When you boot into Ubuntu, it plays a sound asking you to input your password or choose different user account at login screen. This sound is a drum beat tone which indicates that your Ubuntu system is ready. This is similar to startup sound in Microsoft Windows.

The startup sound is there to draw you attention that you can start using your Ubuntu. But sometimes this can be annoying. If you are like me who constantly reboot the system while experimenting with Ubuntu, this startup sound becomes unnecessary. Moreover, if you are in work or a public place, you might not want to disturb others and draw attention to you just for a drum tone. In these cases, you might want to have the sound disabled.

The current version of Ubuntu (at the time of writing this article), Ubuntu 14.10 doesn’t come with an easy option to disable startup sound specifically from System Settings. But still you have ways to disable it. Use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Disabling from Login Screen

Once you boot into the login screen, click on the speaker icon from top-right corner and select Mute.

Mute sound in login screen

From next boot, Ubuntu won’t play the sound in login screen. Note, this setting is only applied to login screen. It won’t affect actual system sounds once you get logged in to desktop. So nothing to worry about. To re-enable, you need to again enter into login screen and deselect Mute button.

Method 2: Renaming Sound File

The sound file it plays at login screen is located at /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg. So renaming the file will prevent Ubuntu from playing the sound. You can use following commands in Terminal (use Ctrl+Alt+T to launch it) to quickly rename them:

sudo mv /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/do-not-disturb-thanks.ogg
sudo mv /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/system-ready.ogg /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/no-ready-sound-please.ogg

Or, to change the sound, rename your desired sound file (should be in ogg format) into desktop-login.ogg and copy it to the director /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/. Choose replace when it asks. It’s recommended to keep a backup of the old file before you replace it.

Method 3: Using Ubuntu Tweak Tool

Ubuntu Tweak is an awesome tool with which you can customize various aspects of Ubuntu and Unity. It also has option to disable the login sound.

To use it, download and install the standalone installer .deb file from ubuntu-tweak.com. Once installed, search it in Dash and launch it.

Ubuntu Tweak in Dash

Navigate to Tweaks tab > Login Settings.

Head to Tweaks > Login Settings

Click Unlock from top to unlock the settings. Enter your password and hit Authenticate.

Unlock settings

Switch off the button of ‘Play login sound’ as shown below:

Turn off login sound

You are done. Using Ubuntu Tweak is the safest and easiest way to disable Ubuntu drum sound at startup.


Jaber is a Programmer and Tech Enthusiast Geek from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the founder and Chief-Editor of TechGainer. While he is away from his keyboard, either he's fishing or messing with wildlife. In case, you can contact him at rijans[at]techgainer[dot]com.