After being enlightened by the eventual solution, the title could also be

How to trigger system bell with Node.js

But Gulp terminal bell is what I initially searched for, so here it goes.

It's very much like triggering a bell in any other programming language. When STDOUT or STDERR is directed to a terminal or terminal emulator, echoing a BEL character will trigger the system bell.

So with Gulp (Node.js) it will be as simple as writing the character to the console in one of the following notations:


You can also write to stdout with process.stdout.write (console.log does exactly that).

I have not gone deep and checked all the different notations on different platforms, but they all work in my Terminator terminal with node v6.10.0.

Using it in Gulp

Right now I'm doing a lot of web development and using gulp to automatically build on changes with livereload, but when the build fails I need to be notified somehow. And when I'm working on Windows, I want the taskbar item to lighten up on build errors. Using the solution above does exactly what I want in an uncomplicated manner.

// Print error and a bell character
function printAndSwallowError (err) {

pipes.buildScripts = () => gulp.src(src.js)
  .on('error', printAndSwallowError)

In this example, I'm also swallowing the error by simply listening for it. If no event listeners are attached, the error will bubble up and stop execution of the gulp process. With this setup however, I get notified when I have build errors, fix the errors, the re-save and continue on without having to restart any processes.

Other people use gulp-plumber for the same thing, but let's keep it simple.