Desktop, Launcher and menu bar still visible when screen locked

Bug #886605 reported by Dr Belka on 2011-11-05
This bug affects 96 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Sam Spilsbury
Fix Released
Daniel van Vugt
Fix Released
Tim Penhey
unity (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

[Test Case]
1. Lock your screen
   -> Confirm that the whole screen goes black

[Regression Potential]
Visual regressions, shell drawing problems. Part of a big change, many regression potentials.

Original description:

When I lock my screen, instead of the monitor going, black, the desktop background goes black, but the Unity launcher and the main bar stay visible. When I press a key or move my mouse the "unlock" dialog, asking me for my password pops up, centered on the black desktop background.

I think the main issue here is gnome-screensaver failing to fullscreen.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: gnome-screensaver 3.2.0-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.0.0-12.20-generic 3.0.4
Uname: Linux 3.0.0-12-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
ApportVersion: 1.23-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sat Nov 5 13:05:04 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" - Release amd64 (20111012)
SourcePackage: gnome-screensaver
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Related branches

Dr Belka (wmasters15) wrote :
Sam_ (and-sam) wrote :

Thanks for your report. For triage the issue is claimed to be fixed. Bug #771391

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Guillaume Michaud (gfmichaud) wrote :

Still happening to me on Ubuntu 12.04, with
- unity 5.12-0ubuntu1
- gnome-screensaver 3.4.1-0ubuntu1

Guillaume Michaud (gfmichaud) wrote :
Andre (ajx) wrote :

I'm on Precise now and had this problem already on Oneiric. It is not fixed. The problem is that is doesn't occur always. It's quite random.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

In bug 877904 and its duplicates, the unlock screen features Unity's menu bar.
In bug 886605 and its duplicates, the unlock screen features Unity's menu bar and launcher.
In bug 916079 and its duplicate, the unlock screen is covered by a full-screen application.

I posit that bug 877904 and its duplicates are all duplicates of bug 886605, reported by people who have the launcher set to auto-hide.

I also predict that bug 916079 will turn out to be a duplicate as well, because the underlying cause will be layering of a particular type of window, not of Unity windows in particular. I predict that because, for me, the bug is 100% reproducible either with Unity *or* with the XFCE panel.

summary: - Desktop, Launcher and Bar still visible when screen locked
+ Desktop, Launcher and menu bar still visible when screen locked
Marc Deslauriers (mdeslaur) wrote :

@Matthew: Are you able to reproduce this right after logging in? Is it when the timeout occurs, or does it also happen when you press Ctrl-Alt-L?

Guillaume Michaud (gfmichaud) wrote :

From what I remember
- when the problem starts, it stops only when you reboot (wether the timeout occurs or you press Ctrl + Alt + L)
- the problème always starts on a timeout (if I remember well)

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Sam Spilsbury (smspillaz)
status: Confirmed → Invalid
Changed in compiz:
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → High
assignee: nobody → Sam Spilsbury (smspillaz)
milestone: none →
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

See also bug 734908. I think a few reports of the Launcher+Panel drawing over the lock screen were marked as duplicates of that one.

visual2me (visual2me) wrote :

I have similar problems, but sometimes it works fine as expected.

On my workstation, I can reproduce this problem as following,

1) press the Super key, open the launcher;
2) then press Ctrl + Alt + L, to lock the screen;
3) then the laucher and the main bar are still visible, though I can't operate on them.

Usually this will happen on my desktop if I leave it on for a long time, I have never seen it on my laptop. I just had it with 14 day uptime and patched with all updates during that time. From what I think something regarding this stops working after having been patched, after a reboot everything is fine again and not reproducible until a few updates have been installed again without rebooting. I don't have the time to figure out which patches actually causes this.

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

If unity doesn't respond to the mouse while it's overdrawing the lock screen, then its input windows are probably still stacked correctly (below the lock screen). In that case, this is an overdraw bug and not a stacking bug.

Thus stacking fixes in compiz won't help, but my work in progress to avoid overdraw in unity should fix it:

Changed in unity:
assignee: nobody → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
status: New → Confirmed
Omer Akram (om26er) on 2012-06-22
no longer affects: gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)
Changed in unity:
importance: Undecided → High
assignee: Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) → Sam Spilsbury (smspillaz)
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Changed in compiz:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Changed in unity:
assignee: Sam Spilsbury (smspillaz) → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Fix committed into lp:compiz at revision 3259

Changed in compiz:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Changed in unity:
milestone: none → 6.0
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Fix committed into lp:unity at revision 2470

Changed in unity:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Fix Committed
Kristian Mattila (kmattila) wrote :

I assume that the fix is not published yet, but just wanted to write about the situation where this problem occurred in my installation,.

After locking Thunderbird to the Launcher and having a notification about new emails (an ellipse with a number) over the Thunder icon, the lock screen seems to show the unresponsive Launcher.

Omer Akram (om26er) on 2012-07-09
Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
Didier Roche (didrocks) on 2012-07-10
Changed in unity:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :
Download full text (5.8 KiB)

This bug was fixed in the package unity - 6.0.0-0ubuntu1

unity (6.0.0-0ubuntu1) quantal-proposed; urgency=low

  [ Didier Roche ]
  * debian/rules, debian/control, debian/unity-autopilot.install:
    - install new unity-autopilot package, containing autopilot bindings and
      test for Unity
    - add some python build-dep for executing
    - use dh_python2 and add some python:Depends dep for automatic python
      version detection
  * debian/control:
    - remove gnome-desktop dependency: not needed upstream anymore
    - unity Breaks older lenses due to path change
    - remove libgdu in build-dep
  * debian/libunity-core-6.0-5.install, debian/libunity-core-6.0-dev.install,
    - version bump in libunity-core, change soname

  [ Matthieu Baerts (matttbe) ]
  * Update apport hook for python3 ; thanks to Edward Donovan (LP: #1013171)

  [ Łukasz 'sil2100' Zemczak ]
  * New upstream release.
    - compiz crashed with SIGSEGV in get_current_slide() from
      unity::BGHash::OnSlideshowTransition() (LP: #889625)
    - Unity is visible on top of fullscreen apps (LP: #734908)
    - App icon on the Unity Launcher lost track of running instance
      (LP: #772063)
    - unity crashed with NameError in reset_unity_compiz_profile(): global
      name 'GError' is not defined (LP: #778470)
    - compiz crashed with SIGSEGV in CompWindow::id() from getPaintMask()
      [compizminimizedwindowhandler.h] from unity::UnityWindow::glPaint()
      (LP: #851982)
    - HUD - Formatting of text in the auto-complete is wrong (LP: #939436)
    - [regression] Launcher is silent to screen reader users (LP: #949448)
    - still some accent issues with unity/nux (LP: #950740)
    - [regression] [precise] 3D apps run much slower under Unity (LP: #987304)
    - No launcher icon or Alt+Tab entry for Gimp windows (LP: #995916)
    - Locked smuxi launcher icon does not indicate smuxi running status
      (LP: #999820)
    - When number of workspaces is set to 1, the Spread no longer works
      (LP: #996604)
    - Much slower OpenGL frame rates with unityshell loaded, than plain compiz
      (LP: #988079)
    - Port to libudisks2 (LP: #1012000)
    - Desktop, Launcher and menu bar still visible when screen locked
      (LP: #886605)
    - Searching in the HUD freezes unity (LP: #1016239)
    - Dragged icons rendered under dash (LP: #1021541)
    - Regression in Launcher keyboard navigation (with Alt+F1) (LP: #1021549)
    - Unity dash is is much slower/laggy after revision 2469. (LP: #1021665)
    - Dash and Launcher - As soon as a user starts dragging a file from the
      Dash, there is a 'flicker' before the Launcher icons that are valid drop
      receptacles re-saturate (LP: #863230)
    - Dash - when a file is dragged from the Dash (Dash home, file lens, or
      music lens) and dropped on a Launcher icon, the Dash should
      automatically close (LP: #865168)
    - Refreshing active blur makes the dash painfully slow (LP: #874230)
    - Open dash, press Alt+f1 - dash remains open (LP: #919209)
    - application reopens itself when last instance is closed from
      windows/application switcher (LP: #926406)
    - HUD D...


Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Fix committed into lp:unity/5.0 at revision 2394

Changed in compiz:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
description: updated

Hello Dr, or anyone else affected,

Accepted unity into precise-proposed. The package will build now and be available at in a few hours, and then in the -proposed repository.

Please help us by testing this new package. See for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Your feedback will aid us getting this update out to other Ubuntu users.

If this package fixes the bug for you, please change the bug tag from verification-needed to verification-done. If it does not, change the tag to verification-failed. In either case, details of your testing will help us make a better decision.

Further information regarding the verification process can be found at . Thank you in advance!

Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
status: New → Fix Committed
tags: added: verification-needed
Łukasz Zemczak (sil2100) wrote :

After various tries, could not reproduce this issue in -proposed.

tags: added: verification-done
removed: verification-needed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package unity - 5.16.0-0ubuntu1

unity (5.16.0-0ubuntu1) precise-proposed; urgency=low

  [ Łukasz 'sil2100' Zemczak ]
  * debian/control:
    - Update libgeis-dev and libgrail-dev dependencies in debian/control
  * New upstream release.
    - launcher is not refreshed after user session switch (LP: #1016430)
    - Dragging windows around is slow/sluggish/laggy when multiple monitors
      are enabled (LP: #874619)
    - Dragging icons to reorder -away from launcher causes the dragged icon
      image edges to fade away(cut off) (LP: #1026247)
    - Arrow for indicating lenses points empty space on alt+F2 (LP: #998752)
    - Tooltips backgrounds are not refreshed (no active blur) (LP: #967112)
    - [regression] Unity panel transparency (active blur) not updating properly
      (LP: #865006)
    - [Regression] Hideous low-res icon when using the HUD with autohide
      enabled. (LP: #1035951)
    - Launcher dragged icon is not redrawn when the mouse pointer is not moved
      (LP: #1032700)
    - Black background around after dash is restored (LP: #992516)
    - Refreshing active blur makes the dash painfully slow (LP: #874230)
    - [SRU regression] alt-grave not switching to next window unless 'grave'
      pressed twice (LP: #1035668)
    - [SRU Regression] Unity 5.14 + Nux 2.14: Launcher tooltips are
      incomplete/missing (LP: #1034164)
    - [nvidia] unity crashed in
      nux::GraphicsEngine::QRP_GLSL_1Tex (glDrawArrays) (LP: #1031554)
    - compiz crashed with SIGSEGV in
      (LP: #1020075)
    - Much slower OpenGL frame rates with unityshell loaded, than plain compiz
      (LP: #988079)
    - Compiz won't start if "unredirect fullscreen windows" is enabled
      (LP: #980663)
    - [regression] Unity launcher on-screen corruption on resume from suspend
      with nVidia proprietary driver (LP: #915265)
    - Desktop, Launcher and menu bar still visible when screen locked
      (LP: #886605)
    - Unity is visible on top of fullscreen apps (LP: #734908)
    - [nvidia] compiz crashed with SIGSEGV in
      nux::BasePainter::PaintBackground (LP: #982626)
    - Update dependency on the renamed libgeis

  [ Didier Roche ]
  * debian/control:
    - build-dep on latest nux as libgeis-dev and libutouch-geis-dev are
      conflicting (LP: #1047385)
 -- Lukasz 'sil2100' Zemczak <email address hidden> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:53:17 +0200

Changed in unity (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released

The verification of this Stable Release Update has completed successfully and the package has now been released to -updates. Subsequently, the Ubuntu Stable Release Updates Team is being unsubscribed and will not receive messages about this bug report. In the event that you encounter a regression using the package from -updates please report a new bug using ubuntu-bug and tag the bug report regression-update so we can easily find any regresssions.

Eduards Bezverhijs (mjasnik) wrote :

I still have triggered the bug with up to date Precise...
Bad news are that I have no clue how I triggered the bug, the good news are that I kinda have workaround how to get rid of it :)
In my case launcher and panel were visible after locking screen, how to get rid of it:
1. use Chromium or other FS capable app in full screen (occupying whole 101% of the screen)
2. lock the screen (in my case chromium stayed visible, but I could not interact with it)
3. move the mouse to unlock the screen (in my case I could not see the unlock password box, just the chromium window and a mouse cursor)
4. blindly enter the password and press enter (now you should be able to interact with chromium -> unlocked)
5. exit chromium fullscreen mode
6. every next lock is working as it should (even fullscreen chromium) up to the next time smth triggers the bug

Jason (jason-nace) wrote :

I have this bug as well. I just ran update manager and it shows no updates. I am running 12.04.1 LTS. I confirmed that Eduards post #23 does cause the bug to go away temporarily so far.

rvolgers (r-c-volgers) wrote :

Also confirmed that this still happens on Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS.

Note that this is a *security issue*. When I lock my screen I expect all information to be hidden. Now the name of the document I'm working on or the subject of an email is still visible.

Now I have to remember to switch to a window with a non-revealing title before locking the screen. Really annoying!

Still a problem. I'm on 12.04.1 with all updates. Same behavior as Eduards describes in post 23. Sandy Bridge graphics, Compiz enabled.

Andre (ajx) wrote :

@Alan: please make sure you have all updates installed. The current version von Ubuntu Precise identifies as 12.04.2.

@Andre: well I'll be damned... Yes, you're right, it's 12.04.2 -- I hadn't noticed the change from 12.04.1. It's working fine now, but I'm confused as to how any of the updates I just installed could have any impact -- just openjdk and some other minor items. Strange. I'll let you know if it happens again. Thanks.

peterzay (peterzay) wrote :


When you say Fix Released, do you mean that a recently updated (Feb 16, 2013) Ubuntu 12.04 will no longer exhibit this problem?

Well, I am experiencing this problem intermittently ever since I reported duplicate Bug #1039847 and I am up to date with the system updates.

LaMs (sylvain-lamontagne) wrote :

I have the problem
And the trick stated at post #18 of worked for me.

I have this problem on updated Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit. The workaround by Eduards in post 18 in the following link works for me: (note that the link above my comment is incorrect)

Christian Hintze (hintze) wrote :

I also still observe this problem on at least two up-to-date Ubuntu 12.04 machines. Can be also worked around by restarting compiz (compiz --replace).. didnt try Eduards workaround in post18 in the following link:, but will do so the next time this happens to me. unity version is 5.18.0-0ubuntu2 and compiz is 1: pop-up notifications like gmail chat in chromium will also show up in locked sessions.. so theres definitily a pretty heavy information leak..

variona (variona) wrote :

I encounter this bug, on a LTSP client (shuttle XS35), other (older) clients and the server don't show this symptom.
that is also true for this bug:
Ubuntu Version 12.04.2

Andras Beck (betamx) wrote :

I can confirm this bug is present in 13.04.

Never Blued (neverblued) wrote :

Still present in 12.10

Erik Kratzenberg (erikkratz) wrote :

I'm still seeing this issue with a current Ubuntu 12.04.3 (unity 5.20.0-0ubuntu2 and compiz 1:

Some additional information that I didn't see provided earlier:

 - After locking screen, in addition to seeing the Unity launcher bar, I can also still see any windows I've set as "Always on Top"

 - When screen is unlocked, I can't see *anything* on top of windows marked "Always on Top". This includes things such as
    right-click menus, toolbar menus, or the global menu bar.

Definitely seems more compiz-related than Unity.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

Code was apparently merged to fix this bug over a year ago, and the bug report is quite long. If you are still experiencing the bug, I suggest making a new report, including a reference to this one.

peterzay (peterzay) wrote :

I am also getting this bug intermittently on a fully patched Ubuntu 12.04.

Just change the status to new. The released fix apparently never worked.

variona (variona) wrote :

I got rid of this after noticing that my desktop environment registered two screens although I only used one. After screen reconfiguration - switching the (actually not existing) screen off, screen lock behaviour was as it should be.

I'm using LTSP and the "bug" appeared on my thin clients, which are all using laptop hardware or are actual laptops and the second screen (auto configured) was called laptop. On the laptop client which actually uses the second screen, screen locking works as expected.

In my case the error is only occurring when a second screen is auto detected but not actually used.

aberry5555 (aberry9036) wrote :

I can confirm that the issue affects my install of Ubuntu 13.10 x64 and that, as is the case with Tatiane in their post here: , closing Clementine seems to resolve the issue.


Hybrid AMD 8xxx / Intel Haswell graphics, running on intel graphics mode with Mesa drivers.

Kenan Gutić (kenan-gutic) wrote :

It happend to me just now, using Ubuntu 14.04LTS.
I left my PC for 10 minutes, and when I got back screen was black. I moved my mouse and screen become active and it displayed Ubuntu lock screen with my laucnher, panel and desktop showing also.
Same thing is when I lock PC myself.

Kenan Gutić (kenan-gutic) wrote :

After a bit looking I found out that the lock screen would work OK if I werent downloading anything with firefox.
When I download bigger file with firefox and left my PC to locks, then the launcher and panel shows up on lock screen.

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