Some free sounds for the Gnome desktop.

Copyright (C) 2000 Conrad Parker,

Copying, modification and redistribution of these sounds in any medium is expressly permitted.

These replace some desktop sounds in the current gnome-audio module.


A tarball of these sounds is available here (772k gzip compressed tar archive).


To use, copy into $(gnome-prefix)/share/sounds or (to avoid overwriting your previous desktop sounds) into any other readable directory.

Once the sounds are installed, you will need to ensure they are correctly attached to the appropriate events. They are designed to be used as listed in the following table [which corresponds to the Multimedia -> Sound -> Sound Events dialog of the Gnome Control Center] -- note most of them have the same names as the original Gnome sounds, apart from those for the panel.

You can download individual sounds from this web page to try them out.

EventFile to Play
GNOME system events
Informational Messagesinfo.wav
Warning Messageswarning.wav
Error Messageserror.wav
Question Dialogsquestion.wav
Miscellaneous Messagesgeneric.wav
User interface events
Action button clickgtk-events/clicked.wav
Menu item activationgtk-events/activate.wav
Check box toggledgtk-events/toggled.wav

You may need to restart the gnome panel and flush part of esd's sample cache for these changes to take effect. The easiest way to do this (lame as it is) is to log out and log back in again.

Feedback and Motivation

I hope you find these sounds useful, please let me know if you like them or not. They were fun to make, I'll happily make more and in different styles as needed.

Thanks to Jeff Waugh for putting me in touch with Dan Mueth, and to Dan for getting the project started.

I've designed the sounds to be a bit more subtle than the old defaults. They have have a consistent "theme" to them, which will probably remind you of any number of computer games with whooshing metal sounds. I don't play games much nowadays (apart from gnome-games of course ;) but I'm getting flashbacks of Speedball 2 on my old Amiga after having used these sounds for the past few hours.

Also, they are quite quiet (I amplified most of them down to about 0.1-0.2 after making them) so you probably won't hear them over your music. You'll probably appreciate that after a while :) They're made to blend in to your environment, as opposed to smacking you around the ears every time you open a dialog window.

Statement of origin

These sounds were generated by Conrad Parker using aube(/metadecks), a synthesis and effects program, and edited with sweep, a sound wave editor. Thus these sounds are entirely original.
(Both of these programs are Free Software).

Keyboard bell

If you would like to take further part in my total addiction to bass, turn your keyboard bell [in the Multimedia -> Sound -> Keyboard Bell dialog of the Gnome Control Center] down to around 80Hz Pitch and 20 ms Duration.

FractalMule: to K's Place Copyright (C) 2000 Conrad Parker, Last modified Sun Sep 24 2000