Ubuntu Custom Startup Sound

As a Linux user, you might be pretty familiar with the drumbeat startup sound that Ubuntu plays when you boot your system. Its purpose is to greet you and tell you that the system is ready for use. It also assures you that the sound hardware is installed and working properly. Initially, operating systems took so long to start up that this sound used to notify people to come back to their system from, say, a coffee or sandwich-making break. It is also a plus for Ubuntu marketing when a system announces it publicly, Hey! I am using Ubuntu.

The startup sound, however, can become a little annoying when you log-in while sitting in a quiet cafe or when you have to boot your system repeatedly to assure any configuration changes. Sometimes we turn the volume up and forget to turn it down; now when we restart the system, the loud chime of the startup might disturb the people around us. At that point we want a way to disable these sounds in order to have a silent log in experience.

To cater to the need of users these days, latest versions of almost all operating systems have the startup sound turned off by default.

In this article, we will tell you how to enable or disable the startup sounds depending on how you want to log in.

Enabling Ubuntu 18.04 startup sound

The latest versions of Ubuntu e.g., Ubuntu 18.04 has the system startup sounds disabled by default. You can, however, enable the startup sound as follows:

Launch the Startup Applications utility through Ubuntu Dash as follows:

Launch the Startup Applications

The following Startup Applications Preferences dialog will appear:

Startup Applications Preferences dialog

Click the Add button and enter the following information in the Add Startup Program dialog:

  • Name: Give a name to the startup program, e.g., Login Sound
  • Command: paplay /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg
  • Comment: Add a comment about the program you are creating.

Add startup program

Click the Add button. Now you will be able to see the newly created program in the list.

Startup application preferences

Click Close and restart your system; you will now be able to listen to the startup sound after logging in.

Disabling startup sound

Here, we will discuss three ways to disable the startup sound through Ubuntu:

  • Muting the Volume
  • Changing the Startup Applications Preferences
  • Replacing the startup sound with a silent one.

Muting the Volume

A simple way through which you won’t have to listen to the startup sound is by muting system volume by clicking the volume icon located at the top right corner of Ubuntu screen. When you reboot the system, you will not hear the login sound. This change is temporary as it will not change the system volume configuration. You can activate the startup sound again by deselecting the mute button.

Muting startup sound value

Changing the Startup Applications Preferences

Launch the Startup Applications utility through Ubuntu Dash as follows:

Startup application preferences

The following Startup Applications Preferences dialog will appear:

Startup Applications Preferences dialog

Select the Gnome Login Sound Program, click the Remove button and then close the dialog. This will remove the program that is responsible for playing the Login sound. You will not listen to the Login sound next time you boot Ubuntu.

Note: ‘Gnome Login Sound Program’ is the default startup program that is automatically enabled in older versions of Ubuntu. In this article, we have created a similar program by the name ‘Login Sound’, so we will disable that one in order to get rid of the startup sound.

Replacing the startup sound with a silent one.

Ubuntu has its system sound files saved in .ogg format. If you replace the desktop-login.ogg file(responsible for playing startup sound) with a new one, it will play the later when you startup. If the new file is a silent .ogg file, you will not hear any sound when you log in.

  1. Download a silent sound file and convert it into .ogg format through any of the programs easily available on the internet. Here we will use silent-file.ogg saved in the downloads directory.
  2. Run the following command in the Terminal:
sudo cp ~/Downloads/silent-file.ogg /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg

Now you can make use of all the reasons to enable or disable the startup sounds of your Ubuntu system. You can enable it in order to know when your system is ready for use, disable it if it annoys you or the people surrounding you for any reason. You can even replace the startup sound with a more pleasing one by replacing it with any tune rather than the silent one we mentioned above.

How to Configure a Custom Start Up Sound in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS