For years, nay, decades (literally – two!), I have visual bell enabled in my terminals whenever possible, be it a humble XTerm or Gnome Terminal. Recently, after I switched from Unity to Gnome 3, I had an audible bell (over stereo speakers) in Gnome Terminal.

My searches up to now always seem to lead into the wrong direction: How to enable the audible bell or how to disable the whole thing completely. That’s not my intention. When at the prompt, when I press backspace too often or just before auto-completion, I want the terminal window to flicker, and I do not want to hear anything. Where is this setting hidden?

2 Answers 2


Disable audible bell and enable visual bell with:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences audible-bell false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences visual-bell true

and change the type of the visual bell if you don't need the fullscreen flash:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences visual-bell-type frame-flash

Options for visual-bell-type:

  • fullscreen-flash – causes a fullscreen white-black flash
  • frame-flash – causes the titlebar of the application which sent the bell signal to flash
  • 2
    is this going to work on XFCE terminals? Cause it tried and and it did not work. Jul 31, 2016 at 8:35
  • 3
    This didn't work for me either.
    – slm
    Jul 23, 2018 at 4:55
  • If you use Vim note that it has its own bell setting. See :help visualbell. To enable Vim's visual feature, do: :set visualbell. Aug 7, 2019 at 11:11
  • The above settings are visible in the GUI, under Settings / Universal Access / Visual Alerts. Oct 16, 2019 at 20:27
  • For me, frame-flash flashes the whole window content black, not the title bar. Oct 16, 2019 at 20:28

Go to Preferences, Profiles, click on the active profile, click the Text tab, and uncheck "Terminal bell"

  • The GUI is misleading if you have the default profile which is called "unnamed". You must not click on "Profile" You must look under it and click on "unnamed". Please include this in your answer. Aug 7, 2023 at 21:44

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