A little help with who command

Hello, I want to ask what does seat0 means when i use who command, is it from update or something, because before there wasn’t the seat0 login screen line in here, only the tty2 one.
Thank you for your time!

user seat0 2023-06-03 01:46 (login screen)
user tty2 2023-06-03 01:46 (tty2)

Well I asked chatGPT, and it gave me a perfect answer which I can agree with:

In the context of Xorg on Linux, a seat refers to a collection of input and output devices associated with a specific physical location or user session. It represents a logical grouping of devices that are typically used together to interact with the graphical environment.

Each seat in Xorg can have its own display server instance, which manages the input devices (such as keyboards, mice, touchscreens) and output devices (such as monitors) associated with that seat. This allows multiple users to have independent graphical sessions running concurrently on a single machine.

A seat can be thought of as a virtual workspace with its own set of input and output devices, independent of other seats. Each seat has a unique identifier, usually represented by a number, such as seat0, seat1, and so on. The seat0 is typically the default seat and represents the primary display and input devices.

Seats are useful in multi-user environments, such as Linux-based servers or systems with multiple user accounts, where each user can have their own graphical session and interact with the system independently. They help provide isolation and separation between different user sessions, allowing users to work concurrently without interfering with each other’s activities.

To add here: Xorg was made for Multi-Seats, which means multiple screens and input devices share one big computer, since computers were very expensive these days. Nowadays, it is common that there is only one seat per computer.

Hello megavolt, thank you for your response and for your time!
I am very happy that this is the answer, because I thought someone is trying to hack my PC.
Again, thank you very much!

1 Like

I was gonna say … at least yours reports ‘*seat*login*screen*’

$ who -a
           system boot  2023-06-02 15:22
user     + tty2         2023-06-02 15:22  old          971
user     - pts/0        2023-06-02 15:22   .          1684 (:0)
1 Like

who -a  :heavy_check_mark:
system boot 2023-06-03 01:45
user ? seat0 2023-06-03 01:46 ? 1353 (login screen)
user + tty2 2023-06-03 01:46 01:40 1353 (tty2)

That’s what I get.

1 Like

I wanna also :eyes:

$ who -a
           system boot  May 20 19:51

Wayland… cough.

Yes, I’m using Wayland, so I’m little confused about the Xorg stuff xD

Guess it is only the login-manager (GDM), the thing where you type your password in, then it switches to Wayland.

I will check it right now, thank you again!

You can check what they were running with something like

ps -ft tty2
ps -ft seat0

GDM uses Wayland if it’s enabled in /etc/gdm/custom.conf. Examples on two machines both running GNOME. TTY2 is GDM:

Wayland enabled, Wayland session:

           system boot  2023-06-01 10:37
yochanan ? seat0        2023-06-01 10:39   ?          1393 (login screen)
yochanan + tty2         2023-06-01 10:39  old         1393 (tty2)

Wayland disabled, Xorg session:

           system boot  2023-06-02 07:31
yochanan ? seat0        2023-06-02 07:31   ?          2984 (login screen)
yochanan ? :1           2023-06-02 07:31   ?          2984 (:1)
1 Like

Yochanan, this “seat0” line is it new? Because I am pretty sure it wasn’t there before.

Also thank you for the Wayland/Xorg clarification.

I often refer to Poettering articles. It’s on the old side, but informative.

The above will point you to the freedesktop.org documentation on “multi-seat on linux”


A helpful command is loginctl.

for a in users sessions ; do loginctl list-$a --no-pager; done

for i in "$( loginctl list-sessions --no-legend --no-pager | awk '{ print $1 }' )"; do loginctl show-session --no-pager $i; echo ; done

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.