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12753 Discussions

Beep on a boot menu


Dear all,

I'm thinking of aquiring a NUC, but I have a specific need I'd like to address here:

As you know, desktop computers use to have the so called internal speaker, a specific, serial component for issuing beeps, especially on hardware failures but can also be used fo other purposes.

Some laptop computers can beep as well, usually through the integrated sound card, but they don't always offer the same flexibility as desktops. For example, some boot loaders such as grub, installed by most Linux distributions, have a "play" command which can be configured so that grub plays a beep when it displays the menu for choosing an operating system to boot, in a dual boot environment. Every desktop that has a pc speaker component can issue that beep, but not every laptop can, because each manufactuer appears to implement it in a specific, proprietary way, so it can beep on a hardware failure but not when commanded by grub, or inside a Linux environment.

Upon reading some NUC's support material here at its web site, I see it's also capable of beeps on hardware failures, so I'd like to make sure it can be programmed to beep in other situations as well before buying it. Could anyone e.g. boot to a Linux distro, change to a pure console, and issue a command such as "tput bel" to hear whether it beeps?

Another way of testing it would be to use an USB stick to boot a NUC using a Linux distro that's prepared to beep at the start of the boot process, such as Slint (, then report here whether it beeps as soon as the boot options apear.

Thanks for any help,

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3 Replies
Super User Retired Employee

None of the NUCs have ever sported a speaker. Ignoring the fact that there simply isn't the real estate on the 4x4 boards to include one (especially because of hole-through requirement that affects every layer of the board), feedback over the years has consistently been that no one wants or appreciates the cheap mono speaker. In fact, Intel first dropped support for these speakers in many of their 7 and 8 Series Desktop Boards.

Instead, the NUC BIOS has support for producing beeps, etc. through the RealTek audio solution. That is, you hear them through whatever headphones or speakers you have plugged into the front/rear audio connector(s). Only a few of the vPro NUCs ship without a RealTek audio solution.



Yes, I know. I'd just like to know whether such beep, produced via RealTek, is capable of beeping in all of situations that a traditional serial speaker is, hence my suggestions of some commands to test it.
Note also that some laptops, whose internal speaker is also generated through a RealTek solution, have a dedicated mixer control for beeping, e.g. look for "beep" in this log:
Does NUC have that mixer control too?

Super User Retired Employee

You mean for beeping from the runtime environment? No, I don't believe so.