Is there anyway to get Rhythmbox to stop playing the current track when it closes without first pausing/stopping the song manually?

  • 7
    I recommend just nixing the program until it's made to function reasonably. There are more appropriately set up alternatives. I gather that's the best way to vote in Ubuntu.
    – user311768
    Aug 3, 2014 at 4:27
  • 3
    Whenever something is playing music there should be something visible on the screen to pause, stop, and control volume. I played a file and picked one. Rhythmbox. No way to pause or stop was visible. I had to find this question and wander through multiple apps and tabs and dropdowns to find an on/off button hidden away. That makes this program a menace to me. No better than random ads that play music on a browser.
    – Lee Meador
    May 21, 2019 at 4:40
  • 3
    sudo apt purge rhythmbox solves the bug.
    – wotter
    Nov 23, 2021 at 22:19
  • FWIW sudo apt install clementine fills my needs and closes when ordered to.
    – wotter
    Nov 23, 2021 at 22:30

7 Answers 7


This is intentionally the default behaviour: allowing you to minimise ("close") Rhythmbox and control it from the Sound menu.

To work around this you need to "quit" Rhythmbox by selecting File->Quit in the menu, or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Q.

Related Question:

  • 17
    Right-click on the launcher Icon and selecting Quit doesn't really quit. That's stupid. Plus, there is no icon in the status bar saying it's running. I have to re-open it and manually go File > Quit Nov 20, 2013 at 11:56
  • 7
    I'm running Rhythmbox 3.0.1 on Ubuntu 14.04 and there is no File -> Quit nor will it close with Ctrl+Q.
    – Chris
    Apr 16, 2014 at 20:50
  • 2
    On Ubuntu 14.04 as of today, i have to do: killall -9 rhythmbox
    – anjan
    Mar 10, 2015 at 5:08
  • 14
    This is plain wrong interaction design. The Quit action does not quit. I would consider this a bug. Sep 11, 2017 at 8:32
  • 3
    When it's playing and I have clicked quit, there is no way to control the player except by opening it again. I don't have anything in my sound menu whatsoever except the system volume button (Ubuntu 20.04) Sep 7, 2020 at 20:29

Command-line Way

Try this command on terminal to close rhythmbox immediately,

sudo kill $(ps aux | awk '$11=="rhythmbox"{print $2}')

It's an one way of killing rhythmbox using it's process id(pid).

  • thanks, do you have such an experience ? I close that but, not work? Jun 13, 2014 at 11:14
  • 1
    yep, you could pause the mp3 before closing it. Jun 13, 2014 at 11:15
  • Killing by pid doesn't work - it simply catches the kill and restarts with a new pid. If it has already been closed, then restart it (e.g. from a terminal), stop the play and then File -> Close
    – user297009
    Jun 23, 2014 at 4:27
  • 3
    Or use pkill rhythmbox
    – lakshayg
    Oct 27, 2015 at 10:55
  • 3
    followed by sudo apt remove rhythmbox
    – jhoffman0x
    Dec 7, 2019 at 5:44

It seems that there is much disagreement and flip/flopping on how the close-window, (x) button, etc. does/should work in Rhythmbox. In fact both behaviors have been reported as bugs on several occasions for various reasons. This one claims close == hide, while this one claims close == quit. Whatever the case, I think the functionality should be configurable so it's up to the user to change it.

After reading around through bug reports, I think that's exactly how it's supposed to work. If you read this comment in the above-mentioned bug, the poster claims the behavior can be turned on/off by enabling/disabling the Status Icon plugin:

  1. open Rhythmbox
  2. Edit > Plugins
  3. scroll to the end of the list and find the entry marked "Status Icon"
  4. deselect "Status Icon"
  5. close the window

I tried this on my system (Ubuntu v10.10, Rhythmbox v0.13.1) and it did not work. Back wading through the bug reports it seems there was a patch applied to fix an indicator-application compatibly issue that broke the Status Icon plugin behavior. I am no longer 100% sure what the current status is on all this, but I think the above procedure should work.

Indeed, toggling this behavior in Banshee is a very similar process, which actually works.


With some applications, typically media players, they run in the background unless you quit the application. Whenever it is open, use File > Quit or Ctrt+Q. They typically run in indicators on your panel. This is so that instead of closing when you want to clean your desktop, they keep playing.

  • 1
    In Rhythmbox we use "Music/Quit" instead of "File/Quit". Nov 24, 2012 at 13:27
  • Oops! You are correct good sir! In fact, my own player Clementine uses that too! I should probably start looking before I post.... Nov 24, 2012 at 13:37

I know that Clementine and Audacious stop playing when you hit the "x" button. Maybe you should try those players instead.


Go to the sound icon in the top bar and stop / pause from there (under volume control you have player control) , or close it while window visible from the file menu.


This is still not fixed in Ubuntu 20.04, and there are several bug reports about it, among which the ones previously mentioned here, and also this one.

The simple way to stop it is

pkill rhythmbox

Or you can restart it, and select "Stop & Quit" in the menu.

After that, I definitely solved the problem with

sudo apt purge rhythmbox


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