In Ubuntu 13.10's Unity Panel (the top panel, not the launcher), the session indicator (top right corner) shows the names of previously logged in users.

This allows switching users, but for privacy reasons I would like to be able to hide those user names, as a lot of people use machines in our computer pool. It seems that in older versions of Unity there was a dedicated 'user-indicator' in the panel for that purpose, which could be configured via dconf.

Here are some of several pages that I've found on which is explained how to show/hide things in the old user indicator as well as the session indicator:

Related dconf keys, that were referred to in different posts, are:

  • apps > indicator-session > user-show-menu

  • com > canonical > indicator > session > user-show-menu

Unfortunately, all these keys don't exist anymore. The user indicator seems to have been merged into the session indicator. The graphical tool Ubuntu Tweak doesn't have the config settings any more either.

Is there any way to hide the switch user part of the session indicator? Thanks :)

1 Answer 1


What I have used in the past is the following from this link: How to easily hide the username in the Unity panel


  1. Install dconf-editor: apt-get install dconf-tools

  2. Open it and navigate to apps-->indicator-session and on the right-side, uncheck show-real-name-on-panel

  3. Reboot

Additionally, you can open a terminal and type the following:

gesettings set com.canonical.indicator.session user show-menu false

Or download and install Ubuntu Tweak from here: http://ubuntu-tweak.com/ and follow these steps to turn off Fast User Switching which will hide the list of other users:

  1. Click on Tweaks
  2. Click on Miscellaneous
  3. Check the box next to Disable "Fast User Switching"
  • The problem is not to hide the name of the user who is currently logged in. The indicator-session thing shows (in our case many) usernames of other people that have accounts there. This may be useful for fast switching to another user (which is not necessary in our case), but for privacy reasons we would like to hide those names. That a user can see his own username in the panel is not so bad, and it can be turned off the way you describe. I just wasn't able to figure out how to hide the other names, as all information on how to do that seems to be outdated.
    – Flo Ege
    Jan 20, 2014 at 14:00
  • I've updated my answer to include the above solution and two additional for you. I've tested the answer on Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, 13.04 and 13.10 and it accomplished what you are after. Hope this helps! Jan 20, 2014 at 18:11
  • I found the option you described in Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.6. I've just tried it. As far as I can tell it has no effect on indicator-session on our systems. After the checkbox was set, it remained set when I relaunched Tweak. Starting a new session or unity --replace, or even a reboot doesn't change that. No matter wether I set this option as normal user or as root, it remains set, but has no effect. Obviously, Tweak does save it somehow (maybe in dconf), but on our systems it's not disabling the list of user names. But in any case, thanks for your effort.
    – Flo Ege
    Jan 22, 2014 at 13:04
  • Very strange! Have you tried typing gesettings set com.canonical.indicator.session user show-menu false in the console yet? Jan 22, 2014 at 16:30
  • In dconf, under com.canonical.indicator..., there are no keys session, session-user, session.user etc. That's why I wrote in my question that the old keys to configure the indicator are gone. All that gsettings does is write to the dconf database. But it seems to me that the indicator doesn't care about those keys anymore. That's the problem.
    – Flo Ege
    Jan 23, 2014 at 11:15

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