[Pkg-xfce-devel] Bug#677014: Bug#677014: xfce4-volumed: no support for pulseaudio / multiple cards

Lionel Le Folgoc lionel at lefolgoc.net
Mon Jun 11 10:41:46 UTC 2012


On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 02:38:30AM -0400, Andres Cimmarusti wrote:
> Package: xfce4-volumed
> Version: 0.1.13-3
> Severity: normal
> I need to use pulseaudio and pavucontrol to be able to easily toggle 
> between HDMI audio output to a TV and laptop speakers. I also want to 
> use xfce volumed and mixer to control audio with special Fn keys.
> Sadly xfce volumed does not use pulse by default, but interacts directly 
> with the sound card.
> Volumed points to sound card, and when I mute with Fn+keyboard, it 
> mutes master and pulseaudio but cannot unmute pulseaudio!
> This is a well known bug:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/xfce4-volumed/+bug/883485
> In the ubuntu bug thread, two workarounds are suggested. One is to do 
> away with xfce4-volumed (a developer admits it doesn't support pulse), 
> so that custom key bindings can be defined (more robust solution) or do 
> this:

Actually, it "supports" pulseaudio, through the gstreamer0.10-pulse
backend (which unfortunately isn't very great, but that's another

> $ xfconf-query -c xfce4-mixer -p /active-card -s `xfconf-query -c 
> xfce4-mixer -p /sound-card`
> This last command works, but it's not robust enough to handle multiple 
> cards (e.g. HDMI outputs):
> When I switch to HDMI, audio control with Fn keys is useless. 
> Furthermore, when I use pavucontrol to switch back to laptop speakers, 
> volumed continues to be useless...
> There is a patch referred in the ubuntu thread:
> https://launchpadlibrarian.net/101001716/xfce4-volumed_0.1.13-2ubuntu2.debdiff
> However, Ubuntu uses pulseaudio by default while Debian does not. I'm 
> not sure this patch is robust enough to handle both cases. I hope the 
> maintainer can take a look.

I made the original patch for Xubuntu
and I'm not very proud of it. ;-)
TBH, it's hackish ("let's try to make it work for the LTS"-thing), and
not robust at all: when your system has several audio outputs (e.g.
laptop speaker and hdmi), the output selected by xfce4-volumed will be
random -- it depends on the output's ordering done by gstreamer...
And that's why some people complain that on 12.04, xfce4-volumed selects
their HDMI audio output while it's not the default card.

> Thanks. For now, I try to make the first workaround work.

If you feel lucky/adventurous (and know how to use git and compile
sources), you can try an experimental port of xfce4-volumed to
PulseAudio I wrote 2 weeks ago:
It doesn't support gstreamer anymore, only pulseaudio, hasn't received
much testing (well, I installed PulseAudio to test :), but at least
here, it seems to work, and it should do what you want (i.e. it follows
what output you set as default in pavucontrol).

(It's for testing purposes only, and not really ready for inclusion in
any distribution. I haven't decided yet what to do with it: merge it
back in xfce4-volumed, or release a pulse-only fork. I need to talk with
the original author about that...)


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