Introduction to ConsoleKit

The ConsoleKit package is a framework for keeping track of the various users, sessions, and seats present on a system. It provides a mechanism for software to react to changes of any of these items or of any of the metadata associated with them.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.8 platform.

Package Information

ConsoleKit Dependencies


dbus-glib-0.104 and Xorg Libraries




If you intend NOT to install polkit, you will need to manually edit the ConsoleKit.conf file to lock down the service. Failure to do so may be a huge SECURITY HOLE.



User Notes:

Installation of ConsoleKit

Install ConsoleKit by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --sysconfdir=/etc    \
            --localstatedir=/var \
            --enable-udev-acl    \
            --enable-pam-module  \
            --enable-polkit      \
            --with-xinitrc-dir=/etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit-1.0.0           \
            --with-systemdsystemunitdir=no                     &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&

mv -v /etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d/90-consolekit{,.sh}

Command Explanations

--enable-udev-acl: This switch enables building of the udev-acl tool, which is used to allow normal users to access device nodes normally only accessible to root.

--enable-pam-module: This switch enables building of the ConsoleKit PAM module which is needed for ConsoleKit to work correctly with PAM. Remove if Linux PAM is NOT installed.

--enable-polkit: Enable PolicyKit support.

--with-xinitrc-dir=/etc/X11/app-defaults/xinitrc.d: Fix the location of the script. Notice that the script has been renamed after installation, because xinitrc only sources script names ending with extension .sh.

--with-systemdsystemunitdir=no: Disable attempting to build with systemd libraries.

--enable-docbook-docs: Use this switch if xmlto is installed and you wish to build the API documentation.

Configuring ConsoleKit

PAM Module Configuration

If you use Linux PAM, it needs to be configured to activate ConsoleKit upon user login. This can be achieved by editing the /etc/pam.d/system-session file as the root user:

cat >> /etc/pam.d/system-session << "EOF"
# Begin ConsoleKit addition

session   optional
session   optional nox11

# End ConsoleKit addition

You will also need a helper script that creates a file in /var/run/console named as the currently logged in user and that contains the D-Bus address of the session. You can create the script by running the following commands as the root user:

cat > /usr/lib/ConsoleKit/run-session.d/ << "EOF"

[ -n "$CK_SESSION_USER_UID" ] || exit 1
[ "$CK_SESSION_IS_LOCAL" = "true" ] || exit 0

TAGFILE="$TAGDIR/`getent passwd $CK_SESSION_USER_UID | cut -f 1 -d:`"

if [ "$1" = "session_added" ]; then
    mkdir -p "$TAGDIR"
    echo "$CK_SESSION_ID" >> "$TAGFILE"

if [ "$1" = "session_removed" ] && [ -e "$TAGFILE" ]; then
    sed -i "\%^$CK_SESSION_ID\$%d" "$TAGFILE"
    [ -s "$TAGFILE" ] || rm -f "$TAGFILE"
chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/ConsoleKit/run-session.d/

See /usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit/spec/ConsoleKit.html for more configuration.


Installed Programs: ck-history, ck-launch-session, ck-list-sessions, ck-log-system-restart, ck-log-system-start, ck-log-system-stop and console-kit-daemon
Installed Libraries: and
Installed Directories: /{etc,usr/{include,lib},var/{log,run}}/ConsoleKit and /usr/share/doc/ConsoleKit-1.0.0

Short Descriptions


is a utility that provides information from the ConsoleKit database about what users have logged into the system.


is a utility for starting a command in its own ConsoleKit session.


list sessions with respective properties. Also good for debugging purposes.


write system restart to log.


write system start to log.


write system stop to log.


is the ConsoleKit daemon.

Last updated on 2015-09-25 08:48:24 -0500