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Turning off the startup chime on an Apple Mac mini running GNU/Linux #apple

For quite a while I have been annoyed at the startup chime/chord that my Mac mini plays when I turn it on.

I have read several places that people running Mac OS X can solve this by either remembering to mute their machine before turning it off, or by running some of the programs that - I guess - essentially does that for them.

I run Debian GNU/Linux on my Mac, so that wasn't going to cut it for me. So I went searching, and read what felt like a boatload of pages. I was guessing that perhaps I could find some arcane OpenFirmware incantation that would put the right value in the so-called PRAM (parameter ram), to silence the chime.

After a lot of searching and reading I came upon nvsetenv, which was described as a way to manipulate OpenFirmware variables from GNU/Linux. The references to it I found mentioned RPMs called pmac-utils.

Long story slightly shorter, I noticed that there is a Debian package called powerpc-utils (which I already had installed), and a listfiles on that package revealed /sbin/nvsetvol - now, that was an interesting sounding commandname! So, after checking the manual page of nvsetvol I present the solution under GNU/Linux:

$ sudo nvsetvol 0
current volume is 4
new volume is 0
$

It is that simple. The nvsetvol binary is less than 6KB, and the job is done. Nice!

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