XkbForceDeviceBell - Man Page

Rings the bell on any keyboard, overriding user preference settings for audible bells


Bool XkbForceDeviceBell (Display *display, Window window, unsigned int device_spec, unsigned int bell_class, unsigned int bell_id, int percent);



connection to the X server


event window, or None


device ID, or XkbUseCoreKbd


input extension class of the bell to be rung


input extension ID of the bell to be rung


relative volume, which can range from -100 to 100 inclusive


The core X protocol allows only applications to explicitly sound the system bell  with a  given duration, pitch, and volume. Xkb extends this capability by allowing clients  to  attach symbolic names to bells, disable audible bells, and receive an event  whenever the  keyboard bell is rung. For the purposes of this document, the audible bell is defined to be the system bell, or the default keyboard bell, as opposed to  any  other audible sound generated elsewhere in the system.  You can ask to receive XkbBellNotify events when any client rings any one of the  following:

You can also ask to receive XkbBellNotify events when the server rings the default  bell  or if any client has requested events only (without the bell sounding) for any of  the  bell types previously listed.

You can disable audible bells on a global basis. For example, a client that  replaces the  keyboard bell with some other audible cue might want to turn off the AudibleBell  control  to prevent the server from also generating a sound and avoid cacophony. If you  disable  audible bells and request to receive XkbBellNotify events, you can generate  feedback  different from the default bell.

You can, however, override the AudibleBell control by calling one of the functions  that  force the ringing of a bell in spite of the setting of the AudibleBell control - XkbForceDeviceBell or XkbForceBell. In this case the server does not generate a bell event.

Just as some keyboards can produce keyclicks to indicate when a key is pressed or repeating, Xkb  can provide feedback for the controls by using special beep codes. The AccessXFeedback control  is used to configure the specific types of operations that generate feedback.

Bell Names

You can associate a name to an act of ringing a bell by converting the name to an Atom  and then using this name when you call the functions listed in this chapter. If an event  is generated as a result, the name is then passed to all other clients interested in receiving  XkbBellNotify events. Note that these are arbitrary names and that there is no binding to any  sounds. Any sounds or other effects (such as visual bells on the screen) must be generated by a  client application upon receipt of the bell event containing the name. There is no default name  for the default keyboard bell. The server does generate some predefined bells for the AccessX  controls. These named bells are shown in Table 1; the name is included in any bell event sent to  clients that have requested to receive XkbBellNotify events.

Table 1 Predefined Bells
ActionNamed Bell
Indicator turned onAX_IndicatorOn
Indicator turned offAX_IndicatorOff
More than one indicator changed stateAX_IndicatorChange
Control turned onAX_FeatureOn
Control turned offAX_FeatureOff
More than one control changed stateAX_FeatureChange
SlowKeys and BounceKeys about to be turned on or offAX_SlowKeysWarning
SlowKeys key pressedAX_SlowKeyPress
SlowKeys key acceptedAX_SlowKeyAccept
SlowKeys key rejectedAX_SlowKeyReject
Accepted SlowKeys key releasedAX_SlowKeyRelease
BounceKeys key rejectedAX_BounceKeyReject
StickyKeys key latchedAX_StickyLatch
StickyKeys key lockedAX_StickyLock
StickyKeys key unlockedAX_StickyUnlock

Audible Bells

Using Xkb you can generate bell events that do not necessarily ring the system bell. This  is useful if you need to use an audio server instead of the system beep. For example,  when an audio client starts, it could disable the audible bell (the system bell) and then  listen for XkbBellNotify events. When it receives a XkbBellNotify event, the audio client could  then send a request to an audio server to play a sound.

You can control the audible bells feature by passing the XkbAudibleBellMask to XkbChangeEnabledControls. If you set XkbAudibleBellMask on, the server rings the system bell when a bell event occurs.  This is the default. If you set XkbAudibleBellMask off and a bell event occurs, the server does  not ring the system bell unless you call XkbForceDeviceBell or XkbForceBell.

Audible bells are also part of the per-client auto-reset controls.

Bell Functions

Use the functions described in this section to ring bells and to generate bell events.

The input extension has two types of feedbacks that can generate bells - bell feedback and  keyboard feedback. Some of the functions in this section have bell_class and bell_id parameters; set them as follows: Set bell_class to BellFeedbackClass or KbdFeedbackClass. A device can have more than one feedback of each type;  set bell_id to the particular bell feedback of bell_class type.

Table 2 shows the conditions that cause a bell to sound or an XkbBellNotifyEvent to be generated  when a bell function is called.

Table 2 Bell Sounding and Bell Event Generating
Function calledAudibleBellServer sounds a bellServer sends an
XkbDeviceBellEventOn or OffNoYes
XkbBellEventOn or OffNoYes
XkbDeviceForceBellOn or OffYesNo
XkbForceBellOn or OffYesNo

If a compatible keyboard extension isn't present in the X server, XkbForceDeviceBell immediately returns False. Otherwise, XkbForceDeviceBell rings the bell as specified for the display and keyboard device and returns  True. Set percent to be the volume relative to the base volume for the keyboard as described for XBell.

There is no name parameter because XkbForceDeviceBell does not cause an XkbBellNotify event.

You can call XkbBell without first initializing the keyboard extension.


Xkb generates XkbBellNotify events for all bells except for those resulting from  calls to XkbForceDeviceBell and XkbForceBell. To receive XkbBellNotify events under all possible conditions, pass  XkbBellNotifyMask in  both the bits_to_change and values_for_bits parameters to XkbSelectEvents.

The XkbBellNotify event has no event details. It is either selected or it is not.  However, you can call XkbSelectEventDetails using XkbBellNotify as the event_type and specifying XkbAllBellEventsMask in bits_to_change and values_for_bits. This has the same effect as a call to XkbSelectEvents.

The structure for the XkbBellNotify event type contains:

   typedef struct _XkbBellNotify {
       int            type;        /* Xkb extension base event code */
       unsigned long  serial;      /* X server serial number for event */
       Bool           send_event;  /* True => synthetically generated */
       Display *      display;     /* server connection where event generated */
       Time           time;        /* server time when event generated */
       int            xkb_type;    /* XkbBellNotify */
       unsigned int   device;      /* Xkb device ID, will not be XkbUseCoreKbd */
       int            percent;     /* requested volume as % of max */
       int            pitch;       /* requested pitch in Hz */
       int            duration;    /* requested duration in microseconds */
       unsigned int   bell_class;  /* X input extension feedback class */
       unsigned int   bell_id;     /* X input extension feedback ID */
       Atom           name;        /* "name" of requested bell */
       Window         window;      /* window associated with event */
       Bool           event_only;  /* False -> the server did not produce a beep */
   } XkbBellNotifyEvent;

If your application needs to generate visual bell feedback on the screen when it  receives  a bell event, use the window ID in the XkbBellNotifyEvent, if present.

See Also

XBell(3), XkbBell(3), XkbBellNotify(3), XkbChangeEnabledControls(3), XkbDeviceBell(3), XkbForceBell(3), XkbForceDeviceBell(3), XkbSelectEventDetails(3), XkbSelectEvents(3)

Referenced By

XkbBell(3), XkbBellEvent(3), XkbDeviceBell(3), XkbDeviceBellEvent(3), XkbForceBell(3).

libX11 1.8.9 X Version 11 XKB FUNCTIONS