If you are a frequent Terminal user, or even a newbie, you might have experienced an annoying beeping sound when you do something that is “not allowed”. For example, if you are in your Terminal and hit backspace when there are no characters to delete, this bell will ring. Another instance when this bell is played is when you are trying to tab complete although there are no completions for it. If you still can’t figure what sound we are talking about, try running the following command in your Terminal, and you will know how this Terminal bell sounds:

$ echo -e '\a'

The solution to getting this annoying sound muted is through the Terminal itself. All you need to do is make use of the Terminal Preferences UI to turn off this sound. This way you can focus more on the work at hand rather than experiencing the disturbing sound that does nothing more than just distracting you.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system.

Muting the Hardware Beep

Please follow these steps in order to mute the Terminal bell from the Terminal itself:

Step 1: Open the Terminal

Open the Terminal application by pressing the Super(Windows) key and searching for Terminal through the Application Launcher as follows:

Open Debian Terminal

Step 2: Access Terminal Preferences

The Terminal preferences let you make several customizations to your overall Terminal experience. This also includes muting the Terminal bell. There are two ways through which you can access the Preferences view:

Click on the Edit menu and then select the Preferences option as follows:

Terminal Preferences

Or,

Right click in the Terminal window and then select Preferences from the menu as follows:

Terminal preferences trough right-click

The Preferences view opens in the following view:

Preferences Window

Preferences view opens in an Unnamed profile view by default. Preferences let you create custom profiles that you can apply to your Terminal according to your needs. However, we will use this default Unnamed profile to edit the Terminal Bell settings.

Step 3: Edit the Preferences

In the Preferences view, try locating the “Terminal bell” option under the Sound category. This option is checked by default which means that the Hardware beep is enabled.

Terminal bell option

Uncheck this option in order to turn off the Terminal bell. Click on the Close button and check the Terminal bell now; it will not beep on any trigger. You can verify this easily by hitting ‘backspace’ or “tab” when nothing is entered on the command prompt.

Now you will no longer be bothered by this “mostly” annoying beep sound when you are trying to focus on the more important stuff.

How to mute/disable Hardware Beep Sound in Debian 10 Terminal