Linux has the annoying habit of beeping too much. And not using the normal speakers, it beeps with the speaker inside your PC. This can often be very loud. My Ubuntu installation beeps on the terminal, when it shuts down, and Firefox beeps when “Find in This Page…” fails. By blacklisting the module that controls the speaker, the beep can be silenced permanently.

[update] Mackenzie has pointed out in the comments that there’s an easier way! Open System->Preferences->Sound and select the System Beep tab. Uncheck the Enable system beep box. This will work only for your user and only inside the GNOME desktop, which will be fine for most people. Use the Visual system beep option and Compiz will nicely flash your windows or screen.

Open the file /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist as root in a text editor:
nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

Add this line to the end of the file:
blacklist pcspkr

The next time Linux boots up pcspkr will be blocked from loading and you will no longer hear the beep. Peace and quiet at last!

But if you only need a temporary solution to disable the beep, just run this command (as root): [update: "rmmod" is being deprecated, use "modprobe -r" instead.]
rmmod pcspkr
modprobe -r pcspkr

That will disable the speaker until the next reboot. If you want it on again run this (as root):
modprobe pcspkr

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