After a recent update on my Linux system I get a dialogue window every few (5?) minutes with the same message:

Authentication is required to set one's own greeter properties.

It has a password prompt and "Details" that go


I have never requested a change to greeter settings nor do I intend to. I also do not enter my password in windows I did not open.

I have tried to find out which process opens this window but did not find anything specific. I suppose it is one of the useless mass processes started nowadays by the systemd user session by default.

Perhaps I can stop AccountsService itself, would that help? Is it needed at all?

The desktop environment is XFCE4.

EDIT: using xwininfo and clicking into the window, and then calling xwininfo -root -tree shows the following (excerpt from xwininfo -root -tree output:

xwininfo: Window id: 0x6cb (the root window) (has no name)
  Root window id: 0x6cb (the root window) (has no name)
  Parent window id: 0x0 (none)
     0xa42341 (has no name): ()  794x215+87+460  +87+460
        16 children:
        (...)   // no windows with names
        0x18002dc "Authenticate": ("polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1" "Polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1")  786x187+4+24  +91+484

Which means this is due to polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1 (likely started by /etc/xdg/autostart/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1.desktop) but we do not know which process initiates this, right?

  • 1
    The exact dialogue message you noted is on line 6 of data/org.freedesktop.DisplayManager.AccountsService.policy.in, which is part of lightdm. Did your recent system update include an update of lightdm? – David Yockey Aug 29 '19 at 13:29
  • @DavidYockey Indeed it was updated. Thanks for spotting that! Of course it is still unclear who calls that method - perhaps it can be (and is) initiated externally. – Ned64 Aug 29 '19 at 15:16
  • None of the issues at github.com/canonical/lightdm/issues jumps out at me as being related to your issue, but you may want to take a look and maybe submit a new issue on it if someone hasn't already. It'd be interesting to know if downgrading lightdm would serve as a workaround, but I don't know if there's any risk in trying, so use your own discretion. – David Yockey Aug 29 '19 at 16:00

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