 'restart', and I could easily drag the buttons to the unity favorites on the left of the desktop.

Any thoughts on why Gnome doesn't even list these applications anymore? And how to fix it?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The reason you can't find those .desktops in gnome-shell is because of the line in the.desktop


Don't have Gs installed but you could try any number of things.

Edit the line to


Remove the line entirely

Copy the 2 desktops to your home directly, then remove the line entirely, ex. - below is one complete command, copy & paste into a terminal

mkdir -pv ~/.local/share/applications; \
cp /usr/share/applications/indicator-session-restart.desktop ~/.local/share/applications; \
gedit ~/.local/share/applications/indicator-session-restart.desktop

Then edit out the line & it's space, save.

I'd go with the copy & edit method for both so after above -

cp /usr/share/applications/indicator-session-shutdown.desktop ~/.local/share/applications; \
gedit ~/.local/share/applications/indicator-session-shutdown.desktop

You may need to do a log out/in after

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Shutdown or Restart are not listed in applications because they're not. If you want to shutdown/Restart, click on the user menu and hold ALT, you will see the shutdown button appear, from where you will be able to either restart or shutdown. Another option would be to use a GNOME extension that puts the shutdown and restart buttons directly in the user menu without having to press ALT.

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Thanks, I know about this already, I was just wondering if it is also possible to have real buttons (like in Unity) in my favorites for shutting down and restarting... – Tim Nov 26 '11 at 15:10
Well, it cannot be impossible. I'm not sure about this, but I would first try making a launcher with this command: gnome-desktop-item-edit /usr/share/applications --create-new and enter the command to shutdown. – Marc Boisvert Nov 26 '11 at 15:14

If you go to Gnome Extensions using Firefox (Chrome/Epiphany and other webkit based browsers do not work yet) and look for the Alternative Status Menu extension. Click the on/off button to the left and you will now have Suspend/Hibernate and Power Off as separate items in the menu.

As for why they choose to do things this way, I get the impression that programmers/developers (the Gnome Devs anyway) prefer to suspend their machines then come straight back and resume where they left off. But for the home user (most users!?) it is a strange choice. The above extension sorted it for me.

Hope that helps

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