playing short tune via beep

Martin McCormick martin at
Thu Feb 7 15:01:27 UTC 2008

"John Heim" writes:
>I chose to have the monitoring server  beep because that takes only a kernel 
>module and the PC speaker to work. It doesn't need a sound card, speakers, 
>alsa, or a synth.

	I must be missing that module. Is this the module
referred to in the sound/Kconfig file in the kernel source? It says:

>	  I'm told that even without a sound card, you can make your computer
>	  say more than an occasional beep, by programming the PC speaker.
>	  Kernel patches and supporting utilities to do that are in the pcsp
>	  package, available at <>.

	I recently installed beep on 4 Dell systems. Each uses a
2.6.5 kernel I built since each system has a CD berner and ALSA.
All of that works properly.

	If one tells the P.C. to beep at 3 KHZ for 10 seconds,
the system does pause for ten seconds but there is no sound from
the small speaker.

	I know from programming in assembler in DOS that the
speaker has a timer/counter IC driving it and you can either
send a tone or a steady DC signal depending upon which bits in
the timer control registers you set or clear.

	I don't recall seeing any modules in the kernel that
mentioned the P.C. speaker which is why I am asking the

	When I installed beep, I did set the suid bit to root
because each of the systems in question has a serial console and
that is what the man page recommends one do in that case.

	There are no errors or complaints, but no beeps either.

	The systems do beep during booting and grub beeps. After
that, there is never another sound from the timer counter system
until the next reboot.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK 
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list