GTick - the metronome



What's GNU GTick?

GTick is a metronome application written for GNU/Linux and other UN*X-like operting systems supporting different meters (Even, 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and more) and speeds ranging from 10 to 1000 bpm. It utilizes GTK+ and OSS (ALSA compatible). It is part of the GNU Project.

This program has been originally written by Alex Roberts, but since he didn't have the time to develop and maintain it further, I (Roland Reichwein) took it over (initially to package it for Debian, but there were too many "upstream" issues, so I decided to maintain the whole package). Since then, the program has been mainly rewritten (new DSP core, GTK+2 port, added features).



Have a first look at GTick with the screen shots. First, GTick in the most simple GUI mode:

Simple Screenshot

GTick full flavored:

Full Flavored Screenshot

Some Important Features


This software is delivered in different forms:

Please note that the Debian and Red Hat packages are sometimes a bit out of date.

After downloading the source tarball, just unpack it, build (compile) the executable and run it:

tar xfvz gtick-X.X.X.tar.gz
cd gtick-X.X.X
make install


(Further documentation is included in the tarball.)



This program is Free Software and is covered by the GPL (GNU General Public License, Version 3).


Please read this little FAQ and have a look at the Mailing List Archives before reporting bugs. Be prepared that I can't answer questions appeating over and over again.

Q: How do I report a bug?

After reading this FAQ, please write me an email containing:

  1. A description of the bug so that I can reproduce it
  2. A debug output from the program, created with:
    $ gtick --debug
  3. The kernel version number (and possibly the list of applied patches, if appropriate), e.g. 2.4.20
  4. The architecture you are running the program on, e.g. i386
  5. The name and driver of your sound card. Which audio driver suite do you use? Kernel-OSS? OSS? ALSA? Kernel-2.6-ALSA?
  6. The GTK+ version number working on your system

Q: Sound doesn't work, what can I do?

Some ideas:

Q: I set volume to 100% but it is still quiet. What can I do?

GTick uses an internal volume control that has its maximum at the Sound System's current "PCM" and "Master" setting. Try a common mixer application (e.g. alsamixer, aumix, xmix) and set the "Master" and "PCM" controls accordingly.

Q: How is the sound generated in GTick?

Sound generation in GTick is done in a separate thread which constantly produces a continuous audio stream that makes sure the /dev/dsp (OSS) buffer is filled enough to have a precise, sustainable clicking. Clicks are copied and resampled from fixed samples. Between the "clicks", zeros are written to the DSP. This way, the sound device's timer is used as (hopefully precise) single time reference. The buffer fill routine is just called regularly to fill the buffer. The timing of the latter doesn't matter much, as long as the buffer is relatively far from running out of data. For buffer filling, double buffering with multiple buffers is implemented.

How to contribute

Besides sponsoring :) there are some other ways to contribute to this project. Here, I've got some points which I definitely can't do myself in the near future for different reasons. If you like to take one, please write me an email. Thanks!


Any suggestions, comments and bug reports (which are highly appreciated) go to the GTick mailing list For discussion and announcements, you can subscribe to the list. You can also browse the Mailing List Archives. If this fails or for non-public discussion, contact the maintainer directly: Roland Reichwein <rr at>.

Created by rr at