In 17.04 I could suspend\hibernate from the power off menu button.

I can't find how to do this in Ubuntu 17.10 GNOME Shell.


Option 1

Hold "Alt" when in the menu, this will switch the power off button into suspend button.

Option 2

When in the menu, click and hold on the power off button until it turns into suspend button.

Option 3

  • Go to settings
  • Choose Power
  • At the bottom, choose for the value Suspend for the When the Power Button is pressed

Now you can just click the power button to suspend.

enter image description here

  • 13
    This is the correct answer... Also, if you click on the shutdown button, and hold the mouse button there for a few milliseconds, the shutdown button changes into a suspend (two vertical bars) button, so you don't necessarily have to press the Alt key.
    – PJ Singh
    Oct 24 '17 at 16:07
  • 13
    Anybody can explain the rational behind this odd GUI setup? If a user has to search the web to suspend his/her computer, it is definitively not user friendly. Aug 3 '18 at 2:14
  • 5
    @HansDeragon Indeed! Seems to be Gnome 3 in a nutshell... :-/
    – Cas
    Sep 27 '18 at 9:09
  • 1
    Very nice, surprisingly clean. I like it when I don't have to edit some settings or config file. The less customized my computer is, the better.
    – 6005
    Nov 27 '18 at 18:38
  • 1
    I really want to find the email thread to understand this design. Nov 19 '19 at 7:47

There isn't any, Welcome to GNOME!

But like in most of the other cases there's an extension which adds one: Suspend Button. It

Allows to modify the suspend/shutdown button in the status menu.

enter image description here
(screenshot source: extension's homepage at extensions.gnome.org)

Alternatively, if you press alt, the power button should change to the suspend ("pause" symbol) button.

  • I used to be like that but now ALT button does not do anything. After adding some features to panel this feature disappeared!
    – Greg G
    May 30 '18 at 9:26
  • even more useful (what is actually shown in the screenshot) is the Lock and Suspend extension, which also adds the Lock button. Why one would need to add an extension to have something that obvious, is something that only Gnome designers will ever know... Apr 21 '19 at 6:45
  • @Marco I don't understand completely, which extension are you talking about? Lock button is there by default, I don't think any extension is needed for that. Also strictly speaking, installing the extensions is not at all necessary, the holding <Alt> key trick (seems to be intended way, cloning a feature from Mac) as mentioned here and also many other solutions from other answers (for example this one) don't require any extensions.
    – pomsky
    Apr 22 '19 at 10:47
  • What I meant that there are actually two extensions: the one pointed at by the link (which only adds the Suspend button) and the one I mentioned (which adds both - as depicted in the screenshot). The point is moot, however, as in Ubuntu 19.04 neither works and using the Alt button (which is unintuitive and, IMHO, unnecessary, as there's plenty of room in that panel) is the only viable option. Apr 23 '19 at 18:14
  • and, ummm, "cloning a feature from Mac"? not sure what you mean: I've been using MacOS for >10 years now, I don't recall ever having to use Alt - just hit Apple menu, then you can choose Sleep/Restart.../Shut down. Maybe it was there ages ago, but someone at Apple may have correctly figured out it made no sense whatsoever, perhaps. Apr 23 '19 at 18:16

On newer GNOME versions (v3.26 or higher, so Ubuntu 17.10 and later), you can suspend from the 'Activities' overview. Simply click the "Activities" button or press Super and search for "suspend", an icon should appear:
enter image description here
Click it to suspend your system.

Note that you can also perform other actions like shutdown, logout, screen locking in the same way.


You can add a keyboard shortcut for suspend action like below:

  1. Go to settings -> keyboard
  2. Click on + sign at the bottom of page to set a custom shortcut
  3. Enter shortcut name as Sleep and command as /bin/systemctl suspend
  4. Now click on set shortcut button and set a keyboard shortcut


  • Thanks. Wouldn't have found that plus sign way down at the bottom or known what command to use without this. Feb 6 '19 at 2:14

Alternatively, you can do it in two steps:

first you lock your session with the lock icon from the "power" menu, then you reach again the same menu from the lock screen, and it proposes the suspend icon this time.

Weird and confusing...

  • 1
    Just FYI, this is no longer possible in 19.04, as the "Lock" button is gone too. I mean, I love Ubuntu, and really happy they got back to Gnome, but honestly, some design choices really leave me wondering... Apr 25 '19 at 5:39
  • Thank you Marco, I just edited my answer with that information. So yep, Ubuntu doesn't seem to get better over time, nowadays
    – Ame Nomade
    Apr 26 '19 at 11:19
  • 2
    my bad - figured out that there is a setting in "Unity Tweaks" that disables the lock screen (I cannot recally my setting this - why would I?) but disabling the button that disables it (if there's ever a weird UI setting is that one...) gives me back the "Lock" icon and I can now lock the screen. (incidentally, this is also possible via a keyboard shortcut: default is Ctrl-Alt-Home, but can be changed). Apr 28 '19 at 6:29
  • Simply long-press the 'alt' key while you are looking at the shutdown button, it will change to suspend button :)
    – HybrisHelp
    Oct 9 '19 at 5:02

Our house has 3 Ubuntu 18.04 desktop systems and while we often use suspend we rarely use power off so here is our shortcut.

# Provide desktop shortcut to suspend command. 
# A solution for Ubuntu 18.04 gnome somewhat hidden mouse nav to suspend.
# Place file in ~/Desktop/Suspend.desktop
# and chmod a+x ~/Desktop/Suspend.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/bin/systemctl suspend

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