[pulseaudio-discuss] Disable PulseAudio control of my Volume and Mute

Sean Greenslade sean at seangreenslade.com
Mon Jan 6 02:42:27 UTC 2020

On Sat, Dec 28, 2019 at 02:45:57AM -0800, Brad Allen wrote:
> I am sick and tired of my Volume and Mute constantly being mucked with
> by PulseAudio.  When I set them, I want them to stay put.  I set them
> in alsamixer with the fine-grained control I learned when ALSA first
> came out.  But now, when I change any setting in ALSA, PulseAudio then
> clobbers all the rest of the settings.

Pulseaudio essentially "takes over" the audio hardware interfaces when
it is active. It maintains its own state for volumes, mute, routing,
defaults, etc. It will not respect any settings made in alsamixer.

> If there is an equivalent command to ALSA’s alsamixer in PulseAudio,
> let me know it; “man -k pulseaudio” did not show anything, and only
> claims to have a GUI version which requires some sort of mouse
> interface which of course I hate.  I searched and found “pamix”, but
> it does not work, since it does not show everything at once, and
> requires default keys that are already used by screen, and seems to
> have none of the controls ALSA does.  If there’s another ncurses based
> mixer in PulseAudio that actually works, let me know.

There appear to be quite a few. I haven't tried any of them myself, but
hopefully one of these will suit your needs:


> Otherwise, I want to completely erase the ability of PulseAudio to
> control my audio mute or volumes on any device whatsoever.  Please
> explain how I can do that.  While completely removing PulseAudio would
> feel great, I fear that doing so would only make it harder to use many
> Linux programs that expect it to exist, like some that I already use.

One setting that may be of interest to you is the "flat volumes"
setting. If flat volumes are enabled, application-level volume
management events (e.g. the volume slider in VLC player) will be linked
to the hardware output volume slider. If flat volumes are disabled,
every application gets its own volume slider in "series" with the
hardware output volume slider.

Hopefully these hints will point you in the right direction, otherwise
feel free to elaborate on the issues you're having.


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