Shutting down on cue

One of the minor annoyances in the default installation of Ubuntu comes about when you want to either shut down or restart (reboot) the system.

You click on the shut-down icon in the panel.  This produces a drop-down menu that includes both the shut down and restart options. But, whichever option you select, yet another dialogue box pops up and asks – Are you sure…? Well, of course I’m sure, I pressed the button didn’t I?

But, if like me, this second-guessing strategy (well – OK – this safety feature) bugs you, remember that this is Linux, and almost everything is configurable.

In this case, there are two simple solutions to the problem.

First, if you need to keep the default option of being able to change users through the Indicator Applet Session (the weird combination of an X-in-a-bubble, a username, and the shut-down icon, in the panel), then you need to suppress the confirmation for shut down or restart.

In a terminal window (Applications – Accessories – Terminal) type:


Navigate to – apps – indicator-session, check the “Value” box next to the suppress_logout_restart_shutdown option, and close the editor window. Now, when you select shut down or restart, your machine will instantly burst into action – or inaction! – and will close down as commanded.

For those of us who operate as a single user, a second option offers the same functionality but in a prettier package.

Firstly, dump the Indicator Applet Session. Right click on this area of the panel and select “Remove From Panel”.

Now, right click on a blank area of the panel, and select “Add to Panel”. Scroll down the list of options, select Shut Down…, and press the Add button. This produces a shiny, red, shut-down icon in the panel.

Clicking on this icon brings up a colourful dialogue box with all the shut-down options, including Restart. And, clicking on either Shut Down or Restart actuates the command immediately – without any second guesses!

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