I noticed in screen shots of Unity the presence of the "Session Menu" indicator in the right corner of the top-panel. This menu drops down to offer Log Out, Hibernate, Restart, Shut Down, etc.

I know the keyboard shortcuts are not complete yet. But are there plans to implement a shortcut for accessing this Session Menu (i.e., so users can log out, restart & shut down without having to use the mouse)? Further, will the shortcut allow navigation through the menu by just typing the first letter of the listed word (e.g., R for restart and S for shut down)?

  • 1
    I've just upgraded to 12.04. In 11.10 I could just press <Super> and then type 'shut' - shutdown would then be the first option, press <Enter> and shutdown would start. This no longer works in 12.04 sadly. May 6, 2012 at 12:17

4 Answers 4


In Unity, the Session Menu, and other indicators, are standard menu items. You can reach the menu bar with F10 or other Alt-… combination; for instance:

  • Alt+F Enter

will generally get you to the Shut Down… entry by first opening the File menu and then jogging across via left-to-right then top-to-bottom wrap-around.

  • F10 works, although on my laptop I must use Fn+F10. Alt+F does not work in Chromium. I'm filling a bug report, asking for a system wide shortcut, like it was before, Super+S.
    – alexef
    Feb 2, 2012 at 10:36
  • the bug report: bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/925392
    – alexef
    Feb 2, 2012 at 10:46
  • Just tried and I only need one press of the up arrow to get to shutdown. May 6, 2012 at 12:16

Just worked out that the HUD does what you want. So press Alt and type "sus" (or "shut" ...) and you will get "Device > Suspend" (or "Device > Shutdown ...") as the first option. Press Enter and off you go :)

This bug report (comment #2) pointed out this way.


Actually, if you want to restart/shutdown/etc you can do it (from 11.10) from the dash. Just press the BSB or the SUPER key (aka Windows key) and type "restart" (or whatever you want) and it will show up there.

In 12.04 you can tweak the desktop icons to achieve the same:

How to get the shutdown & restart icon back in dash

  • You could in 11.10, but that no longer seems to work in 12.04 May 6, 2012 at 12:14
  • ... yes and no @HamishDowner - I've edited this answer to show how it is possible.
    – fossfreedom
    May 6, 2012 at 12:35
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    OK, thanks. Although after posting the comment I discovered the HUD can do it the old way - see my answer. May 6, 2012 at 19:32

I am using 12.04 development branch and Unity is up to version 5.2. I was running a test program for Unity 5.2 last night. Unity in 12.04 will give you what you want by pressing F10 followed by the left arrow key.

Pressing F10 brings up the application menu (File, Edit, etc.). We can use the right arrow key to move along the top panel until we get to the app indicators and eventually to the power cog icon or session menu, as you call it.

A quicker way to do this is to press F10 and then the left arrow key instead of the right arrow key and we jump straight to the session menu (power cog) with its menu dropping down as all the menus do when using this feature.

Your question is: "Will ..." this is what we have right now in 12.04 development branch and no, when we are in the session menu we cannot press R for re-start or S for shutdown. But you can press Ctrl-Alt-L for Lock Screen, which I am sure is in 11.10.

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