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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012

Use alsamixer to turn off the annoying, loud beep (aka system bell) in Debian Squeeze when you shutdown or restart

Before I installed the 2.6.39 kernel from Backports on my Debian Squeeze system, I quieted the annoyingly loud system beep (aka system bell; it used to be a real bell back in the day) from startling me and waking others by "blacklisting" the pcspkr in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf.

Since that stopped working in 2.6.39, and the beep returned (it is LOUD), I figured there had to be another way to shut it up.


A bit of Googling gave me another potential solution from this Linux Questions.

This may work for you, but it doesn't work for me with Debian Squeeze and the 2.6.39 Linux kernel:

  • Using your rootly privileges, in the file /etc/inputrc, uncomment (i.e. remove the # at the beginning from) the following line:

set bell-style none

And now (drum roll please .....) this is what worked for me, courtesy of the Debian User mailing list:

  • Use Alsamixer in a terminal to silence the system beep.

If you've never used alsamixer in a terminal before (unfortunately I have many times), here's how you open the app and silence the beep:

  1. Open your favorite terminal emulator (GNOME Terminal, Xterm, etc.)
  2. At the prompt, type alsamixer
  3. In alsamixer, use the arrow keys to select the Beep slider
  4. Once you've selected the Beep slider, type the letter m to mute the Beep
  5. To exit alsamixer, click the Esc key
  6. That's it. If your system is anything like mine, you'll now be free of the annoying system beep (aka system bell) at shutdown.

Here is what my alsamixer looked like before I made the fix:

And after:

Click either image above for a full-size view of my GNOME terminal window.