I set up an old PC with Edubuntu 12.04 for my girls, with an admin account for myself and normal user accounts for both of them. Unfortunately, they are not able to shut down the computer by themselves with this configuration. Choosing shutdown from the (Unity) panel menu will log them out, but that's it. How do I give them shutdown privileges?

Please note that they are 5 and 7 years old and just starting to find their way around a computer. Solutions that would require them to open a terminal and sudo whatever are not helpful -- and I don't want them to be able to sudo anything, anyway. I need the panel menu entry "Shutdown" to work for them.

  • Here's the thing: on regular Ubuntu 12.04 (Unity), a standard user account (created from the GUI) can shut down the computer with the shutdown option...
    – ish
    Jul 2, 2012 at 16:29
  • Hmm, I'll try and create another account (maybe something went wrong the first time) and try. Jul 2, 2012 at 17:13
  • You know, regular Unity allows shutdowns from the login screen (we've had questions on how to disable that!), so I don't think this is something Edubuntu-specific...
    – ish
    Jul 2, 2012 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


Okay, I found it: The answer was actually very simple. Another user session was still open. My girls had just switched accounts instead of logging off. Of course, an unprivileged user issuing a shutdown command does not have any right to terminate another user's session, like a 'sudo shutdown' would.


Its long but it will help you.


  • 3
    Please summarize or restate the relevant information from the link and provide the link for reference/citation. Answers that are just links to other websites are frowned upon (and generally downvoted), because if that link dies, so does your answer in it's current form.
    – reverendj1
    Jul 2, 2012 at 15:57
  • The link does not help, because the python script provided there uses sudo, which means I would need to grant sudoer rights to unprivileged users, which is what I do not want to do. Jul 2, 2012 at 17:45
  • @potofcoffee It may not be the most elegant way to accomplish what you're looking to do ...but you should know that you can configure sudo to let users run certain specific commands as root, and not other commands as root. Jul 2, 2012 at 21:21

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