Ubuntu – Shutdown Problem


Hi this is my first post and have a problem.
I have just updated today and found that when I try to shutdown a box comes on screen and it says

Received Error When Trying To Logout
Session Manager Must Be In Idle State
When Requesting Shutdown

I can shutdown By holding the power button down. I have a Dell Latitude 2100.
Is there anyone who can help me with this I have not had much to do with Linux Ubuntu 14.04 I think it is. Thanks for reading this

Best Answer

If the desktop in question is xfce, check the following thread:


For me post 17 - delete the session file in


did the trick. The session file gets sometimes corrupted - once I was not able to login to XFCE - deleting the session file also solved that problem...

Note: Don't delete the session file. Just rename or move it. So in case the problem persists after XFCE created a new pristine session file you can go back to your old one.

UPDATE 2020:

More than 10 years after this problem was first reported, it persists in 18.04.

Sessions are now files with pattern xfwm4-*.state, and stored in ~/.cache/sessions. Renaming these session files does not fix the immediate problem, though they are quite nice to look at.

In absence of a fix, force a shutdown (perhaps once you have manually closed all programs):

sudo shutdown -h now

It is possible however, that renaming the sessions files prevents the problem from recurring again. It has not recurred for me, for now, immediately after a forced shutdown, perhaps because I renamed all ~/.cache/sessions/xfwm4*.state files first.

An antique request for help in the XFCE forums suggests switching on the facility to save sessions, which can be done in settings > sessions & startup.

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