Hey just installed XFCE on my Ubuntu 10.10 machine. But now I cannot log off or shutdown my computer. When I click on Log off or Shutdown nothing happens! If I again click on them a dialog box appears saying that :

Failed to receive a reply from the session manager

Session manager must be in idle state when requesting a shutdown

So how to fix this issue??

  • which session manager are your system using? gdm or lightdm?
    – shantanu
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:20
  • I am using GDM as a session manager...
    – Ravi
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:32
  • reinstall gdm from synaptic manger or command line
    – shantanu
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:35
  • Still no luck! Reinstalled GDM but the same error message appears again!
    – Ravi
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:45

3 Answers 3


Simply try sudo shutdown -h now from your terminal.

  • 2
    Do I always have to use this command? Can you tell another fix or why this is happening?
    – Ravi
    Mar 29, 2012 at 9:13
  • Are there any other processes running while you are attempting to shut down the machine? If you want to restart, there is another instance of shutdown you can use ctrl+alt+T sudo shutdown -r now.
    – RSX-1327
    Mar 29, 2012 at 12:51

I found the solution here is the link :


Thanks all for replying and answering the question.


I got this problem simply because the ownership of the the $HOME directory was improperly set to root. It seems that the user must be able to write an an xfce4-session-* file to ~/.cache/sessions/. So attempts to shut down fail if this file is not present.

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