How to Disable the Ubuntu 11.10 Guest Session

I am a bit of a security wonk and strongly dislike guest accounts so one of the things I have researched since loading up Ubuntu 11.10 is how to disable the guest account available on the login screen. In the past, with GDM, all that had to be done is an uninstall of gdm-guest-session. With Ubuntu 11.10 switching to lightDM this has changed. To remove the guest login option you have to modify /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.





You can either reboot or restart the service.

sudo restart lightdm

Please note that restarting lightdm will end your session so do not do this with applications running. This will now remove the guest login as an option from the login screen. I hope this helps out anyone, who like me, is concerned about restricting access to their computer.

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25 Responses to How to Disable the Ubuntu 11.10 Guest Session

  1. Pingback: How to Disable the Ubuntu 11.10 Guest Session « Free Trader … | Linux Supersaniya

  2. robbo says:

    I did it. But after that my Unity changed to an ugly „Win95-like” gray desktop. How can I change it back?

  3. Stuart says:

    Great stuff – this should be the default setting (along with not showing a username list at login), with instructions on how to enable the guest session (and username list) for people who want simplified logins.

  4. Jerry says:

    What the flip was Ubuntu thinking adding this security hole, making it a default, and not even telling anyone in the list of changes for this version! This is a big black eye for my future trust of Ubuntu.

  5. kevix says:

    I was wondering about this. thanks!

  6. Jake says:

    When I try to do this I get permission denied, Im still a little new to Ubuntu can anyone help?

  7. Marco says:

    @jake, to be able to edit root, you must use the root account, open a terminal and type in:
    sudo nautilus

    Get more information about it here:

  8. S K says:

    i am not able to save the modification!! wht shud i do???

  9. A Fan of Charles Profit says:

    GREAT! I like this tips very much! I hate guest session.

  10. Jake says:

    Thank you so much I got it to work now and I feel much safer leaving my computer in an open area. Great article!! =)

  11. Edmond says:

    Thank you!!!
    Very helpful configuration.

  12. Pram says:


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  14. Kev says:

    i’m confused, i just started using linux and really like it, but when i open up terminal and type in those exact commands i seem to be having issues, could someone help out a newbie please.

  15. Steve says:

    Great, but i like do remove the possibility for this GUEST Account complete (not only deactivation).

    Can somebody help ?

  16. Art says:

    Thanks. Glad to be rid of the unwanted guest!

  17. eizt says:

    wow!! nice , Thanks

  18. clmolv says:


  19. Paul says:

    Thanks for the info, its funny how the guest acct could be removed but then this file not updated. It seems like a minor bug. I was surprised when my son was able to loginto the guest acct even though I removed it!

  20. Dee says:

    I’m a beginner in using ubuntu. I keep seeing [SeatDefaults] greeter-session=unity-greeter user-session=ubuntu allow-guest=false, but where do I go to type this code in? Can I get directions step by step plz

  21. Mike says:

    Thanks a bunch for the write up! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while.

  22. ilya says:

    so i open the terminal and type what?..

  23. ilya says:

    i tried entering it and all i got was this:~$ /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf
    bash: /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf: Permission denied

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