I'm using Fedora 29 desktop and GNOME 3.30. When we had a Mac, my wife and I could share the same computer by just simply "switching users". It would leave the previous user still logged in.

However, with our current Fedora setup and GNOME, we only have the option of logging out the current user which closes everything open.

Is there a way to do this fast user switching?

Oh, and a mouse/GUI solution is preferred as my wife isn't interested in the command line.


  • I think a mac is preferred then having the wrath of your most important user because things are not working. You are going to sleep in the dog house today :) Dec 3, 2018 at 20:00
  • @RuiFRibeiro nah, she's understanding. The Linux machine is my computer. I will be building her a computer soon...that runs....Windows. I know...I know. But in the meantime, she needs a desktop to use and it's annoying that all of my open apps get closed when she wants to use my computer.
    – cbmeeks
    Dec 3, 2018 at 20:09
  • GNOME has fast user switching too, something is not right on your side. Open a terminal, run gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.lockdown disable-user-switching and post the output (most likely false)... Dec 3, 2018 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


My system at work runs Scientific Linux with Gnome as the desktop. I'm basing the following on what works for my system, which I found via web searches.

The shortcut key combination to lock the screen on Gnome is Alt+Ctrl+L. From the locked screen, moving the mouse or hitting a key should bring up a window in which you can enter your password to unlock the screen. There should also be an option to switch user.

If you prefer, you should be able to bring up a menu by pointing the mouse at the far right of the menu bar (the upper right corner on my system - my name appears there on my current system; in a prvious job, I think it was my login id). When I click on my name, it brings up a menu which provides "Lock screen" as an option. Click on that and your screen should be locked. Again, the unlock window should provide a switch user option.

  • Ah, that's a good point. In my setup, I can press Windows + l to lock my screen. At which point I believe my wife could then click her name to log in. I will give that a try and see if it works. If so, I will just have to teach her to lock the screen if I leave my session unlocked.
    – cbmeeks
    Dec 3, 2018 at 21:25

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