How to Add a Shutdown (Power Off) Button to Your Desktop
This tutorial describes how to add a Shutdown button to the Mate desktop in Linux Mint 13 (and possibly earlier/later versions, but I only have 13 to test with), eliminating the necessity of clicking on the Menu button followed by Quit followed by Shutdown, thus replacing three clicks with one.
This trivial innovation caters to the lazybones in the Linux user, or perhaps that perfectionism that seeks maximum efficiency and ease of use in every element of a desktop. My personal ideal would be for the computer to become as easy to use as an appliance, albeit an intelligent appliance. Every appliance has an On/Off button, and there's no reason Linux Mint can't either, because Linux Mint is smart.
The developers have included with characteristic generosity a wonderful little utility named shutdown which is located in the /sbin directory. Setting up a Shutdown shortcut on your desktop is easy, but first you must change the security of the executable, because in a fresh install, it requires the root password to be used. Open a Terminal and enter the following command:
sudo chmod u+s /sbin/shutdown
You will be prompted for your root password. After that, you're done and can type "exit" to exit out of the Terminal.
Next, on your Desktop, right-click on empty space somewhere and choose to Create a Launcher. The type will be Application, which is the default, and for the command, enter the following:
shutdown -P now
You may name it whatever you please, although my choice is one word, a simple "Off", reflecting the universal term found on remote controls and other appliances since time began. Under comments, you may wish to note "Power down" or "Shut down" if you wish. To change the icon, click on the springboard icon (which is the default), because we can do better than that. I found an appropriate icon to suggest "Off" located right here in Linux Mint 13 Mate:
After you save this, try it out and see whether it works. Mine worked right away without a hitch. For a challenge, you might try setting up a launcher for Restart as well. I find these little icons quite convenient, especially for an HTPC scenario where the computer will only remain on for as long as an audience is watching shows. Saves me three clicks.
Created: 1 year ago.
Last edited: 1 year ago.
Reviewed: 1 year ago.
Read 0 times.
|4 months ago||
I'm running a fresh install of LMDE Mint 15. Your instructions did not work for me, but I successfully adapted them.
In addition to your "chmod" step, in the Launcher command I:
1.) ...pointed directly at the file /sbin/shutdown (it wasn't in my path).
2.) I added the "-h" flag to the command.
My command is now: /sbin/shutdown -Ph now
|8 months ago||
|KDE users when changing the icon can select Status and then looked for user-offline.|
|8 months ago||
|I couldn't find that icon, as I'm using KDE, but I did find a user-offline icon that looked a little bit better.|
|9 months ago||
Hi, this is my 1st comment. I would like to suggest some better icons for "off" and "reboot" to complete this wonderful trick. Go to
and look for gnome-shutdown.svg and gnome-session-reboot.svg
|1 year ago||
|Well, I didn't have any problem with the shutdown. This is more of a convenience, to just make one click of the mouse rather than three. I find that it saves about five seconds on average. Me Lazybones? Why yes, thank you very much.|
|1 year ago||
Sweeet! Had similar problem w/KDE/Pinguy..I, had to use terminal... "halt NOW!"
I could not even activate w/Cntrl-Alt-Del !! your Idea is better solution.. IF screen doesn't LOCK!