Audio Terminal Bell (Software Bell) in Xubuntu with xfce-terminal


I have wanted a software audio based terminal bell in linux for years. Similar to in PuTTY on Windows you can chose any arbritary wav sound file as your terminal bell sound, I wanted this functionality on Linux, and I have wasted lots of time over the years trying to get this working. I haven’t had much luck… until today!

I was setting up a new Xubuntu 18.04LTS machine and was going through the preferences in xfce-terminal and noticed it had an option for “Audible Bell” in the advanced features menu. I turned it on and it didn’t work, but it prompted me to try and find a solution again.

Here’s the commands I used to get it working.

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-canberra sox
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/EnableEventSounds -s true
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/EnableInputFeedbackSounds -s true
xfconf-query -c xsettings -p /Net/SoundThemeName -s "freedesktop"

Then you need to add the following to the end of your .profile file in your home directory (~/.profile)


Then add the following to /etc/pulse/

# audible bell
load-sample-lazy x11-bell /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/bell.oga
load-module module-x11-bell sample=x11-bell

Then restart pulseaudio with

pulseaudio -k

Make sure your “System Sounds” is turned up in the Volume Control applet and finally make sure the following appears in ~/.config/xfce4/terminal/terminalrc under [Configuration]


You can also set this under “Preferences/Advanced/Audible Bell”. You will probably need to logout and logon again, but other than that everything should work. You can change the sound to a .oga file of your choice by changing the path of the sound in the load-sample-lazy command above.

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