Linux Desktop: Session Logout Options Dialog and Disabling Key Ring Password Input Prompt for Chrome

As I have promised, I will write a new tutorial post regarding how I resolved some issues I have found recently. Writing tutorials on Linux is fun. It is very different from writing tutorials on coding. A lot of screenshots are added to the post, making the editing a bit harder than coding related tutorials. Anyways, I digressed a little. Let's get back to the topic. I have faced two issues. One existed long before the previous tutorial was completed. It was with Chrome browser. I have it for testing my code development. But every time I reboot, get into the desktop, then open Chrome in the incognito mode, I would get a dialog prompting me to enter password to unlock the password key ring. If I don't, it will keep popping up. And I cannot bypass it to browse the 'net. It is extremely annoying. The other one is that some how I lost the options dialog for session log out after doing all the desktop customization. This tutorial will first discuss how to by-pass the repeated request for password to system key ring from Chrome. It will then discuss how to get the options dialog for session logout back.

The reason for Chrome in the incognito mode to request access system key ring is that Chrome sometimes wants to stored passwords to web sites into a secure password vault. By default there is a key ring (key being the passwords, and key-ring means a place where all the keys are stored. This is how I understand what this key ring is), and there is the master password to unlock it so that Chrome can store or retrieve passwords it stored in this key ring. But I never stored my passwords of the web sites I visit with Chrome in the key ring. I know this is convenience. I don't do it, not with Chrome, nor with FireFox or Vivaldi. I always enter my passwords when I try to securely access the web sites. Once I know what is causing this login dialog to popup, I decided to find a way to disable it.

Turned out, there is a way to disable this dialog. In order to do this, I have to switch the password vault from the system key ring to a default non-secure password vault which Chrome uses. If you do this, it is not safe to keep passwords in suck a place because the vault is protected by a plain text password. So if another know where this vault is, he/she can easily decode it and get all the passwords stored in. To me, this is no issue. I don't store my passwords in this vault or in the system key ring. So it should be safe for me to make the switch. But if security is a great concern to you, then don't do what I am about to tell you.

So you decided to go ahead and read about the trick to bypass. Here is how it works. By default, Chrome uses the system key ring. By manipulating the launch command for the launchers, it can be shifted to use Chrome's basic password vault, which is called a password-store. This is the command:

/usr/bin/google-chrome-stable -incognito --password-store=basic %U

What I had done is add the argument --password-store=basic into this launch command and it will not prompt me to enter the password for the system key ring when I launch it in the incognito mode. I had to use this for the launcher I created for the desktop short cut, as well as the launcher added to my dock bar (DockBarX). Both were using incognito mode as the first argument. I don't have to change the Chrome launch command in the Whisker Menu because it launches without the incognito mode.

There is another approach, where some people recommended that setting the password to system key ring to blank. You may find this in StackOverflow and Ubuntu Linux discussion forum. This is like leave the chicken house full of chickens and eggs wide open for the fox to go in and slaughter all the chicken and break all the eggs. Never ever set your system key ring password to blank. Always, always use a strong password to protect all the precious passwords stored in your system key ring. If you cannot figure out why it is bad to set a blank password for your system key ring, then you have business use Linux.

Let's get back to my other problem. The mysterious disappearance of the session logout dialog. This is the session logout dialog.

I was playing with the session and application start up settings and probably unchecked a check box. I didn't realized I did that two days after, when every time I clicked the power button and it instantly logged me out. And I didn't know how to fix this. So searched online, and after a few links clicks later I found that I might have unchecked a check box in the application called "Session and Startup". Here is the "Session and Startup":

See that red rectangle highlighted region, "Prompt on Logout". This is the check box that controls whether the log out options when you click the power button. Somehow I unchecked this check box and didn't realize. Now it is checked and I was able to see the session logout option dialog. When it is unchecked, every time I click the power button, I would be logged out of the session.

Anyways, both problems solved. And I learned something along the way. That was nice.


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