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I can change sound volumes with "gnome-volume-control ". But there are listed only playback-apps / -streams that are currently in use.

In "~/.pulse "-directory I found e.g. "*-stream-volumes.tdb" and "*-device-volumes.tdb" that could be the configuration files but I am unable to read or edit these files.

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Pulseaudio comes with a command line interface to control many settings.

We can either load the command line parser pacmd or we call commands directly in a terminal or script:

pacmd set-sink-volume <index> <volume>
pacmd set-source-volume <index> <volume>

controls the volume of a given sink where <index> is the sink index (listed with pacmd list-sinks) and <volume> is any value from 0 (= Mute) to 65536 = 100%.

The configurations files in ~/.config/pulse (formerly ~/.pulse which may still be active in an upgraded installation) are not meant to be read or edited in a default setting. We can however create a custom there to override settings in /etc/pulse/

For 12.04 earcandy may be used for audio control. Sadly this application is not further developed and not available in later releases.

See also notes for this answer.

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Thank you for your explanation. But I don't arrive. When I want adjust my amarok-volume for example, how do I do that? It is not listed in list-sinks or list-sources. – Lasall May 23 '11 at 15:34
You can't do that by the command line interface. This is bound to output sinks. – Takkat May 23 '11 at 18:37
I have already tested earcandy. It should do exactly the things I want to. But it is still not stable so I don't mark this question as solved. – Lasall May 23 '11 at 23:33
@Lasall: no worries. We hope it will reach stable some time. – Takkat May 24 '11 at 6:06

To find your pulseaudio source sinks use following command:

pactl list short sinks

From this command you got the running and idle sinks. With their index number. Using that index number you can control the sinks volume.

You can use the following command to control particular sinks volume:

pactl set sinks volume <index number> <volume in %>

For example:

pactl set sinks volume 0 100%
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Thank you to look at this old question. I only get one item in the sink list. My question was to control volume of different (not currently running) applications and not different audio interfaces. – Lasall Jul 3 '14 at 17:19
It also doesn't answer the question, but you can see all currently running audio outputs with pactl list sink-inputs. If your program shows with id 108 in this list and you want to set it to 60% volume, use pactl set-sink-input-volume 108 60%. But the sound has to be running for it to work. – weltensturm Aug 3 '15 at 18:55
All I get for that: "No valid command specified." – panzi Jun 27 at 19:11

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