I have a laptop with Ubuntu 12.04, I want to be able to play music with it while it is on hibernate mode, the problem is: When I close my laptop it goes to hibernation mode (I know this is a default and I know where to change this, but I can't change whether the system should play music during hibernation or not) While I'm playing music, it stops the music as well (this too sounds logical because hibernation mode is for saving power) But I'd like my computer to continue playing music.

Is there a possibility of changing this? If not, can there be an update or something which creates a tiny option in the hibernation or the sound menu for this?

  • Do you know the difference between hibernation and suspend? Hibernation is when the current session is saved to the HDD and Suspend is when the current session is saved to RAM. – Alvar Jun 17 '12 at 14:15
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    @Alvar: the current session is already in RAM ;) – ish Jun 17 '12 at 14:24
  • Well, I am surprised with the amount of answers in such short amount of time. I was aware of the difference, but since I have another language installed at my system, I didn't know the right terms in English. Suspend was the right term I was looking for :) – Olivier Jun 17 '12 at 15:13
  • Thanks Olivier. I will edit both the question and my answer later to better reflect what you meant. – ish Jun 17 '12 at 15:19

The best way to save power AND play music is to just turn off the display

  • Hibernate will not work. Hibernation means your computer saves its current state to the hard disk, and shuts down completely. You can't play music if your computer is off -- in the same way, you can't if it's hibernated.
    • Ubuntu actually suspends the computer when you close the lid, which is slightly different than hibernate in that it uses just a little bit of power and can resume instantly, but it makes no difference - the speakers, CPU, etc. are all still off.

Set Ubuntu to "Do Nothing" when the lid is closed, and disable wireless if necessary

  • The laptop component using the most power is usually the display; by setting the laptop to "Do Nothing" when you close the lid, it will turn off the display--saving a significant amount of power--and let your music continue playing.

    • You can change this from System Settings...Power:

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  • The CPU can use power if it is active, but Ubuntu manages this intelligently; playing music is not a CPU-heavy activity on any recent laptop.

  • If the music is on your hard disk, you can also try turning off wireless networking to save a little more power.

  • "The laptop component using the most power is usually the display" - it should be noted this is true on most modern laptops, when the CPU is idle. Not so much on older laptops (from the era where 1.5 hours battery life was "normal") where the power consumption of the chipset dominated everything else and where having the screen off will have a less dramatic benefit to your battery life. – thomasrutter Jun 17 '12 at 14:00
  • @neon_overload: hence, "usually". But you are right - please feel free to edit the post to clarify this - I (or someone else) will approve your suggested edit. – ish Jun 17 '12 at 14:01
  • I am surprised with the quick response to my question. I made a little mistake with my choice of words (I made a mistake with the difference between hibernate and suspend, although I knew what the difference was) because I'm using a different language than English, but you gave the best answer to my question which seems a little bit silly afterwards because it is pretty obvious it is not possible. I also think you gave me a good alternative solution to this problem and I thank you for solving my problem! – Olivier Jun 17 '12 at 15:23

This is not possible. Your PC is powered off in hibernate mode ( It is similar to shutdown , but has ability to save its state of work )

So you can't do this. You can put your Screen off and then play music.

  • @izx Closing lid, while playing music? It can cause damage to your system , you can have some heating issues. Please consult your hardware manufacturer regarding this matter. – BigSack Jun 17 '12 at 13:57
  • Not unless your laptop has a built-in subwoofer or something :P A normal laptop does NOT require the lid to be open for sufficient ventilation/cooling. – ish Jun 17 '12 at 14:20

I don't think that is possible at the moment. When you close your laptop lid Ubuntu usually goes into suspend mode (not hibernate). In the Power management menu you can select to do nothing when laptop lid is closed...so it won't go into power saving mode but you will have your music still playing.

You can also go to Launchapd and make a feature request to the developers. Askubuntu is not the venue for that, but to solve doubts.

You could also start a session in Ubuntu with a media center (like XBMC) if you only interested in playing music and not doing anything else.

  • A feature request won't do anything -- this behavior is IMPOSSIBLE in hibernation, period. – ish Jun 17 '12 at 14:10

Search, system settings.


Go to power.

When lid closed, change to do nothing.

However your computer will not hibernate but still play music should be able to turn screen off too.

  • Hibernation isn't the same as suspend, suspend is what normally happens when you just close the lid. Hibernation saves the current session to hard drive, and suspend saves it to RAM. – Alvar Jun 17 '12 at 14:13

This is 100% impossible, since hibernation in no way different from shutting down. When you trigger the hibernation mode, the computer saves everything in your RAM to the hard disk (except the files required to run the OS), and then goes to a power state exactly equivalent to being shut down. You cannot play music while in a suspended (sleeping in other OSes) as well. The only way to save power is to turn off your computer screen. Go to System Settings -> Power if you are using a laptop.


As noted above, playing music or doing any other activity on the computer is not possible at all, because hibernate = saving work in RAM to hard disk -> shut down like usual. However, you can turn off the screen while playing music to save power.

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