“xset c 100” does not cause audible key clicks

Bug #1071836 reported by Joe Wells on 2012-10-26
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
conspy (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I am running Ubuntu 12.04.1 with all updates (up to a week ago) on a ASUS Zenbook UX21A. My X server is /usr/bin/Xorg in package xserver-xorg-core version 2:1.11.4-0ubuntu10.8. Running “Xorg -version” reports “X.Org X Server 1.11.3” and “Release Date: 2011-12-16”. The problem might actually be in one of the X server's many plugin modules, which are in different packages.

If I use gsettings or dconf-editor to change the keys click and click_volume in the schema org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard, then gnome-settings-daemon correctly tells the X server to turn on key clicks, which can be confirmed by running “xset q”. I can also achieve this result by running “xset c 100”[footnote 1].

Regardless of how I tell the X server to turn on audible key click sounds, no sound results. I have turned up the sound volume to maximum using the sound indicator menu on the top panel. Other programs have no trouble producing sound.

To reproduce this problem:

1. Run these commands:

     gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard click true
     gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.peripherals.keyboard click-volume 100

   Alternatively, run this command:

     xset c 100

2. Type something.

3. Notice there is no sound coming from the computer for each key press. (The keys themselves might make some noise, but some keyboards are nearly silent.)

This problem is important for me because I have vision difficulty and have trouble seeing whether what I have typed has shown up. I can't tell from my keyboard whether my keypress has registered; my keyboard sounds pretty much the same on the keypresses that succeed and those that do not. The problem is more serious when using programs that rely on keyboard commands, where some commands have an effect that can not be immediately seen.

Some people have suggested that the problem might be in the connection (or lack thereof) between the X server and PulseAudio:


I have tried using keymon and screenkey to solve my problem by giving a visual indication of what keys have been pressed, but I have not yet been able to make either one work the way I need and in any case they are visual-only and do not produce key clicks. I haven't gotten any useful output at all from screenkey and the output from keymon does not show what I need.

Can you please help get audible keypress notification working again? It used to work.

[footnote 1] Using “xset c 100” might be undone by gnome-settings-daemon the next time any of 4 different settings are adjusted. You can see this in the function apply_settings in gnome-settings-daemon-3.4.2/plugins/keyboard/gsd-keyboard-manager.c, where a single call to XChangeKeyboardControl updates 4 different settings.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in conspy (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Joe Wells (jbwells) wrote :

Why is this listed as affecting conspy? I think I did recently submit an unrelated bug for conspy, but this bug has nothing to do with conspy.

Gary Kline (kline) wrote :

If this key-click issue is still unresoved, it is one that I have had for years. A python programmer from Canada finally wrote me one that is a bit buggy, but is _does_ make all of my keyboard keys click. The problem is that the program is very slow. It works well on my 2-CPU and 4-CPU desktops, but is barely works on my EEE-900A. I am trying to learn puthon so that I can port the click.py program to click.c.

there are multiple points to this posting.

I am entirely open to share this slow click program. Write me if you want to test this out as-is.

Are there any python and C gurus out there who care to take on this project ... witth my help, of course?

When this python-click script works in C, it can then easily be dropped into the xset utility.

Gary Kline

--note that "click.py" is a misnomer since the guy who wrote it modifyed it from a game he wrote for his son. How much is dead-wood is unknown.

Nicola Larosa (teknico) wrote :

Yeah, this definitely affects me.

"It used to work." You are the first person in sixteen years who heard this working: that's encouraging.

I've been missing it for all this time, since moving away from Windows: it's about time to fix it, or die trying. ;-)

As a related issue, at least the X bell does have a chance (via Pulseaudio, no nasty PC speaker): https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/769314/comments/25

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