ConsloeKit is the traditional mechanism for tracking user sessions on Linux. eLogind has similar functionality, but is based on systemd and "independentized".

What are the differences in their functionality/feature set? What are their pros and cons?

2 Answers 2


Aside from the difference in maintainership pointed out by Ortomala Lokni (which I might add is only accurate for the original ConsoleKit, there is a fork called ConsoleKit2 which is actively maintained), there are a handful of mostly minor differences:

  • Configuration is handled differently. ConsoleKit has it's own configuration directory, while elogind uses the same configuration locations as systemd-logind.
  • Exact functionality is slightly different. I don't remember all of the specifics here, but it's mostly minor stuff that is not widely used.
  • The DBus API's are sufficiently different that most software needs to be built to use one or the other. I'm pretty sure most of this is just a change to the name of the DBus endpoints, but there might be a few other things too.
  • ConsoleKit either doesn't support cgroups, or only supports version one cgroups (if using ConsoleKit2), elogind only supports v2 cgroups.
  • Elogind actually needs cgroups, and in fact may have build problems on systems that do not have them configured the way it expects them to be.
  • Do you have to know systemd configuration generally to configure elogind, or is it just a different location?
    – einpoklum
    Apr 3, 2018 at 19:31
  • The location is different, but the format is identical, but you don't have to understand systemd to configure it (it has it's own man page explaining all the settings for the config file). Apr 3, 2018 at 19:36
  • So essentially I would prefer elogind if I wanted v2 cgroups?
    – einpoklum
    Apr 3, 2018 at 19:40
  • @einpoklum Yes, though it may also be needed by some software (for example running GNOME without system). Apr 3, 2018 at 20:10
  • 2
    @einpoklum Because the GNOME developers think CK is outdated (I mean it is unmaintained, right). GNOME used to use CK, and there was a very short period of time during which it could use CK or a logind interface, but they quickly got rid of CK support once the logind stuff worked. Apr 4, 2018 at 11:17

According to the official page of ConsoleKit:

ConsoleKit is currently not actively maintained.

and also:

The focus has shifted to the built-in seat/user/session management of Software/systemd called systemd-logind!

But if you want to use the features of systemd-logind without systemd, there is elogind for you. According to their official main page:

elogind is the systemd project's logind, extracted to a standalone package. It's designed for users who prefer a non-systemd init system, but still want to use popular software such as KDE/Wayland or GNOME that otherwise hard-depends on systemd.

  • 2
    Ok, not being maintained is a difference. But I was more interested in the differences in functionality.
    – einpoklum
    Apr 3, 2018 at 17:32
  • ConsoleKit has been superseded by ConsoleKit2 years ago. (Quote: "ConsoleKit2 is a fork of ConsoleKit since it is no longer maintained.")
    – Yamakuzure
    Jun 21, 2018 at 15:02

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