[pulseaudio-discuss] changing default pulseaudio output device

Tanu Kaskinen tanu.kaskinen at linux.intel.com
Fri May 15 03:00:07 PDT 2015

On Wed, 2015-05-13 at 22:41 +0100, Samuele Carcagno wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a problem on a fresh install of Debian Jessie with KDE. On Debian 
> Wheezy and Ubuntu Trusty I could change the output device for each 
> application through pavucontrol, and upon reboot the application would 
> "remember" that device and use it again. On Jessie instead I have to 
> change the output device from the default internal soundcard to my 
> external soundcard each time the computer is rebooted.

I'd guess that the different routing system used in KDE causes this,
except that...

> I tried to follow this guide
> http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/DefaultDevice/
> to change the default output device, so I added the following line to 
> /etc/pulse/default.pa
> set-default-sink 
> alsa_output.usb-E-MU_Systems__Inc._E-MU_0404___USB_E-MU-0E-3F04-07D80A14-027A8-STATION_01-00-USB.analog-stereo
> and after I did that I also temporarily disabled pulseaudio by
> sudo mv /usr/bin/pulseaudio /usr/bin/pulsefoo
> so that it wouldn't respawn and terminating it with ksysguard. When 
> disabled I deleted the the ~/.config/pulse directory, re-enabled 
> pulseaudio and rebooted. Unfortunately applications would still output 
> to the internal soundcard by default. I'm pretty sure that I specified 
> the name of the external soundcard correctly because if I use that name 
> with paswitch 
> https://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/archives/2012/06/switching_pulseaudio_output_device/ 
> it works (unfortunately the changes with paswitch are again only temporary).
> Not sure if this is somehow related to the above issue, but the settings 
> I choose the for Phonon in the KDE multimedia settings don't stick 
> either. I select the external soundcard as the default device and upon 
> reboot the internal one is on top on the preferences list.

...except that it seems that the KDE-specific routing system isn't
working either. It sounds like things just don't get saved on disk.

Is this "KDE multimedia settings" the same as KMix? KMix should have a
list of "media roles", such as video, music, game, event etc. Each role
should have a list of audio devices, which you can prioritize by
reordering the list. Assuming that you have a similar settings in this
"KDE multimedia settings" thing, does the device-manager database
timestamp in ~/.config/pulse get updated after you change the device
priorities? (Wait 10 seconds before checking; the device-manager
database gets written to disk after a 10 second delay.)

If the timestamp doesn't get updated, then module-device-manager doesn't
write anything to the disk. In that case, check if module-device-manager
is even loaded with "pactl list modules".


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