[lfs-support] Sounding a beep when building LFS.

rhubarbpieguy at gmail.com rhubarbpieguy at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 14:28:48 PDT 2015

On 09/17/2015 06:40 PM, John Harrigan wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 12:51:36PM -0500, rhubarbpieguy at gmail.com wrote:
>> I run simple scripts when building LFS that sound a beep to draw my
>> attention at completion or errors.  Unfortunately, alsa interrupts echo -e
>> "\a" so I must disable alsa on my host.  That works, but there's probably a
>> better way so I don't lose sound while building LFS.  How can I execute
>> "echo -e "\a" with alsa enabled?
>> I've tried snd-pcsp, snd_dummy, and a beep utility without success. I'm
>> probably missing something simple.  How can I sound a beep when building LFS
>> with alsa enabled?
>> Playing a sound file with mpg123 would be an acceptable alternative, which I
>> do when building BLFS.  But how when I'm building LFS?  I've tried linking
>> host programs with no success.
> This is a kludge but it might be sufficient until you find a real solution.
> What you can do is touch a file in the build environment whenever you
> detect your error condition and use inotifywait to monitor that file from
> the host environment.
> While you're building LFS inside the chroot environment, you would touch
> /tmp/error-alert whenever you hit your error condition.
>  From the host environment you would be running the following loop:
> while true; do inotifywait $LFS/tmp/error-alert >/dev/null 2>&1; [ $? ] && mpg123 error-sound.wav; done
> I haven't tested this in a real LFS build environment but I tested it in
> a simple chroot and a sound would play whenever I touched the file in the
> chroot.  N.B. I had to create the error-alert file before kicking off the
> while loop.

Thank you, a good idea.  I had roughly the same thought of looping on 
the host side shortly after posting and just tested it successfully.

I simply begin a script on the host side before su -lfs and executing 
lfs .bash_profile.  That script periodically checks /lfs/sources for 
files generated as the scripts finish.  Upon finding a file, the host 
script deletes the file, beeps, and resumes checking for files on 

Under my old method, lfs scripts would sound a simple beep(s) and wait 
for input.  Now, they write an empty file and wait for input. The empty 
file causes the host "beep" script to execute.  I then check the lfs 
side.  Additionally, the lfs scripts generate different files by script 
and status.  By using mpg123 and generating different file names, the 
host "beep" script can play a different sound(s) using different volumes.

Sometimes just voicing a problem helps.  Ken's point that "the whole 
purpose of chroot in LFS is to isolate you from the host" was very good 
and set me to thinking.  They are separate programmatically, but the 
host can read LFS and vice versa.  Running a host "beeps" script is 
perhaps hokey, but easy and simple.  At the end of my LFS build I 
generate "finished" which causes the host script to exit.

So my, yours, or perhaps a combination of both methods solves my 
problem.  My testing was minimal and didn't consist of a full LFS build, 
but I don't anticipate insurmountable problems.  Building LFS 7.8 will 
be a complete test.

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