No system sounds in Gnome

Steve stevem0210-blfs at
Fri Dec 12 23:50:48 PST 2008

I found the issue. Gnome plays sounds with the function 'gnome_sound_play' from libgnome. I mistakenly configured libnome with --disable-esd which is default from the book. I recompiled libgnome and reinstalled and the system sounds play :-)

--- On Sat, 12/13/08, blfs-support-request at <blfs-support-request at> wrote:

Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 20:02:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Steve <stevem0210-blfs at>
Subject: No system sounds in Gnome
To: blfs-support at
Message-ID: <732727.37203.qm at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

For sound I'm using ALSA with ESD and Gstreamer. All of the utilities with
ALSA, ESD, and Gstreamer work without any problem. 'esdplay
/usr/share/sounds/login.wav' works fine. In the sound preferences, I check
'Enable software sound mixing (ESD)', but none of the sounds play when I
press 'Play'. However, the test tones play ok in the devices tab.
In order to start the esd, you have to restart gnome after checking 'Enable
software sound mixing'. I believe the test tones in the Devices tab are
using gstreamer since I got a gstreamer error when the esd wasn't running
after I selected ESD sound playback.
I can't find the link, but I read in a gnome support group that ESD was
abandoned in Gnome 2.19, but is used in Gnome 2.18. Maybe Gnome 2.18.3 is on the
edge of a major change in the sound support. I'm about to dive into the
handful sound source code files in gnome session and control center and see why
the system sounds can't access the esd. esdmon shows no output on the play
buttons, but had output on the test tones.
It should be a simple operation to play the wav files through esd.
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