Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When using Ubuntu 12.04 i've aquired the need to use the system Alert Sounds.

I've been trying to make my SSH Shell play Alert Beeps ( "\a" ) back to me, but to no avail, I finally figured out that it's not the ssh session itself, but the Alert Sounds altogether.

I've tried almost all the solutions out there, these have no result

Ubuntu Tweaks
echo -e "\a"
Turning up the volume in System Settings -> Sounds -> Sound Effects
/usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login"
Changing the default Alert Sounds set to Ubuntu
Copying files in /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo to /usr/share/sounds

What i have noticed

/usr/bin/canberra-gtk-play --id="desktop-login" --description="GNOME Login"

returns "Option parsing failed: Cannot open display:"


returns ":0"

Going into System Settings -> Sounds -> Sound Effects and clicking on a sound makes it play, but when actually asking for the alert sound it wont play

The sounds wont play in "Guest" or other users either.

I'm using Gnome-Classic from package Gnome-Shell, but it also does not work in the default unity shell

Everything I have tried to get it to work returns no sounds whatsoever

Can anyone help me out with this one? I'm completely lost as to what else to try

share|improve this question
I think you're looking for a system alert sound. Have you tried this? askubuntu.com/questions/86502/re-enable-popping-sounds –  medigeek Jul 4 '12 at 10:50
Or answers from this question? superuser.com/questions/47564/… Looks like pcskpr module is required –  medigeek Jul 4 '12 at 10:58
@medigeek That's exactly what i'm looking for, they're the "Alert Sounds" but they dont work at all. and i have indeed tried that. and the superuser link is NOT what i want, i want the local Alert Sounds to play, as i said, echo -e "\a" locally does not play –  KsaRedFx Jul 4 '12 at 20:05
Hey, here's another one unix.stackexchange.com/a/1979/16013 -- According to this answer "this may not work when logged in remotely via SSH" (or this answer for the "theory" unix.stackexchange.com/a/1980/16013 ) –  medigeek Jul 4 '12 at 20:44
Maybe you should try other terminals? Like xterm? –  medigeek Jul 4 '12 at 20:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.