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I'm using Ubuntu 12.04 on my Lenovo G550. I noticed that Ubuntu disabled the startup sound played after login (I love it). I did some Googling and found on UbuntuGeek that we have to add this command

 /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id=”desktop-login” --description=”GNOME Login sound” 

to Startup Applications. I did that but I still don't hear the sound.

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Did any of the answers help you? If that's the case you could accept that answer so this question is marked as solved – rearlight May 16 '12 at 20:56
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For some odd reasons command available on Ubuntu Geek is not working, But the following command is working for me.

/usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login"

How to setup?

  • Click on Gear icon (Session indicator) in Unity panel, And open "Startup Applications".

enter image description here

  • Click add and fill out as follows
Name: GNOME Login Sound
Command: /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login"
Comment: Plays a sound whenever you log in

enter image description here

  • Click save and logout. That's it!
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I think the question poster means the old login/start up sound. Your answer only indicates how to enable/disable the new login sound in 12.04. – rearlight May 13 '12 at 10:02
The funny thing is that is "ON" but I still don't get the sound – pratnala May 13 '12 at 11:08
Yes @rearlight, that's what I mean - the "old login/start up sound" – pratnala May 13 '12 at 11:09
Solved. Thanks. – pratnala Jun 14 '12 at 9:09

I've had a similar problem and after hours of searching I've found a solution to the following problem:

  1. I could not select any alert sounds - they were greyed out.
  2. using canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" resulted in: Playing sound failed: Sound disabled


With dconf-editor (package dconf-tools) select org.gnome.desktop.sound. Select the event-sounds so it is marked: Do not use the default button! Yes that's weird! Even though the default button sets the check box to true -it will not work. The check box has to be selected manually (well by mouse :-)

After that I had all alert sounds I needed.

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I've run the command /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login" in a terminal and it did something, but I did not hear any sound.

There are 2 possible workarounds:

  1. Experimenting with the --volume option (did not work for me)

    You can change the command to /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login sound" --volume=10 and see if you can hear anything then. Higher values are possible.

  2. Changing the login sound command entirely (worked for me)

    You can create a startup application as indicated by Basharat and as command use this: paplay /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/desktop-login.ogg

    For Name and Comment, you can fill in what you want.

I hope that could help.

EDIT: I've used the wrong quotes first, but I still hear nothing when I use /usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login" in a terminal. So the command definetly doesn't work for me.

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2. Is the boy for me! – fleamour May 15 '12 at 21:03
The problem is the quotes were different. that's why the sound didn't come – pratnala Oct 28 '12 at 8:32
@PratyushNalam Man, damn german keyboard layout.. I will edit my answer. Thanks for your hint! – rearlight Oct 28 '12 at 11:50
reboot. after reboot, it worked for me – pratnala Oct 28 '12 at 11:56

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