gnome-shell lock screen does not display password prompt

Bug #848562 reported by Rocko
This bug affects 40 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
GNOME Screensaver
Fix Released
gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I have two monitors, the laptop screen and an external one connected via display port.

When I do 'ctrl-alt-L' in gnome-shell to lock the screen, the laptop screen displays the screen background and the second monitor displays whatever was on it before locking the screen.

When I press a key, no password prompt appears - the laptop continues to display the background. However, entering the password at this point unlocks the computer.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 11.10
Package: gnome-shell
Uname: Linux 3.1.0-rc6-git-20110913.0846 x86_64
ApportVersion: 1.22.1-0ubuntu2
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Sep 13 11:42:07 2011
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" - Beta amd64 (20110330)
SourcePackage: gnome-shell
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to oneiric on 2011-09-12 (0 days ago)

Revision history for this message
Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :
Jeremy Bicha (jbicha)
affects: gnome-shell (Ubuntu) → gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu)
Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Elie Mélois (eliemelois) wrote :

I have the same problem. The CPU usage seems to be high for gnome-shell after the screen is unlocked.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Gregg (mcg) wrote :

I have the same issue with dual monitors. I hardly ever see the gnome screensaver unlock dialog when locked as well. I just enter my password blindly with one screen black/blank and the other showing what was on the screen before locked.

Revision history for this message
numkem (numkem) wrote :

I have 2 monitors as well and having the same issue. My difference is I cannot unlock it since I only shows the bar on the top of the screen with the clock. The mouse works but it is very laggy.

Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in gnome-screensaver (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Gabriel (misc-evotex) wrote :

I wrote up a bug report on the gnome bugzilla :

Jay S (topdownjimmy)
Changed in gnome-screensaver:
importance: Unknown → Undecided
status: Unknown → New
status: New → Invalid
Changed in gnome-shell:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Jānis Džeriņš (jonis) wrote :

I have found a workaround: for some reason, the password dialog wants to only show up on one of the monitors, but only the one on which the mouse is when showing the password dialog is displaying "stuff" (stuff being anything else besides the top bar). So what I do when I don't see the password dialog is to press escape once, then move the mouse to the other monitor, and press escape again.

This may have something to do with the fact that I'm using nVidia drivers (there are always some annoyances with it and two-monitor setup). Nouveau had better behaviour with two monitors, but I have not been using it for a very long time.

Revision history for this message
jatoo (wainwright-alex) wrote :

Present in 12.04, too.

Changed in gnome-shell:
status: Incomplete → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Ilya Shaisultanov (diversario) wrote :

Present in 12.04 x64, Gnome Shell 3.4.1. Comment #3 is what happens on my setup.

Revision history for this message
jdahm (johann-dahm) wrote :

I had the issue described above, and decided to give the nouveau driver a try instead of the proprietary nvidia driver I had been using. I cleared out all graphics card and monitor related sections from xorg.conf file and replaced simply with

Section "Device"
    Identifier "nvidia card"
    Driver "nouveau"
    Option "GLXBlank" "true"

then launched in gnome-control-center and arranged the monitors next to one another. Now the lock screen dialog always shows up on the monitor the mouse was last set.

Revision history for this message
Dean Montgomery (dmonty) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Luis Figueirido (luis-figueirido) wrote :

Looking at looks like we need to update gtk+ to 3.4.4.
Could you update the version?

Revision history for this message
Dave Brady (matter-grey) wrote :

This is present in 12.10 as well. Gtk 3.6.0-0ubuntu3.1

Revision history for this message
Rocko (rockorequin) wrote :

I have found that it's a bit hit-and-miss in Unity, too. Unless I specially use CTRL-ALT-L to lock the screen, often when I come back and the screensaver is on, it doesn't ask for my password when I press a key. Sometimes it does ask for the password. I wonder if that is related?

Revision history for this message
Joe Darkless (darkless69) wrote :

regarding the bug:

After waking the computer from screensaver my main screen (laptop) becomes blue, the other screen (external LCD) is black. After hitting escape (when the mouse is on external LCD) black screen turns normally to background and/or password prompt. On the other side, if the mouse is on the main screen (which is blue) nothing happens when pressing escape.

I have Nvidia-current drivers from repos. And I had both 12.04 and 12.10 installed.
If there is any other info I can provide, don't hesitate to ask.

Revision history for this message
Felix (apoapo) wrote :

Same here with only 1 Screen, my laptop lid.

About 50% of the time i try to login from lockscreen, the box disappears.
My workaround is to just close the lid again, wait 5 secs, reopen and voila! the login area is back.

Revision history for this message
Luis Mondesi (lemsx1) wrote :

The same thing happens again on 12.10 using 2 monitors and gdm instead of lightdm. the behavior is:
(note that I have synergy setup as well)

* CTRL+ALT+L to lock the screen
* "curtain" effect rolls down showing the clock
* press ESC so the curtain moves up to be able to type the password, but nothing happens (with any other key either)
* the clock and mouse can move freely and I can move the mouse to other screens on other desktops via synergy!

My workaround for this is:

1. press CTRL+ALT+F2
2. type "restart"
3. press ENTER

After that the desktop shows fine and all my virtual desktops are collapsed into 1, but all programs keep running.

Revision history for this message
lumbricus (lumbricus) wrote :

There might be a duplicate of this bug:

At least comment #15 definitely describes bug 1061787.

Revision history for this message
Richard Vieregge (rvieregge) wrote :

I'm having this problem with:
Ubuntu 13.04
2 monitors
Intel processor, no discrete video card.

When pressing CTRL+ALT+L, the screen goes blank and moving the mouse displays the password dialog.

However, if the screen locks due to inactivity, after moving the mouse displays the actual desktop not the password dialog.
Clicking on the displayed winodws, etc, doesn't work, and typing my password does unlock, so the screen saver is still active.

When locked, pressing CTRL+ALT+F1 displays the terminal login, and pressing CTRL-ALT-F7 goes back to the gui with the password dialog now displayed.

Revision history for this message
Julian (perlsite) wrote :

I'm having the same issue in 13.10.
Laptop + external monitor connected via DisplayPort. The laptop is a haswell based with Intel 4600 video card (+ nVidia Optimus - not used right now).

When, due to inactivity, the screen saver kicks in the monitor is turned on. Later, when I move the mouse to resume the screen, instead of login window I see the last "screen-shot" before the screen saver has been activated. You still can type your password blindly and the laptop will unlock the screen, but you have to do it without seeing what you are typing or what language keyboard layout is currently active.

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