PC speaker

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(Redirected from Disable PC speaker beep)

The computer often seems to make beep noises or other sounds at various times, whether we want them or not. They come from various sources, and as such, you may be able to configure if or when they occur. For situations where no sound card or speakers are available and a simple audio notification is desired, see #Beep.

Sounds from the computer can be heard from the built-in case speaker, the speakers, or headphones which are plugged into the soundcard (in which case the noise may be unexpectedly loud).

Note: The sounds are caused by the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), the OS (Operating System), the DE (Desktop Environment), or various software programs. The BIOS is a particularly troublesome problem because it is kept inside an EPROM chip on the motherboard, and the only direct control the user has is by turning the power on or off. Unless the BIOS setup has a setting you can adjust or you wish to attempt to reprogram that chip with the proper light source, it is not likely you will be able to change it at all. BIOS-generated beep sounds are not addressed here, except to say that unplugging your computer case speaker will stop all such sounds from being heard. (Do so at your own risk.)

Disable PC Speaker

Turning off a particular instance of a sound, while leaving the others operational, is possible if and only if one can identify which portion of the environment generates the particular sound. This allows customizing the selection of sounds. Please feel free to add any configurations and settings to this wiki page that may be useful for other users.


The PC speaker can be disabled by unloading the pcspkr kernel module:

# rmmod pcspkr

Blacklisting the pcspkr module will prevent udev from loading it at boot. Create the file:

blacklist pcspkr

Blacklisting it on the kernel command line is yet another way. Simply add modprobe.blacklist=pcspkr to your bootloader's kernel line.


You can add this command in /etc/profile or a dedicated file like /etc/profile.d/disable-beep.sh:

setterm -blength 0

Another way is to uncomment or add this line in /etc/inputrc or ~/.inputrc:

set bell-style none

Less pager

To disable PC speaker in less pager, you can launch it with less -q to mute PC speaker for end of line events or less -Q to mute it altogether. For man pages, launch man -P "less -Q" or set the $MANPAGER or $PAGER environment variables.

Alternatively, you can add these lines to your ~/.bashrc:

alias less='less -Q'
alias man='man -P "less -Q"'


$ xset -b

You can add this command to a startup file such as /etc/xprofile to make it permanent. See xprofile for more information.


For most sound cards the PC speaker is listed as an ALSA channel, named either PC Speaker, PC Beep, or Beep. To mute the speaker, either use alsamixer or amixer , for example:

$ amixer set 'PC Speaker' 0% mute

To unmute the channel, see Advanced Linux Sound Architecture#Unmuting the channels.

Tip: If you are using PulseAudio and the PC speaker channel is not listed for the default ALSA device, try selecting the device corresponding to the sound card - PulseAudio proxy controls may not list the PC speaker.


Using GSettings:

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

KDE Plasma

Bell notification settings can be modified in "System Settings"->"Accessibility Options"->"Bell".


Cinnamon seems to play a "water drop" sound. To disable it, set in gsettings(1):

$ gsettings set org.cinnamon.desktop.wm.preferences audible-bell false


Append this line to ~/.gtkrc-2.0:

gtk-error-bell = 0

Add the same line to the [Settings] section of $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/gtk-3.0/settings.ini:

gtk-error-bell = 0

This is documented in the Gnome Developer Handbook.


Play a sound instead of a PC speaker beep using PulseAudio.


A user can create a short audible tone when logged in to a virtual console. See Wikipedia:bell character#usage for the details.

Beep is an advanced PC speaker beeping program. It is useful for situations where no sound card and/or speakers are available, and simple audio notification is desired.


Install the beep package.

You may also need to unmute the PC speaker in ALSA.

Run as non-root user

beep uses /dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr to control the PC speaker. To access it as a non-root user, one has to set the proper permissions. Create /etc/udev/rules.d/70-pcspkr-beep.rules and add the following rule:

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="input", ATTRS{name}=="PC Speaker", ENV{DEVNAME}!="", TAG+="uaccess"

That will allow any user, who is logged into the currently active virtual console session, to use the PC speaker.

Alternatively, a new user group may be created (e.g. beep) with the corresponding rule to set the right permissions on the device file:

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="input", ATTRS{name}=="PC Speaker", ENV{DEVNAME}!="", GROUP="beep", MODE="0620"

With that solution any user in the beep group will be able to control the speaker.

To force reloading rules and device file to apply new user permission without a reboot, execute:

$ udevadm control --reload && rmmod pcspkr && modprobe pcspkr

Tips and Tricks

While many people are happy with the traditional beep sound, some may like to change its properties a bit. The following example plays slighly higher and shorter sound and repeats it two times.

# beep -f 5000 -l 50 -r 2

See also