For some reason, sometimes when I log in the top panel applets appear garbled. For instance the session applet is missing its icon, and the current username is repeated twice. This doesn't happen very often, but when it does the session applet is not responsive so I can't get to the log out menu option.

Is there any other way to log off the current user other than using the (non working) session applet?

  • 1
    It might be worth trying to restart your gnome panel. Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t, by default) and type killall gnome-panel, then hit enter. Then wait a few seconds and it should restart. If it doesn't, type gnome-panel, and hit enter again to start it manually.
    – Matt
    Jul 31, 2010 at 21:12

2 Answers 2


Press Alt+F2, type gnome-session-save --logout, then hit enter. If an application is blocking logout, try gnome-session-save --force-logout


If you enable Ctrl+Alt+Del, you can use that to kill the X server, which will log you out. To enable this, go to System -> Preferences -> Keyboard, then go to the Layouts tab and click Options. Expand the "Key sequence to kill X server" and check the box.

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    That's a good tip, but if you do it that way your sesion won't be saved right?
    – Cesar
    Jul 28, 2010 at 19:56
  • That is probably true. I don't use session saving so I didn't think about that.
    – Alex Grin
    Jul 28, 2010 at 19:58
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    You can use RightAlt+SysRq+k to kill X without having to modify your configuration. On my keyboard the SysRq key is above print screen. Actually, you can do a lot with it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key
    – Matt
    Jul 31, 2010 at 21:13

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