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The "bong" sound Macs make when starting up are very annoying. Although they serve a purpose as a POST confirmation, I'd rather not have it alert everyone in the room.

There are ways to either quiet or turn off the sound in OS X, but that's not something I currently have access to, nor am I willing to install.

Is there anything I can do?

Macbook 2006

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How is this related to Ubuntu? – Riccardo Murri Oct 23 '11 at 8:31
It's related to Ubuntu because Ubuntu is installed on the Mac, and therefore the question asker cannot use OS X to disable the startup sound. – 8128 Oct 23 '11 at 8:41
I'm going to allow this. – Oli Oct 23 '11 at 8:44
The OP asked about the Macbook 2006, but I'd prefer the most generic answer possible. – detly Aug 7 '13 at 0:11
Can you please add the exact model of your macbook (output of sudo dmidecode -s system-product-name)? Also on my macbook the volume of the startup-sound corresponds to the normal system-volume - if i set it to 0, then there's no startup-sound. – Clausi Aug 7 '13 at 9:28

I just now thought of this. I did a bit of research on it and I didn't find anything specific, but I think that you could disable it via rEFit boot manager.

I have rEFit on my iMac to swtich between OSX and Windows 7 and it has all sorts of tools for boot options and partitioning. I think you might be able to do it through it since it uses the EFI or "BIOS" directly and you should be able to install it through Ubuntu according to the site. I'll do some more searching around and testing if I can and edit my answer as it applies, but for now here is the link for rEFit:


rEFind as suggested in comments. rEFind is currently maintained:

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rEFIt is old an no longer maintained. You should use rEFInd instead. I use it to efi boot Ubuntu on a Macbook Air 5-2. – king_julien Aug 12 '13 at 20:45
That is correct, rEFit is no longer maintained, It's just what I personally have experience in so that's why I suggessted it, but rEFind might be the better choice seeing as it is currently maintained and is pretty much the same program, either way though the same result should be able to obtained if it is possible at all to do it via the EFI. – Casey Aug 12 '13 at 20:51
I boot directly from the Apple bootloader. No rEFIt/rEFInd. – detly Aug 12 '13 at 22:57

Well, normally, on a PC, you would have BIOS, but on Apple you have that EFI which is their equivalent. The Extensible Firmware Interface can be opened by: press Command-Option-O-F keys during startup. If there is no way to disable the sound there, well, not much else I can offer in terms of assistance. Would state that the issue is a Mac hardware issue with EFI, not so much of an Ubuntu issue.

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Late reply but:

  1. Reboot with an OSX installation disc or Recovery HD

  2. Start the Terminal

  3. Issue the command:

    /usr/sbin/nvram SystemAudioVolume=%01
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