no beep any more

Ian Smith smithi at
Thu Jul 28 13:39:31 UTC 2016

In freebsd-questions Digest, Vol 634, Issue 5, Message: 6
On Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:42:39 +0200 Matthias Apitz <guru at> wrote:
 > El d?a Thursday, July 28, 2016 a las 09:08:10PM +1000, Ian Smith escribi?:
 > >  > I have two of these Acer C720 Chromebooks. One is still beeping and the
 > >  > other only in the coreboot splash screen, and was beeping in FreeBSD
 > >  > before. I do not see anything which supports your idea.
 > > 
 > > I've been following this thread with interest.
 > Hi Ian,
 > This is nice that you say this, really!

I was surprised it was still a mystery .. but I'm still struggling to 
put a complete picture together re the working / non-working machines, 
and/or FreeBSD revisions.

And I only just noticed 'only in the coreboot splash screen'; see below.

 > The problem started some days
 > ago on the C720 I'm using 7*24 and where I'm typing right now. It could
 > really be the fact that this C720 has a hardware or BIOS issue. But the
 > other C720 my son is using, running the same FreeBSD r292778 is beeping
 > fine but is not beeping when I boot a new USB stick with r303343.

What's uname -a on r292778?  Since losing access to I 
can't readily see what's what from just rev numbers.  Maybe not relevant 
but it sounds like a regression in 11, but there may be other factors ..

 > That's why I wanted first concentrate on this C720 to learn what the nature
 > of the issue or configuration is on this and I wrote in the mail from
 > where you have copied the part b) as well:
 > ...
 > a) concentrate first on the C720 which still beeps (to eliminate the                                
 >    risk that the other has a hardware issue)   
 > > 
 > > >From a later message from the list archive (not here yet) you say:
 > > 
 > >  > b) let away X11, and use as test cases only:
 > >  >    1. it should beep on key backspace while cursor is on prompt
 > >  >    2. it should beep on a second ESC in editor vi 
 > >  >    3. it should beep on the shell command: printf "\7"
 > > 
 > > I don't use vi, but 1 and 3 work here fine both from a VT and within 
 > > KDE, however I have KDE send 'beep' notifications rather than speaker.
 > > 
 > > You seem to assume that something's broken in FreeBSD - which may be the 
 > > case - but it's also possible that the speaker hardware on the non- 
 > > beeping one is just broken, especially as device speaker didn't work.
 > Yes, from the fact "r292778 beeps, while r303343 does not on the same
 > hardware and the same BIOS" I think that either there is some config
 > problem or "a moving target", i.e. some random bug;

To see if I've got this clear .. it's only with your 11-alpha memstick 
boot that there's no speaker working?  That applies to both machines?  
And that both C720s' speakers work right on r292778?

 > > Usually the hardware for these in laptops is a simple piezo speaker, 
 > > commonly with red and blue wires, likely driven by a single TTL or CMOS 
 > > buffer.  While piezo speakers are pretty hard (but not impossible) to 
 > > destroy, I've had a laptop where one wire has become detached, so if 
 > > it's not too hard to get in there to check, that may be worthwhile .. if 
 > > so it's likely a simple fix, either by soldering or replacement.
 > > 
 > > Another possibility is that it's (become?) disabled in BIOS settings?
 > If it comes to the so called BIOS settings, these Chromebooks has no
 > settings menu. The hardware boots some 'coreboot' software which has as
 > a payload a SeaBIOS and the only option you have is select the boot
 > device if there are more than one.

Ok, thanks.  Hmmm.  But beep works ok at the coreboot boot screen, but 
not later running under FreeBSD, on one?

Does it have volume control and mute buttons?  Do these work in FreeBSD? 
I've seen mention of these in mobile@ and acpi@ but paid no attention ..

Reason I ask is that, just now for old times' sake, I tried the old:
 # kldload speaker
 # echo cdefgec >/dev/speaker
on my Lenovo X200, lid-down accessed via ssh on a 120x50 Konsole.

Silence.  Huh?  'mixer speaker' shows 70:70.  Backspace at prompt, KDE 
beeptone.  Surprised, I (cleared then :) opened the lid and logged in; 
no backspace beep.  Oh, ah - hit volume-up .. beep all good,  Hit mute, 
beep gone locally - but Konsole remotely still does its KDE notify beep 
as mentioned, so I hadn't noticed it had been muted for maybe a week ..

Which is a longwinded way of saying: try eg the volume-up button while 
at coreboot screen, in case if booted in 'mute' state, freebsd won't be 
able to unset that, especially if volume buttons don't work in freebas?

Just a long shot .. no warranty ..

 > So, back to the above question: why the beast is beeping with r292778
 > and not with r303343? Maybe the answer to this will later explain why
 > the other C720 is not beeping at all at the moment, not with r292778 and
 > not with r303343...

Now the last bit is why I was (re)confused .. you mean the was-working 
one has become non-working since trying 11-alpha2, even back on r292778?

 > In any case I will open my C720 and look for the red/blue wires, if they
 > are not below the motherboard :-(

No, if the other one has 'gone bad' too, it almost must be software.  Or 
firmware.  Apart from the mute button thing, you could try a real cold 
reset (ie battery removed and replaced after a time).  Out of ideas ..

cheers, Ian  (Please cc me, digests can take a full day sometimes)

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