Cannot restore default alert sound (Ubuntu bell)

Bug #1753070 reported by Remon Huijts on 2018-03-03
This bug affects 20 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
gnome-control-center (Ubuntu)
Robert Ancell

Bug Description

After changing the default alert sound in Settings > Sound > Sound Effects, I cannot restore the alert sound to the Ubuntu 17.10 default. Gnome Control Center version: 1:3.26.2-0ubuntu0.2

There are five options in the Sound Effects tab: Default, Bark, Drip, Glass and Sonar. Selecting Default gives the same sound as Drip, which is not the default I had before.

I think the sound options come from /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts where I found Ogg files for the Bark, Drip, Glass and Sonar options (but not for Default). The /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/bell.ogg seems to have been the original default alert sound, to which I cannot restore.

I am not sure if this is related, but when I opened the Sound Effects tab for the first time, the Alert Volume slider was at 0% and grayed out. The alert sound was working fine, so I guess that default settings from elsewhere were in effect until I started adjusting things in this tab and thereby overriding those default settings. I cannot restore to that grayed out state either in this tab.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 17.10
Package: gnome-control-center 1:3.26.2-0ubuntu0.2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.13.0-36.40-generic 4.13.13
Uname: Linux 4.13.0-36-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.7-0ubuntu3.7
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Sat Mar 3 11:17:54 2018
InstallationDate: Installed on 2018-02-09 (21 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark" - Release amd64 (20180105.1)
SourcePackage: gnome-control-center
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Remon Huijts (rahuijts) wrote :
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Bruno Turcatti (mcbruno712) wrote :

Found a solution,open terminal and write sudo mv /usr/share/sounds/ubuntu/stereo/bell.ogg /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts this will move the file bell.ogg to the other directory, the write cd /usr/share/sounds/gnome/default/alerts , now, sudo mv bark.ogg bark1.ogg (this will change the name of the file bark.ogg), then write sudo mv bell.ogg bark.ogg (this will change the name of the file bell.ogg to bark.ogg) finally go to the sound setting into the setting menu and select Bark as the sound effect, but considering that we replaced bark with bell, bell sound will be played.

Lucas Czepaniki (lucas.czpnk) wrote :

Having the same issue here.

            .-/+oossssoo+/-. lucas@bionic
        `:+ssssssssssssssssss+:` ------------
      -+ssssssssssssssssssyyssss+- OS: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS x86_64
    .ossssssssssssssssssdMMMNysssso. Host: Inspiron 7472
   /ssssssssssshdmmNNmmyNMMMMhssssss/ Kernel: 4.15.0-36-generic
  +ssssssssshmydMMMMMMMNddddyssssssss+ Uptime: 9 hours, 1 min
 /sssssssshNMMMyhhyyyyhmNMMMNhssssssss/ Packages: 2370
.ssssssssdMMMNhsssssssssshNMMMdssssssss. Shell: bash 4.4.19
+sssshhhyNMMNyssssssssssssyNMMMysssssss+ Resolution: 1920x1080
ossyNMMMNyMMhsssssssssssssshmmmhssssssso DE: GNOME 3.28.3
ossyNMMMNyMMhsssssssssssssshmmmhssssssso WM: GNOME Shell
+sssshhhyNMMNyssssssssssssyNMMMysssssss+ WM Theme: Adwaita
.ssssssssdMMMNhsssssssssshNMMMdssssssss. Theme: United-Ubuntu-Dark [GTK2/3]
 /sssssssshNMMMyhhyyyyhdNMMMNhssssssss/ Icons: Paper [GTK2/3]
  +sssssssssdmydMMMMMMMMddddyssssssss+ Terminal: gnome-terminal
   /ssssssssssshdmNNNNmyNMMMMhssssss/ CPU: Intel i7-8550U (8) @ 4.000GHz
    .ossssssssssssssssssdMMMNysssso. GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics
      -+sssssssssssssssssyyyssss+- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
        `:+ssssssssssssssssss+:` Memory: 5533MiB / 15937MiB

lucas@bionic:~$ lscpu
Architecture: x86_64
CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order: Little Endian
CPU(s): 8
Model name: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-8550U CPU @ 1.80GHz

Paul (sapuseven) wrote :

Same issue here on Ubuntu 18.10

Lucas Czepaniki (lucas.czpnk) wrote :

Actually, I forgot to mention one thing that I've noticed:

When I first switched the alert sound it was to 'drip'. Since then if I try to set default again, it'll set the drip sound.
But if I set another like bark or glass or whatever, it'll play the default sound + the selected one, and if the selected is the default, it plays the default sound + the drip.

No Name (noname0112358) wrote :

I've also experienced the issue. With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, when I first started tinkering with the sound settings, the default turned to a drip, and I've used the bark-replacement method that mcbruno712 suggested, above, as a temporary workaround.

Joey van Hummel (jvhummel) wrote :

As a temporary workaround, set /org/gnome/desktop/sound/theme-name to the default "Yaru". You can use the following command for this:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.sound theme-name 'Yaru'

Ame Nomade (ame-nomade) wrote :

This bug is there for years, in fact for as long as I remember seeing this software around (so, maybe 10 years on Ubuntu?). It bothered me a lot (like a scratch on a brand new car or high tech device), and I always thought "well it's an obvious bug, it will be fixed soon, as everyone else will notice it and will be bothered by it (so that they will report it)".

Well it turns out that nobody cares, because it's been 10 years and I could never find a solution over the internet.

Up to today, I just found one: to set the default sound back, you need "dconf" and in "/org/gnome/desktop/sound/theme-name" you right-click and select "set to default value" (which appears to be "ubuntu" on Ubuntu). And voilà!


What the bug really consists of, is that in "gnome-control-center" when selecting "default" for the sound event, it does not set the default value, but it sets "freedesktop" (which probably in some cases might be right, but generally is not, like on Ubuntu).

Paride Legovini (paride) wrote :

This is still an issue in Disco, with a difference: there is no "default" button anymore in the Sound settings, only Bark|Drip|Glass|Sonar, none of which is the original Ubuntu bell from the Yaru theme.

Setting it to "Bark" is a good way to remember this has to be fixed :)

Paride Legovini (paride) on 2019-09-26
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Disco):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Bionic):
status: New → Confirmed
Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

We discussed that in the desktop team meeting and don't feel it's important enough to use direct release tracking without having an owner so deleting the stable lines for now

no longer affects: gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Bionic)
no longer affects: gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Disco)
no longer affects: gnome-control-center (Ubuntu Eoan)
Jonathan Joby (jjoby12323) wrote :

I was facing the same problem
And after scavenging through the internet
I found a fix

Open a terminal
And type
dconf reset -f /

Hope it works for y'all

tags: added: desktop-lts-wishlist
Paride Legovini (paride) wrote :

Bug still present in the current devel version of Focal Fossa.

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Robert Ancell (robert-ancell)
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package gnome-control-center - 1:3.36.0-0ubuntu3

gnome-control-center (1:3.36.0-0ubuntu3) focal; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/0023-sound-Add-a-button-to-select-the-default-theme.patch
    - Make able to restore sound theme to default (LP: #1753070)

 -- Robert Ancell <email address hidden> Thu, 19 Mar 2020 16:50:02 +1300

Changed in gnome-control-center (Ubuntu):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
padmahas (padmahas) wrote :

Hello @Sebastein,

I installed day before yesterday's nightly build, of Ubuntu Focal Fossa (development branch).
The issue which @Lucas Czepaniki (lucas.czpnk) mentioned at comment number 6 (, still is there in that build. The issue is,

Whichever the notification sound we choose after default, only that sound will take effect. Directly changing to another type of alert sound will not take effect. To reproduce the problem,

1. Open terminal,
2. Open sound settings, initially it will be "default". Change that to some other alert sound, say, "Drip".
3. Switch to terminal and press backspace, you will hear "Drip".
4. Switch to sound settings, this time select "Glass".
5. Switch to terminal and press backspace, here is the issue. You will not hear "Glass". You will still hear "Drip".
6. Switch to sound settings, now select default first and then select "Glass".
7. Switch to terminal and press backspace, now you will hear "Glass".

So to summarize, if you want to change the alert sound, first you have to switch back to "Default" and then only whichever other alert sound you select, will take effect.
Since the release time is near, I thought it would be helpful to fix this before release.

Thank you.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

@padmahas, thank you for your detailled comment. That is a different issue than the one described there (which has been fixed now), could you open a new report for it?

padmahas (padmahas) wrote :

Sure @Sebastien,

Sorry I misunderstood 6th comment. I've raised a new bug. Bug #1871320 (

Thank you.

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