Gnome Alert beep not working (and I need a software system beep)

Asked by Arnaud Soyez on 2009-01-20


I need a software system (audio) beep (like when I type 'echo -e "\a"' in a terminal for example, it should make a beep sound), I thought gnome could do it because there is an option in the System/Preferences/Sound menu, but it doesn't work.

All my sound devices are working properly (I'm playing music and all that, it's fine and working).
I checked the needed checkboxes in the sound properties (see attachment).
The visual beep is working (but it's really annoying to the eye! that's why I need a software beep).
My hardware speaker is unplugged (I hate it, that's also why I need a software beep).


Question information

Have you already installed the 'beep' package...?

Please first enable the universe repository:

Open System → Administration → Software sources → [ Tab Ubuntu software ]
enable "Community Maintained open source software (universe)"
Close and confirm the repository reload.

Then open a Terminal from the menu Applications → Accessories → Terminal and type:

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install beep

give your user password when requested, you don't see nothing when you type it, then press enter.


Then to play a beep open a terminal and type:


To get beep usage, type:

man beep

Try it....

Arnaud Soyez (weboide) said : #3

My internal speaker is unplugged, so beep doesn't do anything.

Have you already tried to activate the "terminal bell" in the profile of Terminal...?
Open a terminal and open menu Edit → Profile preferences → General [tab] and check the "Terminal bell" check box...

Using the

echo -e "\a"

i can hear the beep tone coming from my internal speaker... i can't understand what you are looking for...

Hope this helps

Ok... ;-) you don't want to have the usual beep of gnome-terminal coming from internal speaker: the bee must activate the Alert Sound of gnome...

Arnaud Soyez (weboide) said : #6

Thanks for your reply but this is not what I'm looking for.

My internal speaker is unplugged and I don't wish to use it. Instead I want *Gnome* (and not my internal speaker) to make a sound when for example I type echo -e "\a".

I think it could because if you look at this window (screenshot below) it says "alert sound" and you can choose what you want, but it doesn't work!

(But note that the Terminal bell check box is checked in gnome-terminal)

Arnaud Soyez (weboide) said : #8

This was not my problem but from this I found the right bug which I linked.
This hasn't solved my problem yet but I'll keep looking and keep this question updated!
Thanks for your help!

Arnaud Soyez (weboide) said : #10

Thanks marcobra, that solved my question.