How to disable system beep on Linux? I don't have superuser powers so I cannot recompile kernel/unload module.

3 Answers 3


For beeps generated in your shell (which seem to be the most annoying ones), add this to "~/.inputrc":

set bell-style none

Note that this is not terminal- but host-specific. That means that when you log in to another computer via ssh where this isn't set, the beep is back. (I tested on Fedora)

  • That's not going to help; all it does is tell certain applications (such as the shell) that you do not want them to beep. It won't effect other users, and it wouldn't really do anything in the case of non-local logins anyway: their terminal bell is on their terminal, not the console.
    – SamB
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 21:43
  • 6
    Please read the question and my answer: He isn't root and wants to do it for his user account and that it only helps in the local shell is explicitly stated in my answer.
    – fschmitt
    Commented Sep 30, 2010 at 6:58
  • 3
    Mind the gap: existing ~/.inputrc overrides /etc/inputrc, which can have defined some interesting things. For example on Debian this can break Ctrl+Left/Right for words and/or some Rxvt-specific bindings--See this question. Commented Jan 6, 2014 at 22:11

There's various levels at which beeps can be controlled by the user. Here's some I'm aware of:


  • export LESS="$LESS"' -q' - adds -q to the default options for less so it doesn't ring the bell (eg. when trying to scroll past the end of a file)
  • echo 'set bell-style none' >> ~/.inputrc - disables bell for all applications using readline (restart your terminal to see effect)


  • xterm -vb - enables "visual bell", which flashes the terminal window instead of making an audible noise. You can add xterm*visualBell: true to your X resources (~/.Xdefaults) to change the default. Most terminal emulators include a similar option.


  • xset b off - disables X server bell


  • alsamixer - mute or turn down the Speaker and Bell channels

In my case muting the ALSA channels didn't help - I still got a bell sometimes from the builtin speaker (even with headphones plugged in). But disabling the X server bell got rid of it.


Have you already unchecked "Enable system beep" in System -> Preferences -> Sound -> System Beep?

  • 3
    This assumes some desktop environment? GNOME?
    – tshepang
    Commented Nov 24, 2013 at 22:59

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