[pulseaudio-discuss] ALSA with UCM, localized names, nice icons and form factor

Tanu Kaskinen tanuk at iki.fi
Fri Sep 30 09:36:28 UTC 2016

On Thu, 2016-09-22 at 18:07 +0200, Paul Kocialkowski wrote:
> Hi,
> over the past few days, I have been working on integrating the Chromebook 13
> CB5-311 from Acer with userspace ALSA and Pulseaudio. Support for it using the
> alsa-mixer module is far from perfect, so I decided to go with ALSA UCM instead.
> There are a few things that I currently can't get working with alsa-ucm as well
> as alsa-mixer.
> First, the device names are taken as provided from the UCM config and are not
> localized. alsa-mixer.c's path_verify and option_verify functions provide
> description maps that lead to using localized names for devices, which is much
> nicer for users. I would like to have a similar feature for UCM. Can anyone
> suggest a proper way to do this?

My impression is that the names that PulseAudio's UCM code generates
are often bad and could be improved, but the particular issue of
localization seems like something that PulseAudio probably can't fix
without help from alsa. Either the UCM configuration itself needs to be
translatable, or we need some naming standard in UCM. The standard
could be either fixed UCM device names, or there could be a
"description key" value that is associated with the devices, so that
the device names could be whatever, but there would a description key
that could be used to show and translate user-friendly descriptions in
applications that use UCM (like PulseAudio).

If you wish to do something about this, I think it would be best to
bring this topic up on alsa-devel at alsa-project.org.

> Also, alsa-mixer's configuration will provide a device.icon_name that is
> appropriate for each type of device, which results in such nice icons being
> displayed in e.g. GNOME's sound control settings. There is no mechanism in place
> to have something equivalent with UCM. Can anyone suggest a proper way to get
> this going?

The UCM configuration could specify the icon name directly, and/or the
UCM configuration could specify the device "type" that PulseAudio can
then map to a icon name.


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