gdm3 doesn't remember last session

Bug #1807197 reported by Dan MacDonald on 2018-12-06
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gdm3 (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

gdm3 under Ubuntu 18.04 amd64 doesn't save/restore the last session you logged into, instead it always reverts to GNOME (that's the case if you have GNOME installed at least). If you want to use any other desktop it has to be manually chosen from the session menu every time you login.

It should be noted that I use pbis-open (PowerBroker Identity Service) for AD authentication, because its a work machine, hence the first two lines of my /etc/nsswitch.conf look like:

passwd: compat systemd lsass
group: compat systemd lsass

and my login/username looks like:


ie With a backslash in the middle.

If this is not a bug and gdm3 isn't supposed to default to using your last used session/desktop, how do I force gdm3 to default to MATE instead of GNOME?


Dan MacDonald (allcoms) on 2018-12-06
description: updated
Dan MacDonald (allcoms) wrote :

On closer inspection, gdm3 does remember both my user and last chosen session/desktop when I log out of X but it fails to recall my user and session if I reboot or shutdown.

I'm under the impression that gdm3 saves session per user so maybe this bug should've really been titled something more like "gdm3 doesn't remember domain users or their sessions after rebooting"?

tags: added: bionic
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for your bug report, I can't confirm the issue on a new bionic installation
- log into the normal session
- log out
- click of the session selector, 'ubuntu' is selected, pick 'ubuntu wayland'
- log in
- reboot from the top right indicator
- select the same user and click on the session selector
-> the wayland session is still selected

Could you include your journalctl log from the session having the issue? Best if you enable debug in /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and reboot so it includes more details

When you log into the other session can you look what XSession is included in /var/lib/AccountsService/users/<username>?

Changed in gdm3 (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
Dan MacDonald (allcoms) wrote :

Hi Sebastien

As I said in my last comment, the problem only occurs after rebooting or after shutdown and so all I can really show you are the results after a normal gdm3 boot (with debug enabled), I think?

Here's the AccountsService details, my journalctl dump is attached

# cat /var/lib/AccountsService/users/ISDADS\\sgs548
PlayerIcon=<('themed', <['application-default-icon', 'application-default', 'application']>)>


Changed in gdm3 (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → New
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