There are tons of ways you can schedule your computer to shut down. In Ubuntu, you can use Gnome Schedule, one of our favorite scheduling tool for Linux or you can simply type the “
shutdown” command in the terminal to shut down the machine at a later time. If however, you prefer a simpler way to schedule your Ubuntu shutdown, you should check out EasyShutdown, or ComplexShutdown (if you require more configuration options).
Both EasyShutdown and ComplexShutdown are simple Python scripts with a graphical frontend that allow you to schedule your computer to shut down at a specified time. Both apps are from the same developer and have not been updated for the past 2 years, but at the time of this article, they still work in Ubuntu 13.04, and probably any other Ubuntu-based distro as well.
There is no PPA for EasyShutdown, but you can download the deb file from its launchpad site. After the installation, you can run the application from the Applications menu. All you can see is only a single stripe with three fields and a Play button.
All you have to do is to enter the time from now (in hours, minutes and seconds) that you want the PC to shutdown and click the “Play” button, and it will do the job silently in the background. So if you want your computer to shutdown 2 hours 30 minutes 25 seconds later, just enter 2, 30 and 25 into the fields. As easy as that.
The good thing is that the timer can be stopped and resumed at any time. It will also show a notification 1 minute before the countdown reaches zero. This will give you enough time to save your files and close the application.
Note that there is no system tray or background daemon for this app, so you have to keep the app running for it to work.
For ComplexShutdown, it is not complex at all. It just gives you more configuration options. Instead of a single countdown stripe, you will see a main window with options to schedule task.
Other than the “Shutdown” option, you can get the system to “Log off”, “Restart”, “Standby”, “Hibernate”, or if you are proficient enough, get it to run a custom command/script.
You can also schedule it to run the action after a specific time, or when the system is idle for a specific time. There is also a calendar where you can pick the specified day and time to shut down your machine.
The only thing that is lacking in this app is that you can only run one task at a time. You won’t be able to schedule many instances, each with different action.
As for the Settings, you can get it to lock screen after standby, set the time for the notification bubble to appear before the countdown is due.
While there are many ways to schedule Ubuntu shutdown, I like the simplicity of EasyShutdown and how it works. It is lightweight and doesn’t add clutter to your screen. Best of all, it just works. ComplexShutdown comes with more options, and it can be useful if you need more actions than just “shut down”. However, there are other scheduling tools that are more powerful and can do a better job than ComplexShutdown. Unless it can add more features and make it more “complicated”, it won’t be as useful as it should be.
Is EasyShutdown easy enough for you? Let us know in the comments.