Man page for beep

NAME

beep – produce a beeping noise, by any available method

SYNOPSIS

beep [ -v ] [ -Xkb | -X | -T | -S ]

DESCRIPTION

beep is a command-line utility for making a computer go beep.

Under normal circumstances, you should be able to use it just by typing ‘beep’, with no options.

The traditional method of producing a beep in a shell script is to write an ASCII BEL (\007) character to standard output, by means of a shell command such as ‘echo -ne '\007'’. This only works if the calling shell's standard output is currently directed to a terminal device of some sort; if not, the beep will produce no sound and might even cause unwanted corruption in whatever file the output is directed to.

There are other ways to cause a beeping noise. A slightly more reliable method is to open /dev/tty and send your BEL character there. This is robust against I/O redirection, but still fails in the case where the shell script wishing to generate a beep does not have a controlling terminal, for example because it is run from an X window manager.

A third approach is to connect to your X display and send it a bell command. This does not depend on a Unix terminal device, but does (of course) require an X display. The X server supports two different methods of requesting a bell (the Xkb extension and the basic X11 protocol), and beep will try both in turn.

The beep command supports all these methods of generating a beep, and will try them in order until one works. Its order of preference is to use the X server, then to fall back to /dev/tty, and if all else fails it will simply write a BEL to its standard output.

OPTIONS

-Xkb
Restricts beep to only using the Xkb extension on the X server to generate its beep. If there is no X server available, or it does not support the Xkb extension, no beep will be generated and beep will return failure.
-X
Restricts beep to only using the basic X11 protocol on the X server to generate its beep. If there is no X server available, no beep will be generated and beep will return failure.
-T
Restricts beep to only using /dev/tty to generate its beep. If /dev/tty cannot be opened or written to, no beep will be generated and beep will return failure.
-S
Restricts beep to only using standard output to generate its beep. If its standard output cannot be written to, no beep will be generated and beep will return failure.
-v
Causes beep to log everything it did even if it succeeds. By default, error messages will only be output if none of the available beep methods succeeded.

EXIT STATUS

beep will return a success (0) status if it thinks it successfully beeped, and failure (1) otherwise.

BUGS

None known at present.

LICENCE

beep is free software, distributed under the MIT licence. Type beep --licence to see the full licence text.


[beep version 20141024.r10295]