[pulseaudio-discuss] Volume jumps to 100% on KDE startup in KDE 4.4.0-4.4.1

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Sun Mar 14 04:58:28 PDT 2010

'Twas brillig, and Dwight Paige at 13/03/10 01:34 did gyre and gimble:
> In KDE 4.4.0 [Mandriva 2010.0 x86_64] and KDE 4.4.1 [Fedora 12 x86_64].
> When I log out and log back in or reboot when KDE starts sound volume
> levels jump to painfully loud 100% in KMix and pavucontrol. Why is this?

Do you have a Mandriva bug report about this? If so can you link it?
(I've got a couple 100% bugs (mostly invalid ones) but couldn't identify
this particular issue in the ones that I checked against.

> Is this a KDE, pulseaudio, or alsa issue? As per example I believe that
> openSuSE 11.2 does not use pulseaudio by default for KDE apps [it does
> for Gnome]. I can confirm that this sound jumping to 100% on boot/login
> does not happen in My openSuSE/KDE 4.4.1 partition. I checked and so far
> pulseaudio is not even installed in my openSuSE/KDE 4.4.1.

It could be a number of things. I've not got a KDE 4.4 install to hand
so not 100% sure but does kmix here show PulseAudio devices or Alsa
devices? You should be able to tell pretty easily from the names of the

In the pre-PulseAudio enabled Kmix, it would be responsible for
restoring volume levels on a per-user basis. After I integrated support
for PA into KMix I'm pretty careful to not save/restore volumes.

> Work around is to disable or remove pulseaudio:
> http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=237705&page=2

That's the whimps way out - real men find the issue - so thanks for
helping to debug :D

> That doesn't necessarily mean that pulseaudio is at fault or does it?
> Could this be a driver issue?

It's unlikely to be a driver issue. Something is ultimately causing this.

In order to debug, can you:

1. Edit your /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
2. Change log-level to "debug"
3. Do a fresh boot and make the issue happen.
4. Shut down (very important.
5. Startup again.
6. Post the output of "grep pulse /var/log/messages" to a Mandriva bug
report against the pulseaudio pacakge (it'll be assigned to me
automatically). If possible can you mark the times where you rebooted in
the log extract with some suitible annotation as it'll help show where
and when things happen.

Before you do any of the above tho', can you try the pulseaudio pacakges
from the Mandriva main/testing repository? These will be going out as
official updates in a week or so so you're really just getting a preview.

This updated package does include some fixes to ignore volume changes
when the user is not logged in and I'm wondering if some kind of race
condition is causing your user-specific volume preferences to be
clobbered by some system wide shutdown task before you get a change for
PA to exit after logging out. One way to test this theory is to not
shutdown directly, but to logout first and wait a couple minutes before
actually shutting down from the Display Manager instead.

Alternatively, (and I've not used KDM for a while), it could be the
display manager the one triggering the problem if it tries to play sound
when login is ready and starts PA for itself. If this is the case the
updated PA package will almost certainly fix the issue. To test without
upgrading boot to runlevel 3, and and login and type startx. This
approach of logging in vs. the KDM route should avoid the race.

Hope all this info helps.



Colin Guthrie

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