ability to mute "startup" sound from gdm (before login)

Registered by James on 2008-02-14

many people use ubuntu on their laptops in class, or elsewhere. when logging in with gdm, it takes a few seconds before the mute function (if you have a special key assigned) to work, and therefore disabling the login noise, and avoiding disruption of everyone around you. gdm should have a quiet login mode, (and maybe even a quiet logout for "exit" screen) and as well it would be nice if somehow on startup you could disable, the ubuntu is ready "drumbeat"...
don't let ubuntu noises become the replacement to the annoying windows noises :)

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Priority:
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Needs approval
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Definition:
New
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Milestone target:
milestone icon ubuntu-8.04

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i'm new at creating specifications-- if i'm supposed to add my name as drafter please let me know,
i'd also like feedback on this idea, and perhaps guidance on what i can do to help. i likely don't have all the skills required to implement this myself, but would be happy to with a little help.
volunteers? james / <email address hidden>

Options:
* The 'silent login' could happen when the value of 'System > Preferences > Sound Preferences > Sounds > Log In' for the last logged in user is null (Duncan Lithgow)
* The login sound could be removed from Ubuntu (Duncan Lithgow)
* The sound could be disabled from the 'System > Sounds' menu, applying to all users and fixing the probelm for single users. (Duncan Lithgow)
* The sound could be delayed and after the delay only sound if no keys have been pressed. (Bulat)

I always disable this sound when i've installed it, but it would be nice to mute it, perhaps check the ALSA mixer status as it was before the (re)boot. Or even check if the laptop is on AC power or battery and unmute on battery(just an idea) /Pieter Lexis

Let me clarify if this makes the spec simpler:
* problem: people starting up their laptops in class make noises and disturb people; they might want to turn their machine on and have previously NOT disabled the startup sounds.

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You can do it this way:
You can add new command into GDM menu. Just add this lines to /etc/gdm/gdm.conf :
CustomCommand0=/usr/bin/amixer -c 0 sset Master playback mute
CustomCommandText0=Are you sure you wan to MUTE your sound?
CustomCommandLabel0=_Mute sound
CustomCommandLRLabel0=_Mute sound
CustomCommandTooltip0=Mute all sound playback
CustomCommandIsPersistent0=false
CustomCommandNoRestart0=true

But somehow muting sound from GDM interferes with my wireless network being handled by NetworkManager. It completely stops to work at that boot up. :) I have static IP on this interface, and it does not always boot up working (I have to change IP manually, and it starts to work), but after muting it doesn't want to work at all. :) Anybody else have any problems with this way of muting sound from GDM ? Or is this Ok ?

/Bulat
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I tried this and it worked well! great idea! maybe we could use the mute icon for this. I'm going to play around with this idea next week and see if I can think of a way to make this a little more elaborate. great find Bulat!
- purpleidea

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So, now we have to find a way to mute even login-window-ready drums. I have an idea. There's a script file that is executed when GDM is starting: /etc/gdm/Init/Default
We can create a program and add it into this script. The program should check out whether any key on a keyboard is hold down, and automatically shut the sound off in case of a key being held down during boot time.
Do you like this idea ? Can anyone do this ?
/Bulat

On 28-12-2008 duncan-lithgow wrote:
Interesting idea, but how on earth would anyone discover this function? I think this sound should just be removed from Ubuntu - it serves almost no function.

On 28-12-2008 Bulat wrote:
I think, that you can switch that sound off already - there's a feature on a 'System->Administration->Login window'.
This drum-sound is useful when your system boot up time is significant. It depends not only on Ubuntu boot up time, but also on an initial system check, etc. time (on some desktop systems initial system check and initialization itself requires half a minute or even more).
Also, it's an ear-candy. :)
The way to discover this feature... Maybe we'd prompt it somewhere during system boot up ?
And we can check mute/volume down keys also (or maybe only them) - it's obvious to use this buttons for most of the users. I think, that everyone in this situation had checked this method at first. :)

There's another idea. We can make a several seconds delay before this sound is being played. And check, whether some key is being pressed - i.e. user started to type-in it's login name. If so, then disable this sound from being played.
/Bulat

On 2008-12-29 Duncan Lithgow wrote: I like this idea. A five second delay would be plenty, anyone waiting to log in would quickly learn that there is a short delay before the sound.

The third way is to link mute/volume up/volume down keys to appropriate scripts via HAL. I haven't figured how to do it the easy way. Any ideas, experience ? ACPI events do not work as I've expected. Maybe someone's luckier ?
/Bulat

Well doesn't it make sense for the mute and volume keys to work from within gdm ? I don't much about this either, I do think that the above idea of waiting a few seconds before the "drums ready sound" plays and that any keypress cancels the drum noise would be a good idea. I don't know if it would look ugly but a message saying press spacebar to mute ready noise on first gdm sight? ....
I'm glad people like the idea! - purpleidea

2purplidea (on 2009-01-05): Can you hack in to a GDM code and insert that delay into it ? It should not be hard to do. You need a timer and a variable that'll be a flag. :) Then you'll be able to provide a diff and a proposal for GDM team. You can also use config file to get that delay parameter from it.
/Bulat

On 2009-01-05 Bulat wrote: It would be wonderful to be able to use volume up, volume down and mute buttons within GDM. To do that we have to find a way for HAL or GDM itself to support this. And there are many differnet laptops with different key scancodes (?) for this buttons.
Even without this, we have to find the way (or at least to create a script) to link it to an appropriate sound card (or all soundcards).
/Bulat
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We also have to make a list of configuration scripts and tools that manage /etc/gdm/gdm.conf and /etc/gdm/Init/Default to be able to integrate muting support option into them.

/Bulat
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I had talked to the GDM team a while back about this issue, and they had pointed out (whether we agree or not) that the gdm drum noise "ready" prompt was useful for blind people so that they knew when gdm was ready for them to type their login/password. - purpleidea

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There's an entry in a wish list on this issue:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/hal/+bug/49922

/Bulat
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(?)

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