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I found a way to enable the terminal beep:

pactl upload-sample /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts/glass.ogg bell.ogg

But this gets lost after a reboot. How can I execute this command automaticaly, everytime I start the desktop?

Ubuntu: 11.10 with unity.

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I also needed to run: pactl load-module module-x11-bell display=:0.0 sample=bell.ogg to make this work – Udi Jul 25 '12 at 5:03
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you want to enable it for your user account every time you log in, you can add the line in the Startup Applications.

click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen, in Startup Applications you can add a command to run every time you log in.

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No Terminal Bell

From: Fix missing keyboard bell in terminal on Ubuntu

"To fix this problem persistently:

Run gconf-editor and if the desktop | gnome | peripherals | keyboard | bell_mode setting is present then change it from off to on

Add pactl upload-sample /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts/glass.ogg bell.ogg to the file ~/.xprofile

Add [ "$DISPLAY" ] && xset b 100 to the file ~/.bashrc The simplest way to activate this solution is to reboot.

Adjust the Volume of the Terminal Bell

From: Pulseaudio - X11 Bell Events - ArchWiki

I found that Pulse Audio had no volume control for the terminal bell.

To adjust the volume of the X11 bell, run the following command:

xset b 100

Where 100 in the command is a percentage. So to set 50% volume you would run xset b 50 This requires the xorg-xset package.

I changed the line in ~/.bashrc to:

[ "$DISPLAY" ] && xset b 50

to bring the volume to a "normal" level but allowing me to raise it for special alerts after a command ends.

To implement this solution immediately for a terminal window that is already open, run the pactl command and run the xset command in the terminal window in question."

pactl upload-sample /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts/glass.ogg bell.ogg
xset b 100

Changing the bell sound

I did not like the glass.ogg file that they used so I created a new sound file using sox:

sox -n bell.ogg synth 0.1 sine 300-3000 vol 0.005

in my home directory. I then changed the command in ~/.xprofile to:

pactl upload-sample ~/bell.ogg bell.ogg

to change the sound go to the home directory and run a sox command (like the one above) to create a new bell.ogg file. Then in the terminal to use the new sound run the:

pactl upload-sample ~/bell.ogg bell.ogg


Alias beep and beep-vol

I also created two aliases (both in bash and fish) beep and beep-vol.

beep can be used in scripts or to alert you when a task is finished

beep-vol can be used to set the terminal bell volume on the command line without remembering the xset b command. Just type beep-vol 50 to set the volume to 50%.


You can add these to your ~/.bashrc or if you have a working ~/.bash_aliases file you can add them there.

alias beep="echo -ne '\007'"
alias beep-vol="xset b $1"


You can save these as files in your ~/.config/fish/functions/ folder:


function beep
        echo -ne '\007';


function beep-vol
        xset b $argv;
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