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How can I suspend or hibernate my laptop using command line, without installing additional software?

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For Ubuntu 16.04, see this question: and its answer systemctl suspend – CJlano Jun 22 at 7:05

11 Answers 11

up vote 141 down vote accepted

Traditionally ubuntu supported a fairly blunt method of suspend and hibernate. Neither would integrate well with other apps and sometimes not even work on some machines. The new method doesn't require root and notifies all applications listening for power events.

Systemd Method

Starting with Ubuntu 16.04, systemctl call must be used (See Suspend command in Ubuntu 16.04)

systemctl suspend

New Method

See the answer here on this page from Adam Paetznick regarding the use of dbus. Ideally you would create a ~/bin/suspend shortcut/script that makes the use of this action easy.

For use over ssh, you should modify policykit rules as outlined by Peter V. Mørch

Old Method

According to the Ubuntu Forum you can use the following commands:

pmi action suspend


pmi action hibernate

This requires that you install the powermanagement-interface package (not tested).

sudo apt-get install powermanagement-interface

I have also found the commands sudo pm-suspend and sudo pm-hibernate to work on my netbook.

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pm-suspend and pm-hibernate works for me and it's easy. Requires sudo but that's OK. (Found pmi idea before but installing a package to use suspend is well bad...) – user1034 Aug 9 '10 at 20:52
Note that you have to apt-get install powermanagement-interface to run pmi. – nealmcb Feb 10 '12 at 1:47
On 11.10 only pm-* works, also with powermanagament-interface added – Omegafil Feb 13 '12 at 9:56
doesn't work with my ubuntu 12.10. after apt-get install powermanagement-interface – somethis Jun 2 '13 at 9:37
new method is now broken see… – ijk Apr 3 '15 at 18:28

The gnome-friendly way is to use dbus.

dbus-send --system --print-reply \
    --dest="org.freedesktop.UPower" \
    /org/freedesktop/UPower \

There are two advantages to this command over pm-suspend.

  1. It will lock your screen (upon resume) if you have that option selected in gnome.

  2. It does not require root privilege, so it is easy to add it as a keyboard shortcut, for example.

As mentioned in the comments exchanging the Suspend in the last line to Hibernate creates a hibernate command:

dbus-send --system --print-reply \
    --dest="org.freedesktop.UPower" \
    /org/freedesktop/UPower \

If the hibernation throws Error org.freedesktop.UPower.GeneralError: not authorized your user might not be allowed to hibernate. Edit or create /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla so it contains the following section: (source)

[Re-enable hibernate by default]

This was tested on UbuntuGnome 14.04.

Note: This is basically the same as qbi's answer, but updated to work for newer versions of Ubuntu as well as including hibernate.

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Your answer really should be first. It's non-root no-packages-to-be-installed gnome way of doing it. Like! – turbo Jun 7 '12 at 16:26
That's the right answer! :D – dadexix86 Jun 23 '12 at 12:04
AFAIK there is another advantage: It allows other program to detect that suspend/resume happened and act accordingly (for example an IM to resume a network connection to a server). – Petr Pudlák Dec 6 '12 at 21:24
To Hibernate, you can simply replace the last line with org.freedesktop.UPower.Hibernate – Sheharyar Aug 11 '13 at 8:46
on my 13.10 it does work. however, the screen is not locked upon resume, even though in "Security and Privacy", "Require my password when waking from Suspend" is activated. – andreas-h Feb 22 '14 at 12:24


If you just want your computer to suspend in one hour because you want to go to bed listening to your favorite radio station, just open terminal and type :

sudo bash -c "sleep 1h; pm-suspend"

and your computer will fall asleep in 1 hour, and when you awake, he will have kept your open images and all your stuff.

you can replace 1h by what you want (¨h¨ for hours, ¨m¨ for minutes, ¨s¨ for seconds, ¨d¨ for days).

Good night!


Si vous voulez juste que votre ordinateur se mette en veille dans une heure parce que vous voulez vous endormir en ecoutant votre radio préférée, ouvrez Terminal et tapez :

sudo bash -c "sleep 1h; pm-suspend"

et votre ordinateur s´endormira dans une heure, et quand vous vous réveillerez, il aura conservé en mémoire vos applications ouvertes.

Vous pouvez remplacer 1h par ce que vous voulez (¨h¨ pour les heures, ¨m¨ pour les minutes, ¨s¨ pour les secondes, ¨d¨ pour les jours).

Bonne nuit!


Si quieres suspender tu computadora en una hora porque quieres ir a dormir escuchando tu estación de radio favorita, tan solo abre el terminal y escribe:

sudo bash -c "sleep 1h; pm-suspend"

y tu computadora se quedará dormida en 1 hora, y cuando despiertes, allí habrán quedado abiertas tus imágenes y todas tus cosas.

Puedes reemplazar 1h por lo que desees (¨h¨ para horas, ¨m¨ para minutos, ¨s¨ para segundos, ¨d¨ para días).

¡Buenas noches!

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Perfect, easiest solution! – wakeup Feb 12 '14 at 2:19
That's my use case I'm looking for! AFIK pm-* can be run without superuser permissions – ruX Jul 28 '14 at 22:49
best answer, simple, elegant, no installation of additional packages – Louis Dec 16 '15 at 8:04

For Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 13.04

To get Hibernation:

sudo pm-hibernate

To get Suspend:

sudo pm-suspend
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"sudo pm-suspend" not working on mint 13 mate :( – rsjethani Nov 23 '12 at 10:16
Yeah I think that package was not installed . look for those packages in synaptic. – Raja Nov 23 '12 at 17:34
the package is installed, I think 'mate-power-manager' is interfering with it. – rsjethani Nov 23 '12 at 20:22
The drawback of this method is that if you are using the GUI, pm-suspend will NOT block your session, which can be insecure. – esperanto Feb 18 '15 at 12:48
It works on ubuntu 15.10, too. – Searene Dec 18 '15 at 4:29

You can use the file /sys/power/state to do this. First find out what states are supported:

user@linux:_> cat /sys/power/state
standby mem disk

root@linux:~> echo -n mem > /sys/power/state  # suspend to ram
root@linux:~> echo -n disk > /sys/power/state  # suspend to disk

or via dbus:

# Suspend dbus-send --session --dest=org.gnome.PowerManager \ --type=method_call --print-reply --reply-timeout=2000 \ /org/gnome/PowerManager org.gnome.PowerManager.Suspend #Hibernate dbus-send --session --dest=org.gnome.PowerManager \ --type=method_call --print-reply --reply-timeout=2000 \ /org/gnome/PowerManager org.gnome.PowerManager.Hibernate

According to this entry in launchpad the above interface was removed. So it would not work anymore in Ubuntu.

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First idea gives me: "bash: echo: write error: Invalid argument" Dbus idea gives output: "Error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.UnknownMethod: Method "Suspend" with signature "" on interface "org.gnome.PowerManager" doesn't exist" – user1034 Aug 9 '10 at 20:58
I added a small explanation to the /sys/power/state-thing. Furthermore the dbus method was removed from Ubuntu so it won't work anymore. – qbi Aug 9 '10 at 21:45
$ sudo echo -n mem > /sys/power/state - bash: /sys/power/state: Permission denied – Hubro Aug 24 '14 at 21:01
This works great. For people having problems with this method when using sudo, the "pipe to file", aka ">" is running in your current shell, so it doesn't get super user privileges while your echo did. You'll need to use sudo -i first, or pipe to sudo tee like so: echo mem | sudo tee /sys/power/state – RandomInsano Sep 1 '14 at 4:22

Adam Paetznick's dbus-send answer didn't work as purported for me on lucid; the machine woke up unlocked, even though the gnome-power-manager is set to lock the screen on wake-up. I want the screen to be locked at wake-up, and found that the following does that:

$ gnome-screensaver-command --lock && pmi action hibernate

I imagine this does not depend on the gnome configuration, but I haven't tested that.

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To shutdown a system (14.04) from the command line (or keyboard shortcut) use:

dbus-send --system --print-reply --dest="org.freedesktop.login1" /org/freedesktop/login1 org.freedesktop.login1.Manager.PowerOff boolean:true

I found this out by playing around with gdbus which can list the interfaces available:

To list the services available on the bus:

dbus-send --system --dest=org.freedesktop.DBus --type=method_call --print-reply /org/freedesktop/DBus org.freedesktop.DBus.ListNames

To find the methods:

gdbus introspect --system --dest org.freedesktop.login1 --object-path /org/freedesktop/login1 --recurse
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since 15.04 systemD is the standard init system so there is a new command to be used:

systemctl suspend
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I'm using Xubuntu 15.04. The command systemctl suspend does suspend the computer, but it does not cause the screen to be locked, even though I've checked the "Lock screen when system is going for sleep" checkbox in Settings -> Power Manager -> Security. Anyone have any idea why? – Teemu Leisti Apr 10 at 13:28
I've upgraded to Xubuntu 16.04. The command systemctl suspend still suspends the computer. Now, it also causes the screen to be locked, if and only if the "Lock screen when system is going for sleep" checkbox in Settings -> Power Manager -> Security is checked. – Teemu Leisti Jun 22 at 18:54

Here's how to put a remote machine in standby over ssh:

ssh -t 'sudo nohup &>/dev/null bash -c "(sleep 1; echo -n mem >/sys/power/state) &"'
x@'s password: 
[sudo] password for x: 
Connection to closed.

/sys/power/state works in Ubuntu 13.10. pmi gives Dbus error.

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New interface

…which works in 15.10 Wily, and possibly Utopic and Vivid.

dbus-send --print-reply --system                         \
    --dest=org.freedesktop.login1                        \
    /org/freedesktop/login1                              \
    org.freedesktop.login1.Manager.Suspend boolean:true

Helpfully this doesn't require sudo, unlike the pm-suspend command.

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Personally, I've been experimenting with the pmi method. However, when I tried this, I got an error message: Error org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.Spawn.ChildExited: Launch helper exited with unknown return code 1. However, there is a workaround in the 3rd comment of this bug report, which seems to have worked for me (I'm using Ubuntu 13.03).

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – fossfreedom Aug 31 '13 at 7:37

protected by Raja Aug 11 '14 at 10:35

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