Why are there four users logged into my system?

As part of another problem I was having (thanks again to all who contributed) I was advised to use the “top” command to display what the system was doing. Very interesting and informative, but one thing I noticed was this

Who are these four users? I’m the only one using this system as far as I am aware. So I tried this.

Confusing, on so many levels. First of all the top line says four users, then it lists three. And they are all me. And apparently we all logged in at the same time.

Is this normal? Or should I be worried. I have the Firewall active, and zone set to FedoraWorkstation.


I believe it is normal. I run Fedora Kionite and also have myself logged in thrice when I just checked, with the data about each user being pretty similar to your screenshots. If I had to guess, it is a KDE thing.

If I’m wrong, or anyone has any more info, please let us know since I’m now pretty curious.

It may just depend on the environment you are using and the way you launch various services. Also, sometimes processes don’t get cleaned up properly when you log out of a session.

BTW, there is a newer loginctl command for viewing and managing the login sessions on your system.

Also, systemctl status user.slice provides a nice overview of what processes are running in which sessions. It can be helpful for finding cases where there is a lone process left over in a session that should have been terminated on logout.


Also try the who command.

I think this is normal, if you open a terminal it will also be considered your user being logged in again. Open multiple terminals and see the user count increase.

That depends on the implementation. The number of logged-in users is counted from the entries in /var/run/utmp. So if some program adds an entry it could count as another active user.

Run the command utmpdump /var/run/utmp to see the contents for the file. If you make the file empty, then the number of active users is now zero, and that is kind of a lie.


Thanks for all the responses and advice. I’m feeling a bit more comfortable that it’s not an issue, and there aren’t three mysterious strangers logged into my machine all the time. I tried changing my password but that didn’t do anything.
I’ve marked it solved.