Skip to content

Typewriter sounds on Linux

Sébastien Dubois / November 23, 2019

2 min read

A beautiful typewriter. Picture courtesy of Luca Onniboni:

I might be somewhat nostalgic, but when I was a child, there was an old typewriter at home and it has always fascinated me.

I’ve spend a lot of time playing with it, trying to write faster and faster. Of course, more often than not, I ended up blocking the characters because only one of those could be used at a time. If you’ve ever used one of those, then you know what I mean ;-)

I believe that using a real typewriter is one of the things that has led me to enjoy writing. Since then, each time that I’ve decided to write a piece, I’ve always looked for a way to have the familiar typewriter sound.

It might sound stupid, but I just enjoy it; especially now that my typing speed has dramatically increased (last time I checked I wrote around 100–120 words per minute).

I’ve been using WriteMonkey ( for quite a long time, but recently I wrote a book using AsciiDoctor with Visual Studio Code and write my Medium articles right here within Google Chrome… Finally, my current book project will be written using either Scrivener ( or bibisco (

Since all of those don’t have an option for adding a nice typewriter sound, I’ve looked for alternatives…

I want to hear it!

I could not find any package providing this (awesome) feature (yet), apart from this one:

Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to download the .deb file and couldn’t convince myself to just build it from source (my Gentoo days are now long gone!).

Then I found this one:

It looked promising and simple enough (gotta be careful with actual key loggers! :D), but failed to run on my machine due to an issue with ALSA.

Since I really wanted this, I’ve forked the project and made the tiny tweaks necessary to get it up and running:

Now I can get my dear typewriter sound anywhereeeeeeeeeeeeeee! :D

PS: check out the Dev Concepts collection of e-books, join the Software Crafters community, the Personal Knowledge Management community, and come say hi on Twitter!
Discuss on TwitterEdit on GitHub