NOTE: This page is part of the Ubuntu Specification process. Please check the status and details in Launchpad before editing. If the spec is Approved then you should contact the Assignee, or another knowledgeable person, before making changes.

NOTE: This specification is a mixture of FaceBrowserLogin and UnifiedLoginUnlock and contains much expansive wittering. I have decided to regard this wiki page as superseded in favour of those two other specs. -IanJackson


Ubuntu has three different login screens for (1) first user login, (2) unlocking the screensaver and (3) login as a new user when another users screen lock is active. This three situations could be handled by one single login screen, similar to Windows, to provide a much more consistent look and feel. Additionally the default login screen requires to enter the user name which could be done much more user friendly by presenting a clickable list of available users.


A default Ubuntu system asks for the password after some time of inactivity. This is more or less alright for a single user system but if another user wants to use the system while the first has locked the screen the usability is too much complicated: At the password prompt the user has to press a button to change user, then the user has to select its user name from a list of available users, afterwards he is confronted with the default login screen where the user has to enter its user name a second time and then his/her password. Windows solved this issue much more user friendly: The user is confronted with one login screen only (and not with three different ones) whatever the user wants to log in the first time, unlock the screen saver or log in a second time resp. changing the user.

To have a login screen allowing to select a user from a list would be much more comfortable for the average desktop user because

Those small usability issues are easily to be ignored but I have seen users with several years of experience failing to login into Ubuntu.

The security implications are minor because

Use cases


Probably affects gdm (ubuntu-art), gnome-screensaver


  1. Change the default Ubuntu login screen to display a list of available users (gnome arts).
  2. Modify gdm and gnome-screensafer-dialog to fall back to the default login screen which needs to be able to indicate and handle already logged in users.


Volunteers please!


Data preservation and migration

Unresolved issues

BoF agenda and discussion

Launchpad specification


CategorySpec CategorySpec

ConsistentLoginScreen (last edited 2008-08-06 16:17:50 by localhost)