Content ======= 1. Load the `pkspkr.ko` Kernel Driver Module (required) 2. Permission setup for non-root users (for non-local logins) 3. When and how to avoid using `beep` 4. Example usage of `beep` 1. Load the `pkspkr.ko` Kernel Driver Module (required) ------------------------------------------------------- To have a working PC speaker beep, the kernel driver module `pcspkr.ko` must be loaded. On Fedora >= 32, you need to install the `kernel-modules-extra` package first which contains the `pcspkr.ko` kernel driver module. On Fedora >= 12, you need to explicitly make the kernel load the driver module `pcspkr.ko`. You can do this manually as root as follows: [root@host ~]# modprobe pcspkr If you want the system to automatically load the pcspkr driver the next time it boots (very much recommended), uncomment the line alias platform:pcspkr pcspkr in the `/etc/modprobe.d/beep.conf` config file. You can check whether pcspkr.ko is loaded by running [user@host ~]$ lsmod | grep pcspkr When pcspkr is loaded, you can run [root@host ~]# beep as root and as a non-root user [user@host ~]$ beep and verify that you hear the beep coming from the PC speaker. 2. Permission setup for non-root users (for non-local logins) ------------------------------------------------------------- For more information on permission setup, please consult /usr/share/doc/beep/ file. On Fedora, if a user is currently logged in locally via either a graphical session or a getty@ttyN.service text session on the virtual console, that user will automatically be able to access the device special file `/dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr` which `beep` uses to access the PC speaker. This means that for many cases, no special permission setup is required for a user to run beep. For other cases (such as e.g. users only logged in via ssh sessions), you can add the respective user to the `beep` group. To add user `jane` to the `beep` group, have root run [root@host ~]# usermod jane -a -G beep You can check which users are members of the `beep` group by running [user@host ~]$ getent group beep beep:x:951:jane,bill [user@host ~]$ _ However, any user newly added to the `beep` group must re-login so their processes can pick up the group membership. A user can check their group membership as follows: [jane@host ~]$ id uid=1000(jane) gid=1000(jane) groups=1000(jane),10(wheel),951(beep) context=unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023 [jane@host ~]$ _ To check the permission of the PC speaker device file, run [user@host ~]$ ls -lH /dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr crw-rw----+ 1 root input 13, 85 Dec 29 13:52 /dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr [user@host ~]$ getfacl /dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr getfacl: Removing leading '/' from absolute path names # file: dev/input/by-path/platform-pcspkr-event-spkr # owner: root # group: input user::rw- user:user:rw- group::rw- group:beep:-w- mask::rw- other::--- [user@host ~]$ _ 3. Set up the audio mixer (required on some hardware) ----------------------------------------------------- On some systems with integrated speakers like e.g. laptops from the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad series, there is no separate physical speaker for the PC speaker. Instead, the square wave sound generated by the PC speaker goes to the integrated speakers through a mixer chip, where it is mixed with PCM sound, CD drive audio, line in, microphone in, and other sources. On these systems, you might need to configure the mixer to make the PC speaker audible through the laptop speakers, e.g. * Start alsamixer. * Find the correct card (switch with the `F6` key). * Maybe enable loopback. * Unmute the appropriate PC speaker source (`m` key) and turn up its volume. * Weirdly, a microphone volume below 0% apparently can also silence the PC speaker beeps. Some experimentation might be required. Of course, these mixer settings must be saved before the next system reboot so that the reboot can restore the mixer settings. Some systems save the mixer settings as part of their shutdown procedure, others may need you to save them explicitly. TBD: How does Fedora handle saving alsamixer state across reboots? 4. When and how to avoid using `beep` ------------------------------------- An alternative way to get sound output for non-root users works if the system has a sound card set up with a speaker connected to it. E.g. the standard 440Hz square wave which `beep` emits can be played through the standard sound infrastructure with the command `play` from the `sox` package (more pleasant examples are shown in the `sox(1)` man page): [jane@host ~]$ play -q -n synth 0.3 square 440 However, modern desktop systems with the suite of middleware (systemd user sessions, pulseaudio audio routing, etc.) may not be set up to allow use of the sound infrastructure for users other than the user currently logged into the current virtual console. 5. Example Usage of `beep` -------------------------- An acoustic notification when a long running compile job finishes (whether the build was successful or not) could be done with [jane@host ~/src/foobar]$ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/.local && make && make check && make install; beep or [bill@host ~/rpms/foobar]$ if fedpkg mockbuild; then /usr/share/doc/beep/contrib/success-beeps; else /usr/share/doc/beep/contrib/failure-beeps; fi