In 11.10 I used 'gdmflexiserver -xnest' to switch users without logging out however I think gdm has now been completely removed.

I'm trying to bind a keyboard shortcut to do the equivalent of 'Me Menu>Switch User Account...'.

How can I invoke a user switch in 12.04?


gdmflexiserver as a legacy option to provide the greeter switcher service during the transition between GDM and LightDM.

This has now been dropped from 12.04.

The replacement command is:

dm-tool switch-to-greeter

Other useful dm-tool options (dm-tool --help):

enter image description here

  • unlike the me menu dm-tool swich-to-greeter doesn't lock session you just left. – ijk Mar 17 '12 at 16:24
  • On ubuntu 16.04 dm-tool swich-to-greeter does lock session you just left. – Stéphane Gourichon Aug 13 '16 at 17:26
  • If like us you want to switch without typing password every time, consider this: askubuntu.com/questions/811953/… – Stéphane Gourichon Aug 15 '16 at 21:39
  • it doesn't log out the session you just left :P – Frank Nocke Oct 30 '16 at 3:41
  • Does not work in 17.10 anymore. Maybe because ubuntu now uses GDM? – Matmarbon Oct 27 '17 at 17:17

You can have several users logged in at the same time and switch between them with alt+ctrl+F1-8. That doesn't allow you to have another x server in a window. By the way; GDM has not been removed. It's just not used by default. You can easily install it: http://apt.ubuntu.com/p/gdm.

  • 1
    I really dont think that is what the user is asking here. – Bruno Pereira Mar 8 '12 at 11:11
  • My fault, I updated the question to make it clearer what Im trying to achieve. I know GDM is still available but most of the functionality is being moved to lightDM. In 11.10, the GDM command 'gdmflexiserver -xnest' would start another x server using the LightDM protocol allowing a user to log in using the GUI. But now GDM is not installed by default so there must be a replacement command that does the same but is lightdm native. – edm Mar 8 '12 at 11:17
  • You can use ctrl+alt+F7 and ctrl+alt+F8 to switch between two logged in users when they are already logged in. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Mar 8 '12 at 16:27

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.