[pulseaudio-discuss] 100% volume limit bogus

Georg Chini georg at chini.tk
Fri Feb 8 07:09:53 UTC 2019

On 08.02.19 01:21, liebrecht at grossmann-venter.com wrote:
> I found an interesting reason why this 100% Volume policy in 
> pavucontrol is actually detrimental.
> The sound is very low with the pavucontrol 100% and my keyboard 
> buttons cannot go past that as that is how pavu controls it.
> Its fair, but as soon as I start QEMU, (which uses pulseaudio as 
> sound) with a windows virtual machine something peculiar happens.
> I p-lay music on the linux machine which has nothing to do with 
> anything from QEMU.
> Once windows boots up in QEMU, sometimes with no config on my side, 
> QEMU pushes the volume omn Linux up way past the maximum of 
> pavucontrol to deafening levels.
> Jeeziz.!
> Why this QEMU raising of Linux host volume happens is a mystery to me.
> Please read this carefully and consider:
> It is better to have pulseaudio 100% at system absolutely maximum 
> volume so that the user can set volume down.
> Since you implemented this 100% restriction that is way too low 
> volume, other applications like QEMU seemingly finds a way to go to 
> the real maximum which makes your low volume policy severely detrimental.
> This policy forces the user to set the hardware output device at 
> almost maximum, w2hich creates a lot of trouvble if another 
> application finds a way around this silly limit and blasts your ears 
> out, as Qemu and windows does.
> Qemu just willy nilly turns up the linux output volume to its correct 
> maximum way way past the imho dangerous and deceptive pavu lower limit.
> Give the user full control so they can set their own maximum limit. 
> These non-working and bypassable synthetic limits creates more damage 
> than they intend to prevent.

There are no volume limits in pulseaudio. You can't make sliders 
infinitely long,
so there must be some limit if you use a GUI like pavucontrol.

See for example 
for an explanation how volumes in PA work.

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