Proposal: passing user idle time to systemd-logind

Germano Massullo germano.massullo at
Wed May 22 18:18:58 CEST 2019

Hello, I am writing to you to propose the following reasoning, hoping
that it can help making easier (just a bit) third parties development
work on Linux.
I am currently developing BOINC client user idle time detection on
Linux systems (both graphical or tty sessions)
After some studies I started writing a little piece of code that that
is able to print on standard output the user idle time by retrieving
it from systemd-logind IdleSinceHint property (that is exposed on
DBus). By the way I found out that this value was always 0 [1], so I
asked why [2]. I have been told that logind relies on the desktop
environment to pass this information.
Many d.e. expose user idle time to their own DBus path, (i.e.
org.gnome.Mutter.IdleMonitor), so I will be forced to write code that
depends on the specific desktop environment. Since:
1) systemd-logind is just ready for exposing user idle time;
2) for a developer writing code for Linux it would be much easier to
retrieve user idle time from a unique place rather than having to deal
with all various desktop environments;
I would like to ask you what do you think about passing the user idle
time to logind [3] [4] ?

Best regards

[1]: you can try with system console command
$ sleep 2 && gdbus introspect --system --dest org.freedesktop.login1
--object-path /org/freedesktop/login1 | grep IdleSinceHint

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