Loud startup noise during boot

Bug #45739 reported by Michiel Sikma
32
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
alsa-utils (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Here's a request rather than a bug:

Yesterday evening, I downloaded the Ubuntu Dapper Flight 7 CD and decided to try it out. It was pretty late, and everybody else in my house had already gone to bed. I'm on a laptop with no real way to change the volume of its speakers, which can be pretty loud at the highest setting.

When I started the system, I noticed that the startup sound was coming up. Since the system was just starting, there was of course no way for me to turn down the volume, and if it hadn't been for me hastily plugging in earphones into my laptop, I would have woken everybody up for sure. Even with earplugs connected to my laptop, the sound was pretty loud and could clearly be heard without wearing them.

My request is that such computers are "protected" a little better from the first boot by putting the volume level at 50% or even 40% by default rather than the full 100%. This wouldn't be much of a bother to computers with speakers that can be turned down, but would probably mean much to laptop users (or other types of computers with built-in speakers).

Revision history for this message
Dean Sas (dsas) wrote :

You could always use any hotkeys you may have on your laptop as the logon screen appears.

Revision history for this message
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

reassigning to alsa

Revision history for this message
Michiel Sikma (msikma) wrote :

The hotkeys on the laptop don't work during boot. The computer is too busy to respond to them.

Revision history for this message
Sebastian Breier (tomcat42) wrote :

I'm seconding this request. The volume on the edgy knot-3 LiveCD and (later) installed version is on 100%, and I just find it highly annoying, though it could even be hurtful to people with sensitive hearing or might damage the speakers.

The Gnome startup is so fast these days that I can press the volume hotkeys really quickly, but you still hear at least a third of the startup sound at maximum volume till the laptop reacts. It should be 40% or 50%, as michiel said.

Changed in alsa-lib:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
CharlesJenkins (cjenkins) wrote :

I would like to second (third?) this one, too. I downloaded Ubuntu for use as an "Internet Freedom Disk" for secure browsing at work; my company has outsourced our payroll and now you have to login to your retirement account in order to see your pay stub--but the company does not provide even one single secure workstation to use for the purpose.

unfortunately, I will not be able to use this version of Ubuntu for my Internet Freedom Disk, because the startup sound BLARES OUT and disturbs everyone in my office.

Because the user will often have no way to control the volume at start up, you should really avoid using any startup sound.

Please notify me if in future Ubuntu Live CD's are available with no startup sound.

Revision history for this message
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

From a fresh boot of 7.04 Herd-2, please confirm and attach the output from ``amixer''.

Changed in alsa-utils:
status: Confirmed → Needs Info
Revision history for this message
Sebastian Breier (tomcat42) wrote :

Still too loud. It's 80% now, no idea if that's changed. It should be lower than 50% imho.

Changed in alsa-utils:
status: Needs Info → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Sebastian Breier (tomcat42) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Tommi Asiala (tommi-asiala) wrote :

Lowering the volume isn't the right answer for this bug since for example the live / installer dvd could be used in places where silence is wanted. I don't have any hot keys on my laptop to control volume and even if I did, I would still need to know and remember that there will be a sound so I could react on it.

I am suggesting that either booting and login have no sounds as default or that there should be an option in the media boot menu which mutes sounds. I think latter option is better.

Revision history for this message
Michiel Sikma (msikma) wrote :

I actually do agree with Tommi Asiala. Lowering the volume is one thing, but I personally would rather actually not have a startup sound at all. Startup sounds are /so/ 1984. :)

But that's something marketing-related, I'll discuss this with the Ubuntu art team later to see if we should open up a bug report considering this.

Revision history for this message
Wavell (watson) wrote :

Can we just have a boot parameter option for this? nosound? I believe other versions of linux have it.

Revision history for this message
CharlesJenkins (cjenkins) wrote : Re: [Bug 45739] Re: Loud startup noise during boot

The nosound parameter is a good suggestion, and it would be a fix for
the users who install Ubuntu.

However, the problem comes in with the bootabled CD ("LiveCD") version
of Ubuntu--which most users cannot change. The bootable CD image has the
loud startup sound enabled. Instead of forcing users to remember to boot
a special way in order to avoid the sound, the sound should be disabled
by default.

Wavell wrote:
> Can we just have a boot parameter option for this? nosound? I believe
> other versions of linux have it.
>
>

Revision history for this message
Karl Ostmo (kostmo) wrote :

Would it be possible to postpone playing the startup sound until "gnome-volume-manager" is verified to be loaded and running? Sometimes I get stung by the startup sound when I take my laptop to a quiet environment. I have hotkeys on my laptop that can mute and change volume, but they don't work until the volume applet has loaded. It would be nice to be able to hit the mute button upon hearing the loud startup sound and have it respond immediately. Often, though, the sound has already completed by the time the volume applet responds.

Revision history for this message
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

There is ongoing work in upstream git to hint udev with correct mixer levels. In the future, this work will replace the existing hackish initscript functions to set various mixer element levels to a fairly arbitrary 80% (since 80% really means nothing uniform).

Revision history for this message
phenest (steve-clark) wrote :

I think the fix needs to be a simple one: don't disable the sound or try to correct mixer levels, but simply set the sound to mute (0%). I've always customized the Live CD to have a lower level, or muted.

Revision history for this message
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Thu, 26 Mar 2009, phenest wrote:

> I think the fix needs to be a simple one: don't disable the sound or try
> to correct mixer levels, but simply set the sound to mute (0%). I've
> always customized the Live CD to have a lower level, or muted.

This approach is problematic for hard-of-hearing users (and others
concerned with a11y).
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=tqs+
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Revision history for this message
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

due to the intractable nature of the two primary use cases

Changed in alsa-utils (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Revision history for this message
Hernando Torque (htorque) wrote :

Sorry for digging out this report, but why not simply add an additional 'noaudio' option to the F6 menu? It's Sunday and I think I've just woken up the whole neighborhood. ;-)

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