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I'd like to prevent the Mac Terminal program from beeping, for example when there are multiple possible completions when I hit TAB. I looked in the preferences, but there's nothing about beeping.

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migrated from Jul 15 '10 at 13:36

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up vote 48 down vote accepted

In OS X Leopard (10.5 and later)

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. On the menu go to Terminal > Perferences.
  3. Open Settings > Advanced
  4. Un-check the "Audible Bell" option. (You can also set "visible bell" which will cause your terminal to flash instead of beep)

In OS X Tiger (10.4 and earlier):

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. On the menu go to Terminal > Window Settings.
  3. In the Terminal Inspector window click on the drop-down list and select Emulation.
  4. Un-check the "Audible Bell" option. (You can also set "visible bell" which will cause your terminal to flash instead of beep)
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Is that for Tiger? There's no Window Settings option in Leopard... – Jon Dec 30 '08 at 8:56
@Jon: Yes, that does not appear to be on Leopard. – ayaz Dec 30 '08 at 9:34
Under Leopard, the same settings are avaliable under Terminal > Preferences, under the Settings > Advanced tabs. – Chris Lutz Sep 24 '09 at 2:34

I'm presuming you have Leopard, whose terminal is greatly improved over Tiger's.

Terminal menu --> Preferences --> Settings tab --> Advanced --> Bell.

Untick "Audible bell"

(btw, mine doesn't beep as far as I can tell, even though that setting is enabled for me)

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It should play the standard sound warning, configurable in system preferences -> sound -> sound effects tab – Agos Jan 31 '10 at 1:00

put "set bell-style visible" in your ~/.bashrc

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That only affects Bash, not everything. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Jan 5 '10 at 14:28
@ThorbjørnRavnAndersen, it’s probably better to configure specific programs to not beep for specific events, rather than disabling the terminal bell altogether, since it’s usually used for things that may need the user’s attention. Going the other direction, if all beeps in the terminal are annoying, there’s a good chance the user will also find beeps annoying in other applications, in which case they should consider muting “sound effects” system-wide in System Preferences > Sound. – Chris Page Jan 5 '12 at 21:07
See also inputrc, show-all-if-ambiguous and show-all-if-unmodified in the Bash man page, to specifically avoid beeping during autocompletion. x-man-page://1/bash – Chris Page Jun 15 '12 at 0:00

System preferences --> sound --> then choose an alert sound [choose what you want]

then quit and reopen the terminal.

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Use ITERM2 and RX click to change all the settings (you might enable visual bel, to see when you make some mistakes without being bothered by sounds)

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