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I miss using a clicky keyboard at work. It's a fairly quiet office, so I'm stuck using a nearly silent keyboard. The upshot is that I can wear headphones. Is there something in Linux or X that can respond to all keyboard events with a nice, sharp click, giving me that audio feedback? Before you think I'm crazy, I know some high-end keyboards even have speakers in them to reproduce this click for those who like the audio feedback. I'm looking for something at the operating system level.

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No offense this is the weirdest request ever... where can you get a nearly silent keyboard? – xenoterracide Sep 16 '10 at 23:22
"Nearly silent" was maybe hyperbole or maybe how my keyboard sounds when I'm listening to music. It's just a run of the mill soft-dome keyboard. – postfuturist Sep 17 '10 at 0:21
There are high-end keyboards with speakers to reproduce click sounds? wtf? :-) Anyway maybe you should look for an old IBM M Series Keyboard on Ebay? :-) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_M_keyboard – echox Sep 17 '10 at 9:08
@echox I would use a Model M, but it's a quiet office. Here's a keyboard with a supplemental click sound: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesis_(keyboard) – postfuturist Sep 17 '10 at 16:17
known bug in StackExchange comments, that last URL needs to be written en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesis_%28keyboard%29 – msw Sep 26 '10 at 13:22
xset c 100 c on

Per their docs, but it doesn't work for me on openSUSE 11.2 x86_64

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Good find. Doesn't seem to work in Ubuntu either, unfortunately. – postfuturist Sep 17 '10 at 0:27
And not in arch :-/ – echox Sep 17 '10 at 9:06
You're possibly suffering from bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=24503, as both Ubuntu Lucid and openSUSE 11.2 use evdev and xserver ≥1.7.0 and < I'm surprised about Arch, because they're more up to date… but maybe you've hit a different bug. – ephemient Sep 17 '10 at 14:20
I've never seen xset c work on any system ever. I think it may be someone's idea of a joke ;) – msw Sep 26 '10 at 13:20

See the link below. I got this to work with only a little effort, and it's very good if you like keyclicks (I find them sort of a "mood" thing).

I use the scripting found in the link as an option in an Emacs "darkroom" writing mode that I've developed. I launch it as an asynchronous shell command and kill it with the shell command 'pkill -9 -f linux-typewriter.rb' when done.


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The general reason people use noisy switches is to get feedback for their typing. I think that computer generated clicks would come to late in the cycle to help with feedback.

If you want more information ask on the geekhack forums. They are the experts.

I hear many people say that Model Ms/Cherry Blues/Alps/Topre/other noisy keys are too noisy for their office, but honestly even some guy pounding the hell out their keyboard is going to generate noise that even comes close to a chainsaw. If people are bothered with that, then they are probably also bothered by tapping hands or a squeaky chair and I would find it hard to work in such a place.

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I think you could tune the latencies in the system down enough for it to be useful. I'm currently using a Model M at work, I just don't pound too hard on it. It's got plenty of tactile feedback, and I can hear it through the headphones anyways. I get comments about the noise not too often. Maybe once a month. No actual complaints, yet. – postfuturist Mar 23 '12 at 20:31

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