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Langue: en

Version: 256418 (debian - 07/07/09)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


softbeep - Software Bell for Linux


softbeep [program]

softbeep is Copyright (C) 2002 Lennart Poettering


This Linux utility program may be used for redirecting beeps of the internal PC speaker to your sound card. It is implemented entirely in user space by using LD_PRELOAD. It catches four different types of beeps, which can be produced on a Linux system:

BELL-characters (#7) written to your TTYs, which should normally result in a beep executed by your terminal emulator
Calls to gdk_bell() by GTK/Gnome based programs
Calls to XBell() by Xlib based programs
Calls to beep() by curses based programs

These together catch most of the beeps of most of the programs I use.

To redirect the beep to the sound card, just run

softbeep foo

If you omit foo then a sub shell will be spawned where all children processes will have their beep redirected.

Two environment variables SB_REMOVE_BEL and SB_RUN may be used for adjusting softbeep to your needs. When SB_REMOVE_BEL is set to "yes" every caught BELL character written to a TTY is dropped, otherwise it is passed to the next layer. SB_RUN specifies the program to run when a beep occurs. You may adjust these parameters to your needs in the top of the script softbeep. sb-beep (a short script playing a wave file via esdplay(1), which is shipped with the EsounD distribution) is used for emitting a beep by default. You might want to adjust this script to your individual needs, e.g. for playing different wave files for different programs. You can also set the SB_PLAYER environment variable to change the program used to play the sound file.


softbeep has not been tested intensively with multi threaded programs yet; maybe it works seamlessly, maybe it does not.

Processes with access to several different TTYs at the same time may not be handled correctly. This is a minor bug since there are only very few programs which make use of more than one TTY at once.

SUID/SGID programs like xterm(1) do not work with softbeep. This is a limitation of LD_PRELOAD (due to security considerations) and not a bug in softbeep! Solution for xterm(1): For catching all the beeps of xterm(1) you should preload the library to the shell running inside of the xterm(1), which is not SUID/SGID.

ssh(1) is a SUID/SGID program on several installations. I currently do not know a way how to work around this.


This man page was written by Helge Kreutzmann for the Debian GNU/Linux project but may be used by others.


esdplay(1), /usr/share/doc/softbeep/README.gz

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