I am using GNOME 3.18.1 on Arch Linux 4.2.5-1-ARCH x86_64 on a Dell E6530 laptop. Since I installed this OS years ago, the power button on my laptop has always led my OS to completely power down.

However, in the last few weeks this behaviour has changed, so that pressing the power button now puts my laptop into energy savings mode. I did not change my power settings. I always keep my system up to date using pacman -Syyu, however, so I suspect that an update changed this functionality.

In the power settings there is no option for this.

How can I restore the initial behaviour, so that pressing that button powers the system off?

  • 2
    @Konrad As a second step, you may want to verify that indeed Gnome is the culprit. That is an assumption. If you try changing shells, you might learn something. Can you also list what steps you did take to debug this issue. – Sarah Weinberger Nov 10 '15 at 16:22
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    What changed? Did you upgrade something? What operating system (including versions) are you running? On what hardware? What were you running when it worked? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 10 '15 at 23:54
  • Sorry for the missing information, I updated my post. – Konrad Höffner Nov 11 '15 at 16:43

That's caused by the latest gnome-settings-daemon updates...
There is no such option in power settings because it was removed by the GNOME devs (the shutdown/power off action is considered "too destructive").
Bottom line: you can no longer power off your laptop by pressing the power off button.

You could however add a new dconf/gsettings option (i.e.shutdown) to the settings daemon power plugin if you're willing to patch and rebuild gnome-settings-daemon:

--- gnome-settings-daemon-3.18.2/data/gsd-enums.h   2015-11-10 09:07:12.000000000 -0500
+++ gnome-settings-daemon-3.18.2/data/gsd-enums.h   2015-11-11 18:43:43.240794875 -0500
@@ -114,7 +114,8 @@
 } GsdPowerButtonActionType;

 typedef enum
--- gnome-settings-daemon-3.18.2/plugins/media-keys/gsd-media-keys-manager.c    2015-11-10 09:07:12.000000000 -0500
+++ gnome-settings-daemon-3.18.2/plugins/media-keys/gsd-media-keys-manager.c    2015-11-11 18:47:52.388602012 -0500
@@ -1849,6 +1849,9 @@

         action_type = g_settings_get_enum (manager->priv->power_settings, "power-button-action");
         switch (action_type) {
+                do_config_power_action (manager, GSD_POWER_ACTION_SHUTDOWN, in_lock_screen);
+                break;
                 do_config_power_action (manager, GSD_POWER_ACTION_SUSPEND, in_lock_screen);

Once you install the patched version, a new shutdown option will be available in dconf-editor under org > gnome > settings-daemon > plugins > power > power-button-action:

enter image description here

so select that to shutdown via power button or, if you prefer CLI, run in terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power power-button-action shutdown

Sure, for the above to work you also need the right settings in /etc/systemd/logind.conf:


Keep in mind that pressing the power button will shutdown your system without any warning.

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    That is very disappointing, I always thought Linux is the OS where the user decides what he wants even if it is dangerous. But thank you very much for finding this out, at least I don't waste my time in the search of a nonexisting fix then. – Konrad Höffner Nov 12 '15 at 18:13
  • Thank you very much for the detailed solution. Despite having gnome-settings-daemon 3.18.2-1, my installation has different files, however: gsd-enums.h is in the folder /usr/include/gnome-settings-daemon-3.0/gnome-settings-daemon/ and gsd-media-keys-manager.c does not exist at all. – Konrad Höffner Dec 3 '15 at 9:51
  • Dev has reversed his decision and restored the interactive option in gnome-settings-daemon 3.20. (I think. I haven't updated to that version yet.) – idbrii Sep 20 '16 at 16:07
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    @idbrii - well, I have some bad news for you: I'm on 3.22 and there's no shutdown option. – don_crissti Sep 20 '16 at 16:34
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    quote: ............. it was removed by the GNOME devs (the shutdown/power off action is considered "too destructive"). ........ STOP dumbing down Linux!!!! We are not idiots that can't find our own arse with both hands and a flashlight like most users from other more popular OSes. Stop ruining Linux for use professionals that want freedom and power! I really hate Gnome for that and won't use it. Why is Stackexchange too dumb to allow quotes and new line sin these comments?????? – Markus Bawidamann Nov 1 at 4:59

As @don_crissti explained, the situation is silly because it really isn't possible to just shutdown without confirmation using the normal settings.

However, there's a workaround: if the chassis type of the machine is set to "vm" (virtual machine), the old immediate shutdown behavior will take over any settings. Simply enter as root:

hostnamectl set-chassis vm

and reboot once. I don't know of any side effects of this settings.

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    I've followed this power-button issue for a long time link Our application has a keyboardless / mouseless configuration "view only" mode that needs to be turned off by non-technical staff every night. When the ability to shut down with power button was lost, they would need to just pull the plug. This solution works great for us and is by far the easiest approach for us. – MikeV Apr 16 '18 at 22:44
  • This didn't work for me, I am not sure why. The /etc/acpi/events/power solution did though, perfectly. – tbeauvais Jun 5 at 9:57
  • Great workaround, thx! Tested with 20.04. Note I needed this when no one is logged in. When someone is logged in the other, gsettings solution is enough. – MarcH Jun 20 at 18:23
  • Side effect: airplane mode will not work (it'll be ignored). I tried to create a pull request to allow an embedded chassis type to power off immediately (like vm), but it was not accepted. – Rael Gugelmin Cunha Oct 20 at 16:04

In Ubuntu 18.04 or any similar Linux variants with acpi (if not you can probably install), make a file called /etc/acpi/events/power with

sudo nano /etc/acpi/events/power

and put


inside the file, close it, then

sudo service acpid restart

This is probably the simplest solution that definitely works.

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    This solutions works great in my situation : ubuntu server 18.04 with gnome-desktop installed and in headless mode (not necessary when a display is connected). Thanks ! – M-Jack Jan 25 '19 at 9:36
  • After trying so many "solutions" that either didn't work or only worked once, this finally is an actual solution! Why would the way of solving something like this even involve fiddling with gimmicky desktop environment settings? – UTF-8 Nov 23 at 13:29

As an alternative, you can open up the keyboard settings window and assign a custom keyboard shortcut to the command gnome-session-quit --power-off, which will bring up the shutdown menu. I have it set to trigger by Super+q.

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As a first step, you should make sure that Settings | Power (assuming Gnome v3) "Suspend & Power Off" / "Automatic Suspend" is set to off. Basically, disable GNOME power setting features and just let the system take over.

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The custom keyboard shortcut works, I set it to gnome-session-quit --power-off --force by pressing only the power button, which is all that I wanted.

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    Really? For me this does not work. The button still behaves according to power-button-action option. I can set Ctrl+PowerOff as the shortcut key however. – Alexey Aug 25 '16 at 23:55
  • Same problem for me. @Alexey – Konrad Höffner Sep 19 '16 at 9:32

I found another option to accomplish this on Debian Stretch. I installed the package acpi-support-base and edited the file /etc/acpi/powerbtn-acpi-support.sh adding the following lines following the header comment and before any code.

## Bypass logic to force shutdown on power button
/sbin/shutdown -h -P now "Power button pressed"
exit 0

This is a bit of a blunt instrument but works for me on a desktop and should work on a laptop. It also bypasses the Gnome3 settings but is easier than patching Gnome and recompiling.

According to the Arch Wiki page on acpid this can probably be implemented by modifying /etc/acpi/handler.sh on Arch.

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I worked around this problem on a server of mine by monitoring the log output of systemd-logind basically refining the solutions presented in other answers.

This workaround requires two files. The script that triggers the actual shutdown event

$ cat /usr/local/bin/shutdown_button_monitor.sh

# ansible managed

# systemd-logind prints a line of the form 
# Dez 21 11:12:10 box03.yeepa.de systemd-logind[748]: Power key pressed.
# on key press, but doesn't handle the button because gnome3 blocks systemd from doing so.
# See `systemd-inhibit` for that.

# first sleep a minute so we have chance to disable this scritp if it runs amok
sleep 1m

# so we workaround gnome a bit here.
journalctl -u systemd-logind --follow --lines=0 | \
while read line ; do
    if echo "$line" | grep --quiet 'Power key pressed'
        systemctl poweroff

and the service file that starts / restarts it

$ cat /etc/systemd/system/shutdown_button_monitor.service
# ansible managed

Description=Power off the machine if the power button is pressed
# Workaround for gnomes block of the shutdown button
# https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/242129/gnome-3-how-to-set-power-button-to-shutdown-instead-of-suspend#242452
# Monitor these blocks yourself with `systemd-inhibit`


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