How to enable "switch user" in Gnome on CentOS 5

published Mar 12, 2008 11:53   by admin ( last modified Mar 12, 2008 11:53 )

At my work I have reasonably fast Linux workstation running CentOS 5. It also has a good 24" screen.  I prefer not to switch it off between work sessions and sometimes one of the other guys would like to run his stuff on my machine.


Problem is I am logged in and the screen is locked with my password. My colleague is running Ubuntu and he has a nifty "switch user" option on the menu.

Now I have figured out how to get the same functionality in CentOS 5. You need to follow these steps.

Install the Gnome configuration editor. Start "Add/Remove Software" from the "Applications" menu

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and search for "gconf".


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Select gconf-editor and apply.


Then start gconf-editor from the command line:



Select "Find" from the "edit" menu:

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Search for "user_switch" and rember to also search in keys:

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find the key user_switch_enabled in the top right pane and tick its value:

 MWSnap149 2008-03-12, 23_03_41.png

Close the editor (there is no save button or command).

Now select Lock Screen" from the "System" menu.

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The password box will now have a "Switch User" button! remember that the user you're switching to must also have his settings changed as above to get a "Switch User" button from his or her account.