I usually turn the alert sound (by default a water drop sound) off by going to control-center→Sound→Sound Effects and muting the Alert volume. This is in Gnome.

I wanted to turn it off in a custom live build of Debian by default, but I can't figure where this setting is stored. I tried dconf and looked around config directories extensively without success. I tried find ~ -mmin -1 also gio monitor and inotifywatch without success. The only output by find ~ -mmin -1 was .config/dconf/ and .config/dconf/user which get edited all the time the control center is opened anyway. I replaced this user file in a vm to test and all dconf settings were updated except the one I need (the alert sound). I also tried dconf watch / which gave no output when I tried editing the alert sound setting

I'd like someone to tell me how to mute this setting from command line and possibly tell me where it is stored.

  • That's extremely close, I can't really edit the preferences of the alert sounds from this dconf key but I can completely disable them, which is enough for me. I don't know if the question should be removed as a duplicate though. May 20, 2018 at 0:02

2 Answers 2


This can be achieved by this command

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/sound/event-sounds "false"

However, this doesn't turn off the sound volume slider effect.

To completely turn off the sound effects the closest way I've found was to live boot into a clean iso of the distro and open the System settings > Sound > Sound effects and turn these sounds off as preferred, then copy the file ~/.config/pulse/*-stream-volumes.tdb and save it. Then, to turn off the "sound effects" on an installed environment or while building a custom version of the distro do

cp saved-pulse-volumes.tdb ~/.config/pulse/*-stream-volumes.tdb
  • thanks! to completely turn off i have find all settings by keyword bell.
    – dzNET
    Mar 10, 2019 at 18:44
  • 2
    @cablewelo2ma or gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.sound event-sounds false.
    – AkaZecik
    Mar 23, 2020 at 8:16

There is another key you can set with dconf:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/sound/input-feedback-sound "false"

which should disable to play sounds on input events.

  • 1
    This key doesn't exist in my distro, are you sure this is debian? Jun 27, 2018 at 9:59

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