I'm use gnome-clocks for its timer option. This app is very simple and effective. But I can't change the default sounds of the alarm and the timer. I tried setting the configurations in dconf and Settings > Sound > Sound Effects but it's impossible to change.

Where is the config file for this app? How can I change the default sounds?

2 Answers 2


A better solution to this problem sounds more complex that it actually is.

1. Create a custom sound profile

Copy an existing profile:

cp -rv /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop ~/.local/share/sounds/my-custom-profile

Open the index.theme file and change the name to my-custom-profile. Replace the sounds you want to change with your own, but be careful, a long sound for audio-volume-change for example will play on volume change until it is completed. For the clocks app you want to look for these files:

  • complete.oga
  • alarm-clock-elapsed.oga

I have seen ogg and oga files being used, I tried FLAC but that did not work (in the flac container). You may need to convert your sounds to Vorbis.

2. Change your current sound profile

Open dconf-editor, go to /org/gnome/desktop/sound and change theme-name value to your custom profile e.g. my-custom-profile.

I'm not exactly sure how the sound profile is matched, either by folder name or by the name field in the theme file, it seems to be the folder name. I suggest to have an identical name in both places.


  • LiveWireBT this solutions is more complex but more smart. Thanks.
    – user250189
    Sep 10, 2018 at 20:38

From the source-code: gnome-clock seems to use two sound-files:

  • complete.oga
  • alarm-clock-elapsed.oga

On my system these files are in the folder /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo.

So you could make a backup-copy of the original two sound-files, and replace them by some other sound-files (preferably from the same folder).

  • This may not work if a different sound theme is configured which provides the respective sounds. I do not recommended to modify or replace files in /usr as this will change them for every user.
    – LiveWireBT
    Sep 9, 2018 at 17:34

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