New system sounds in 18.04?

So while the desktop is getting a makeover, maybe this would be a good time to consider new default system sounds for Ubuntu.

This could also be a call for participation from the community. The design team could be appointed the task of choosing if there’s a worthy successor to the current sound-theme. There might not be a better suggestion/proposal and if there isn’t an obvious replacement (moderne but still respecting the roots and spirit of Ubuntu), we can just take another +10 years with the current sounds :wink:

Does anyone know who did the Ubuntu Touch sounds?

Who would kick off such a project if an announcement should come from Canonical? @willcooke @popey @nhaines ???

UPDATE: My own contribution can be found here:



It would be great to have a makeover.

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I’m not actually sure where the sounds came from. I know Jouni in the design team at the time collated them, but I don’t know where he got them from. He’s no longer with the company. I’ll ask around.

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I think this is an excellent idea. I too can’t remember where they came from, @popey let me know if you need a hand digging this info out.

The desktop team doesn’t have time to commit to running this project, but if the members of the community are interested in putting something together we can happily review and sponsor uploads.


Sounds like @madsrh just committed to run this project :wink:


Sure, no problem - but are my hands free regarding an announcement of this or do I need to run this by a Canonical employee before posting? Alan might a nice “inside contact” to have :slightly_smiling_face:

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I pinged a mail to Marcus to find out if he knows. Everything points to probably Jouni making them. But knowing or not knowing where the previous ones came from isn’t a blocker on people working on new ones, for sure.

Co-incidentally only recently I saw a post from Pete Savage who created the original audio assets more than 10 years ago! Time flies! :smiley:

If it helps for decision making, over the last 6 years, I would say 99% of all my students and professionals that migrated to Ubuntu actually simply disabled them. I got that question asked a lot so I simply told everyone how to disable them through the system settings window. It is not that they are bad sounds, it is just that most did not really need a sound for the actions they were doing (distracting, scaring them, etc). Similar to how the clicking sound was a bad idea on Windows when a user clicked the mouse. they would hear the click on the button and then the sound of a mouse clicked. So maybe some ideas could be taken from this feedback (Which is around 400+ users for this case during that time).


That makes sense - not all actions need a sound. Just look at this list:
Some investigation is needed to make sure the sounds actually enhance the user experience.


Something on startup as well, like KDE, or Ubuntu in its earliest stages?

Like you, I absolutely loved the Ubuntu Touch sounds. Really glad you’ve decided to take up the cause here, you seem like a very sensible guy.

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I think it makes most sense to work on this as a community project, and so no Canonical “official” approval is needed. I’d suggest you start by getting a PPA up with the new sound theme in which people can install. If it’s packaged correctly, and we can advise on that for sure, then we could add it to Universe and people can install it easily. If the general consensus is positive then we can look at switching the default over to it further down the road (not necessarily out of scope for this cycle - but then you’re not committing to finishing it it this cycle either).


Unity 7 has very nice sounds, I really miss the bongos when the system boots up or when I log in.
Imho, just bring the sounds from 17.04 to 18.04 :slight_smile:

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Would it be okay, just to host the files on Github? Not the best of name :rofl:


They become annoying when every desktop in a cubicle farm has them enabled.


I’ve uploaded three different suggestions. to Github (see my post from two days ago) :smiley:

PLEASE download, test and post feedback in this thread!!!

DEVELOPERS: Could someone please help me create the Makefile? and does this project need a debian folder?

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Wow, I’m really blown away, this is really good stuff.

Kalimba - Everything fits together nicely, definitely a more rich feeling, but slower.
Wooden - Best overall feel, because all the sounds are delicate, quickly over, weightless–really low annoyance factor. I think only “Complete” notification sound doesn’t fit, too Apple “Ta-Da”-ish … becomes annoying because it’s slow. I get the sense you like this sound the best also, as you’ve flushed it out more than the other two (or perhaps it just came together more easily?)
Touch - It sounds good, but much more attention demanding on the whole.

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Andy: Thanks for the feedback! It’s much appreciated :+1:

The Wooden theme is, as you said, my favorite. Good point regarding the “Complete” sound - I agree, but how often do you actually hear that one? I think it’s fint if it’s when a CD has finished burning and tasks like that, but if it’s everytime a download has completed, it has to go for sure.

Touch is my least favorite, exactly for the reason you’ve mentioned, but the desktop-login sound is a nice boot sound and that’s always the hardest to create (or in this case steal :wink:
Did you hear the original ringtone?

Are there boot sounds in 17.10 ?

Yeah I love the ringtone, I actually had a OnePlus flashed with Ubuntu Touch, and was donating to UBPorts for a while. Never got it working with my mobile service fully (it would ring with a call, but wouldn’t have any sound, calls out would not connect, etc), but it was amazing to play with and just so impressed with every aspect of the design language, and really all the software (the best onscreen keyboard ever). The login/ringtone reminds me a lot of the TGV Announcement chime even though they don’t sound the same at all really.

I think arranging that Touch Login melody for your kalimba and/or xylophone could be really beautiful, or just deciding that your longer login sound for Kalimba is good for both of your original sound suites (not a big fan of the sonar ping for login).