A Trick to Speed Up Ubuntu’s (12.10) Shutdown Process

When compared with the excellent and robust Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release (at least in my experience), though the current 12.10 version brought few new features, it does not seem robust at all, as I’m having some serious issues with Compiz (which has never been the case for me as my Intel HD 3000 GPU worked really well with it).

Anyway, that is a hardware related issue, and perhaps the next one too might be as such. That is, despite Ubuntu 12.10 booting as fast as the 12.04 did, and I don’t know how it is in your computer, but I do notice a slight slowdown (4-6 seconds) when it is shutting down.

By default, there is very little that one can do to track down shutting down related issues as Ubuntu displays an image (logo), rather than showing-up the ‘old-school’ text output (which includes: listing programs that are shutting down, errors etc).


Nevertheless, you can always bypass it (while booting and shutting down) by simply pressing the ‘ESC’ key. So I did that, and saw that a program called ‘modem-manager’ is taking few seconds to terminate. Now ‘modem-manager’, is sort of an extension, that mainly brings few hardware related patches (only supports mobile broadband modems) to the existing Network (Gnome) manager in Ubuntu.

I do not have a mobile broadband modem, plus, even if I had one, the default network manager should be able to handle it, so I just went ahead and removed it (yikes! :D). Then I rebooted, hoping that it would fix the issue, sadly though, it did not work.

Next time, after a wild guess, just before shutting down, while I was still logged on to the desktop, I manually terminated the network-manager service. Then I hit the shutdown button, and this time, Ubuntu 12.10 shutdown like a champ ;-).

I was able to reduce 3-5 seconds, which it might not sound like much, but when considering the fact that usually Ubuntu shutdown within like 4-5 seconds (12.04 for example) in my notebook, ‘thanks’ to this network-manager issue in 12.10, now it was taking like 7-9 seconds, so after the ‘manual fix’, I was able to achieve the same shutdown speed the notebook had before.

But, terminating the network-manager manually was a temporary fix (of course). So I looked for a permanent solution.

Ubuntu uses a core software utility called ‘upstart‘, for executing and terminating certain OS services, including the ‘network-manager’. And ‘upstart’ mainly stores the configuration files of those system services it manages, in ‘/etc/init’. So I opened that folder, and had a look at the ‘network-manager.conf’ file.

Now, by default, ‘upstart’ waits for about ‘5’ seconds, till a process terminates, before taking any ‘manual action’. So all I did was nothing but add simple command (built-in one of ‘upstart), and reduced that ‘waiting seconds’ to ‘1’ for ‘network-manager’. And it did the trick.

I do not know, if this will help you, if you are too experiencing a slowed down shutting down times in Ubuntu 12.10. But, if it is because of the ‘network-manager’, then this should help.

For fixing that (hopefully), please follow the below steps.

Step 1:

Open your Terminal window and enter the below command.

gksudo gedit /etc/init/network-manager.conf

Once the configuration file is opened, copy and paste the below code, below the existing ‘stop on stopping dbus’, as shown in the below screenshot.

kill timeout 1


Then, save your changes, and close the configuration file.

Step 2:

I do not think the below step is necessary, but you can do the same to the ‘modem-manager’, just in case. For that, enter the below command.

gksudo gedit /etc/init/modemmanager.conf

Then look for the existing ‘stop on stopped network-manage’ text line, and simply paste the below code just below it.

kill timeout 1


Now, save your changes and close the configuration file. That’s it!.



I actually had to completely get rid of ‘modem-manager’, and finally, it has fixed all of my issues. So, if the above steps haven’t helped you as well, then try the following.

First use the below command.

sudo apt-get autoremove modemmanager

Then the below one (don’t worry if you get an error saying ‘No Such File or directory’).

sudo rm /etc/init/modemmanager.conf

If you run into problems after that (say your mobile broadband modem stopped working), then you can re-install it using the below command.

sudo apt-get install modemmanager


Now try shutting down the computer , and if it was any of those services that were causing the slowdown, then hopefully, it will be fixed. Good luck.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

17 thoughts on “A Trick to Speed Up Ubuntu’s (12.10) Shutdown Process”

  1. Hi Gayan,
    thanks a lot for your tip! Helped me with my X230, taking FOREVER to shut down (30+ seconds), now, after uninstall of the modem-manager it shuts down in < 5. Never will use that anyway.

  2. Comment out this line works too in /etc/init/modemmanager.conf :

    #start on starting network-manager
    stop on stopped network-manager

    without having to remove modemmanager daemon.

  3. if you remove the ‘quiet’ from the boot string in grub, then you don’t get the pretty, but useless page covering up all the startup and shutdown info.

    • Thanks Michael. Most users wouldn’t like it, that why I didn’t include it, but the experienced geeks would love it I’m sure :).

  4. Yeah. I have the same problem with shutdown in 13.04 (as well as 12.10 before). Same as you, when I disconnected my networks manually it takes 2-3 seconds to shut down, while with network connected it takes 12-13 seconds – it’s painful.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Great!

  5. Well, I’m here again to share my experience.
    For me with Ubuntu 13.04 nothing changed. Adding kill tiomeout of course change the expression “within 1 minute” to “within 2 minutes”, but it took the same 12-13 seconds as I mentioned before.
    Unistalling modem manager didn’t help as well, and I guess the problem is in network manager itself because of remote login. Because I’ve faced this problem since 12.10 in which remote login was added – I’ve had all 11.04, 11.10, 12.04 and never such problem occured.

    • Hi Ali,

      I’m sorry to hear that :/.

      I’m just asking, after uninstalling ‘modem-manager’, have you also tried removing its configuration file ? (as pointed out in the article), using the below command …

      sudo rm /etc/init/modemmanager.conf


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