Ubuntu Beep Audible Bell Ping Fix

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Audible bell enable

In 13.04, 12.10 (and previous versions - old bug!) pulseaudio has support to intercept the 'audible bell' with the module 'module-x11-bell', however it points to a sample 'bell.ogg' which isn't loaded so it doesn't work.

Module #21
	Name: module-x11-bell
	Argument: display=:0 sample=bell.ogg
	Usage counter: n/a
		module.author = "Lennart Poettering"
		module.description = "X11 bell interceptor"
		module.version = "2.1"

To fix this you need to load the sample, below loads the sound 'glass.org' and names it 'bell.org' in pulseaudio's sample cache, as this name is used above. To make this work every time you log in add it to you .xprofile file in your home folder root.

nano -w ~/.xprofile

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

Either log out/in to trigger above or just run the pactl command o nthe command line.

This should now make the bell work, try this;

ping -a
echo -e '\a'
printf '\a'

You should here a nice ting!

To increase the volume, check first what it is at, in 12.10 it seems to be at 50% by default which is ok for me.

xset q | grep bell

 bell percent:  50    bell pitch:  400    bell duration:  100

I think on older versions it was set to 0.

  • Note, you cannot set it in .xprofile as it gets reset later on.

Set to 100%

xset b 100

One way to overcome this is to add it to the end of ~/.bashrc so it sets each time you open a terminal window. (Didn't look into it any further as happy with it at 50)

System (mother)board speaker beep enable

Related to the beep from motherboard speaker /speaker header.

To re-enable, unblacklist pcspkr module loading, by prepending a # in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

#blacklist pcspkr

sudo nano -w /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf