Sunday, May 13, 2012

[FIX] Adjust sound with Multimedia Keys in XFCE 4/Xubuntu

When I installed Xubuntu 12.04 on my laptop (HP Touchsmart tm2) I noticed that even though I had sound playback and the OSD worked, the sound volume didn't increased/decreased after hitting the proper keyboard keys. This was because the keys were actually adjusting the volume of the HDMI output.

This can fixed by changing the value of active-card in the xfce4-mixer settings, but first the correct value must be determined:

  1. Open "Sound Settings" (Alt+F2 and type: pavucontrol).
  2. Select the "Output Devices" Tab.
  3. Annotate the device's name, leaving out spaces and all characters from this list: ()[]-/
  4. Now add "Playback" to the beginning and "PulseAudioMixer" to the end of name annotated in the previous step. For me the correct value is: PlaybackBuiltinAudioAnalogStereoPulseAudioMixer

Now that we possess the correct, lets change the xfce4-mixer settings:

  1. Open the "Settings Editor" (Alt+F2 and type: xfce4-settings-editor).
  2. Choose the xfce4-mixer channel.
  3. Edit the active-card value entering the value determined previously.
  4. For settings take effect, either restart xfce4-volumed (killall xfce4-volumed && xfce4-volumned) or logout/login.

15 comments:

  1. How do I annotate the devices name? If I right click and select rename, it gives me "You need to load module-device-manager in the PulseAudio server in order to rename devices"

    Thanks for this tutorial, it is exactly what I need!

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    1. Yeah, it would be easier if we could copy the name directly from "Volume Control". You can annotate the device name using a text editor or start typing it in the "Settings Editor", just make sure you remove all the blacklisted characters.

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  2. Awesome, that was exactly my issue on Xubuntu 12.04 Voyager. Thanks a lot !

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  3. Thanks, works for me

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  4. Thanks, that appears to work, but I don't know why, when I close xfce4-settings-editor the active card parameter changes again to the HDMI device.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know for sure what's happening in your case. But confirm that you press "Enter" after typing the device name and before closing. You could also try to kill xfce4-volumed before editing the settings...

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    2. Sorry, I've just found what the problem was. I'm Spanish, and you can't write characters like á, é, í... I tried restoring the active card variable, it killed xfce4-volumed, then I restarted it from the terminal, and it wrote the activecard removing those characters.

      Finally I shutdown the HDMI device in the "Configuration" tab in pavucontrol and now it is working.

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    3. I'm glad that you got it to work.

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  5. Great. Now it's working. Thanks.

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  6. Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
    as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
    thank you :)

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  7. Worked great for me !
    I had to adapt the values to french systems :

    Audio interne Stéréo numérique (HDMI)
    PlaybackAudiointerneStronumriqueHDMIPulseAudioMixer

    Audio interne Stéréo analogique
    PlaybackAudiointerneStroanalogiquePulseAudioMixer

    Thanks a lot !

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