Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My volume control applet and the "Sound Preferences" / "Output Volume" doesn't work (it doesn't affect the volume).

alsamixer on the other hand works.

Any ideas of what could cause this? (Running natty with Gnome 2.32)

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have seen this type of behaviour when you aren't adjusting the output volume on the active audio output device. In my case when I connected a USB audio device audio output would switch to it, however the volume control would control the unused onboard audio.

If you open the sound settings window do you see more than one output device? Does the volume control on one of the output devices work correctly?

Here's some (solutionless) discussion of the same issue:

share|improve this answer
Problem fixed by disabling the sound device I wasn't using. Thanks. – aioobe Mar 22 '12 at 12:09
That works great, when it's an option. I'd love it if someone could improve this answer with a solution that works when you can't disable the device. I understood that the cause was a bug that was going to be addressed. – johnf Mar 22 '12 at 12:27

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.