A quick script that plays a song after a chosen interval (I like that better than a set time).


key=' '; song="/path/to/music/file.mp3"; 

if [ ! -z "$1" ]; then echo -n "confirm: $1 hrs until wakeup (press enter)"; read; h=$1; else h='8'; fi
wt=$(date -d "today + $h hours + 5 minutes" +'%H:%M'); echo -n "alarm will sound at $wt"; 
for i in 1 2 3 4 5; do sleep 1; echo -n ". "; done; sleep "$h"h 15m 

{ amixer set Speaker unmute; amixer set Master unmute; amixer set Master 100%; amixer set Speaker 100%; } &> /dev/null

echo; date; { mplayer -loop 0 $song & } &> /dev/null; pid=$!
while IFS="" read -n1 char ; do
 if [ "$char" = "$key" ] ; then kill "$pid"; echo -e "\n"; break; fi

This should cover the basic sanity checks - ensure the volume is up and unmuted, make the wakeup time obvious, give a few extra minutes of margin, and be super simple to use when tired.

Save the preceeding code into a file called ‘wakeup’ (I don’t use file extension). Let’s pretend you save the file into your Documents folder. Use the following line of code to install it. (Also: choose a music file and put the location instead of the dummy location I’ve got at the top of the script)

sudo cp /home/`whoami`/Documents/wakeup /usr/local/bin/wakeup; sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/wakeup

Now that’s done, you can open a new terminal instance and type


and the computer will wake you up after the default time period with whatever song you chose. Here’s a good one, by the way. You’ll see what I mean.


First, the super simple method:


That uses the default 8 hours + 5 minutes. If you want more or less, then give the number of hours with the command. It will ask for confirmation.

wakeup 5

It will ask if you’re sure.

To stop the alarm (which, by the way, is set to repeat ad nauseum), press the space bar while the terminal running the alarm is focused.


  • https://askubuntu.com/questions/164289/how-to-play-a-song-on-mplayer-on-repeat
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/29343245/execute-a-command-in-a-script-and-kill-it-when-pressing-a-key
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/28800740/how-to-read-a-space-in-bash-read-will-not