I have 60 instances of Console Kit daemon on Ubuntu 9.04 server installation. Is it safe to kill those or stop these processes. They seem to be taking about 20% of RAM each(see on htop).

  • 11
    60 * 20% = 1200% Jul 15, 2010 at 6:38
  • :) It's just so many threads. The process as a whole takes 20%. I confirmed with the command given below by Gilles.
    – rampr
    Jul 15, 2010 at 8:00

5 Answers 5


ConsoleKit manages console logins in graphical mode (i.e. with gdm or equivalent); if your server doesn't have those, you don't need it, but then it won't be started anyway. Also, you may be interested in this question.

But you don't really have 60 instances taking 20% of RAM each. The ConsoleKit daemon is multithreaded, and htop shows a separate line for each thread. It's really one process and there's a single copy of that memory; you can confirm that with ps wwu -C console-kit-daemon.

Additionally, the memory usage shown by htop includes code memory, some of which is likely to be shared with other processes using the same dynamic libraries.

  • We only have to login remotely, so we can disable them right ? Is there a clean way of shutting down X and console-kit. Thanks ?
    – rampr
    Jul 15, 2010 at 10:15
  • To disable graphical mode console logins, you can remove /etc/X11/default-display-manager. Stop the running instance with stop gdm. Jul 15, 2010 at 18:27

On a debian based headless server the way to remove and stop console kit that I found is this

apt-get remove dbus-x11 consolekit

apt-get autoremove

Tested on debian testing (jessie)

  • I had no /etc/X11/default-display-manager file, and I figure you might as well uninstall the package if you don't need it. I prefer this solution Dec 14, 2014 at 10:53

All Ubuntu machines (all versions) I know has those appearing in htop (mine has, servers have) and the number shown is 0,2 which means 0.2% and not 20% (htop reports are already in %). Anyways as Gilles said before they are not effectively running. mysqld do the same thing on mysql servers (not 60 but a lot) each reporting they are eating a good part of RAM (like 20 or 30% each) and that is not possible. You can check the free memory and you'll see they are not using this RAM.


Yes, but shut down X before killing them.

  • how do you shutdown X, I don't find it running under ps -ef | grep X or grep gdm or xdm
    – rampr
    Jul 15, 2010 at 12:55
  • sudo killall Xorg
    – Mustafa
    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:49

You can test it disabling the console-kit-daemon executable with:

chmod 000 /usr/sbin/console-kit-daemon
killall console-kit-daemon

and test if your system is healthier. Mine gave no problem after that, but I hadn't gdm processes running.

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