I can't find a dialogue anywhere on the desktop (like on Windows Start/shutdown) to shut down Ubuntu. I downloaded and ran the Ubuntu live CD and after I ran it, I couldn't shut it down. I had to hold the on/off key on my computer for 4 seconds to shut down my computer to get back into Windows. If there is a button somewhere, why is it not obvious?

  • And you are using Ubuntu (Unity) or another flavour (as it varies between flavours)? – user364819 Dec 8 '15 at 21:22

Go to the upper right corner and use the gear menu to select Shut Down.

enter image description here

  • depending on the theme you are using the icon can change (a small computer for example) but it's located on the same position (upper right) – laurent Jan 16 '12 at 1:37

You can also momentarily press the power button, and a pop up dialog will appear with buttons for suspend, hibernate, restart and shutdown.


If you have access to a terminal and have root access how about the shutdown command:

shutdown -h now
man shutdown for more detail

Here are 3 ways:

  1. You can type Ctl+Alt+T to bring up the Terminal. Then you can type either halt, or shutdown. With the shutdown command you need to specify a time. If you type shutdown 1, it will shutdown in one minute, if you type shutdown 5 it will wait 5 minutes and so on.
  2. The final option I know of is to add a keyboard shortcut by going to the top right corner and entering the System Settings>Keyboard>Shortcuts, then you'll click on the Custom Shortcuts text and click the + icon to add a custom shortcut. Just type in Shutdown or whatever you wish for the name. In the command dialog box type: /usr/lib/indicator-session/gtk-logout-helper -s and click save. Now you'll need to click where it says disabled, and you'll see the text change from disabled to New Shortcut. Now type a key command like Ctrl+Alt+End and save it.
  3. Or as the others have pointed out, you can use the power button.
  • Ctrl+Shift+T brings up a new terminal tab only if you already are in gnome-terminal. – psusi Jan 15 '12 at 22:21
  • The correct shortcut for terminal from anywhere is ctrl-alt-t – laurent Jan 16 '12 at 1:35
  • Yep, I don't know why I typed Shift. Thanks for correcting me. – Jeremy Jared Jan 16 '12 at 3:51
  • 1
    What's wrong with [sudo] shutdown -h now ? – Frank Nocke Feb 14 '16 at 9:01

You have to log in first. Press Esc, then log in, following that shut down via the top right corner.

I believe it's intended to keep unauthorized users from getting into the bios settings easily.


Opening a terminal window with Ctrl+Alt+T and running

shutdown 0  

worked for me in Ubuntu 16.04

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