I've recently started using a new desktop PC with Ubuntu Linux installed. However the terminal beeps annoyingly. i.e. If I'm at the start of the line and I press Backspace, it'll beep to tell me that there are no characters to delete. Of if I am trying to tab complete and there are no completions for it, then it'll beep.

How do I turn this off?

  • 1
    askubuntu.com/q/275760/4066 Jun 2, 2018 at 3:50
  • The link given by Raoul says that in the gnome terminal "go to Edit -> Profile Preferences -> General and uncheck the "Terminal bell" checkbox" down below. It's a bit strange that this sound setting is located in a tab called "Text". But it works. Feb 7, 2019 at 15:51

5 Answers 5


As the pc speaker is annoying altogether (at least, I think it is), I just go

modprobe -r pcspkr

and add it to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf like this:

blacklist pcspkr

No more beeps. Ever.

Does not work for bells through /dev/snd/*, obviously

  • 2
    Newer kernels use snd_pcsp instead, if the above does not work. Try modprobe -r snd_pcsp and blacklist snd_pcsp. Jun 16, 2009 at 10:29
  • Throwing the baby out with the bath water!
    – Dan Carley
    Jun 16, 2009 at 11:23
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    I think 'Throwing the baby out with the bath water' would be unplugging the pc speaker ;-) Jun 16, 2009 at 11:26
  • 1
    +1 This answered my opposite question: "how do I get terminal beeps to work?"
    – Ternary
    Apr 11, 2013 at 14:53
  • 2
    That's not so much an answer, I would just want the terminal beep off! Not my sound to go away!
    – gideon
    Jan 17, 2017 at 12:20

Easiest fix: put

set prefer-visible-bell on

in your ~/.inputrc.

This however will only work for applications using the readline library (this includes Bash). Other applications may still decide to beep at you.

If you want to disable all beeping, you will have to do it in the terminal. How to do this depends on your terminal. In xterm it's option -vb (also works in many other terminals, e.g. in rxvt). Most graphical terminals have a config option for this.

Also see the Visible bell mini-Howto for all the dirty details.

$ setterm -blength 0

You'll want to add this to your Bash profile.


from cybercity:

  • Open Gnome terminal
  • Click on Settings > Preferences > Silence Terminal Bell
  • 2
    Those sound like the instructions for a KDE application, and don't work exactly right on Gnome Terminal. However you were on the right track. Jun 16, 2009 at 9:52

In addition to the setterm and GNOME settings solutions already suggested there are the following:

If running X, open an xterm and enter xset b off.

To disable system bell in Bash startup edit ~/.inputrc or /etc/inputrc and add the line set bell-style none or set bell-style visual if you want a screen flash.

There's a good article on this here.

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