How do I Soft Shutdown Headless Ubuntu NUC?

I sense the answer to this is pretty simple but I am new to a lot of this and would love some help.
I have recently set up a NUC10i5FNKN (8gb RAM) with ROON Server on Ubuntu 20.4 LTS. It is not connected to a screen.
Everything works well apart from the occasional (and extremely annoying) dropouts which I will examine closer at a later time. I am loving ROON and what is provides in terms of it’s whole ecosphere and the ability to play music throughout the house.

I want to be able to shut down the NUC by pushing the on/off button. I can do a hard shut down by holding the on/off button for a longer time but am concerned this might cause some damage.
When I have attached the NUC to a screen and pushed the on/off button, it shuts down perfectly. When it is not connected to a screen, it won’t shut down. I have tried leaving the HDMI cable in the NUC and disconnected from the screen but it still fails to shut down.

How can I shut down the NUC without having it connected to a screen and without performing a hard shut down?

Thanks in advance,


Hi John, welcome on the forum!

If you have another computer, be it a Mac o a Windows PC, you can open a remote terminal session on your headless Ubuntu NUC and from there shut it down. On Mac use the Terminal App, on Windows PuTTY.

To connect to your Ubuntu NUC, use ssh with the user name and the IP of the NUC:

ssh user@a.b.c.d

Once connected, use the following command to shut down the Ubuntu OS:

sudo shutdown -h now
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Thanks Andreas,
I saw something similar when searching Roon community earlier. I was really hoping to keep it as simple as pushing a button (without connection to a screen). I have a feeling that may not be as simple as I think it should be and will keep your solution tucked up my sleeve.



A HDMI dummy plug was the answer for some a while back. They are cheap so easy to try.

Thanks Henry.
I’ll give it a go.

If you dont need anything else running other than Roon Server why dont you try ROCK?

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Interesting. I’ve not experienced this issue with Roon OS.

I got the NUC10 because my understanding was I could still change the BIOS to Legacy and install ROCK. I’m not sure what’s going on…perhaps the later versions of NUC10 have the NUC11 BIOS …but, after following every instruction I could find, I was unable to get the NUC to run Legacy and had to install ROON on top of Ubuntu. I’m hoping ROON will find the solution to the UEFI issue.
Although it’s way out of my pay grade, I’m wondering if UEFI has something to do with this issue as not many people have brought it up.

Ah…maybe try another distro or windows perhaps if the hdmi dummy plug doesn’t work

Thanks again. I’ll find a dummy plug and give it a go. I was hoping someone might know of a way to change something within Ubuntu but I guess not. I’ll try another distro if the dummy plug doesn’t work as I really don’t like hard shut downs. Cheers.

I did not try but google found this

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Thanks for the suggestion. I gave it a go without luck. Also noticed a comment saying ‘doesn’t work at Ubuntu 20 when upgrated from 18’ so I haven’t taken it any further. I have posted on Ubuntu Forums but haven’t had any responses so far. Looks like the dummy plug may be the only way.

Thanks everyone. Thanks Henry. The dummy plug was cheap and easy and resolved the issue. I couldn’t find a software way to resolve it - even through Ubuntu Forums.


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