Lock Screen

Status: Completed


With GNOME 3.2, the login screen is in the 'shell optics'. It would be nice to have the screen lock appear in the same style. On touch devices, it needs a 'shield' that prevents accidental unlocking. In addition, we want to allow some notifications to appear on the lock screen.

As a side-effect, accessibility problems of the current lock screen might be fixed, see e.g. bug 662558.

Another possible benefit would be to unify the pam code that is used in the login screen, the lock screen and the PolicyKit authentication dialogs.


Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Giovanni Campagna (GSoC student)

Involved Parties

Ray Strode, for the gdm-mode in gnome-shell and gnome-screensaver

Affected modules: gnome-shell, gnome-screensaver, gdm

Current Status

The current design can be found here: GnomeOS/Design/Whiteboards/ScreenLock.

The code that has reviewed in various bugs:

  • (./) #677640 (gsettings-desktop-schemas) Add 'screensaver.show-notifications' settings

  • (./) #622888 (gdm) Migrate from dbus-glib to glib's GDBus

  • (./) #676381 (gdm) Provide a way for session components to authenticate the user

  • (./) #676401 (gnome-shell) Update for libgdmgreeter changes

  • (./) #658660 (gnome-control-center) [screen] New layout

  • (./) #619955 (gnome-shell) Implement screen lock

PIN support is not targeting 3.6:

  • fdo#51833 (accountsservice) PIN login infrastructure

  • #619955 (gnome-shell) Add PIN support to the lock screen

Giovanni will put progress updates about the feature on his GSoC wiki page and blog.

The gdm and gnome-control-center changes are included in GNOME 3.5.4. The new lock screen will appear in GNOME 3.5.5.

Notes from the GUADEC Lock Screen BoF

How to Help


LionelDricot : I believe that it is also important to merge the login screen (currently GDM) and the lock screen. Both serve exactly the same purpose and have exactly the same features (allowing any user to log in, showing you the user for which a session already exists). The difference between both of them is purely historical and should be addressed.

  • AllanDay : I don't understand how you've come to this conclusion. Have you seen the objectives section of the lock screen design page? (https://live.gnome.org/GnomeOS/Design/Whiteboards/ScreenLock#Objectives)

    • LionelDricot :¬†yes, I've seen them and all of them are compatible with the login screen. When doing user testing, I've been asked several times why the screen to enter your password was different when you are booting the computer or a recovering from sleep. As you and the design team noted, turning off and sleep are, for the end user, the same thing. So why should they presented with different screens to log in? Do the experience yourself: try to explain what's the difference between a Login screen and a locked screen.

      • AllanDay : they're not compatible, and you seem to be confusing the lock screen with something else. The wiki is not a good place to discuss this further though - let's continue some place else.

ThreePointFive/Features/ScreenLock (last edited 2012-08-21 00:35:40 by MatthiasClasen)