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I'm running 14.04, and I was told I could use amixer to control volume via the command line. For example, to mute sound you would use

amixer set Master mute

The output for me is

amixer: Unable to find simple control 'Master',0 

So I did some man reading and found out I needed to replace Master with the name of my laptop's mixer control. Typing amixer returns:

Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [off]

So naturally, I enter amixer set IEC958 mute but all I get is

Simple mixer control 'IEC958',0
  Capabilities: pswitch pswitch-joined
  Playback channels: Mono
  Mono: Playback [off]

Once again. I've tried sset and some other commands but every single one returns the same text. Also, why is there no "Master" or "Speaker" controls? Is there something I'm doing wrong?

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If you want to use amixer to control the volume,
amixer -D pulse sset Master 0%
should work in a terminal (0% to mute or use any percentage you like). To reduce/increase the volume, you can add - or + after % (but that doesn't work to increase the sound beyond 100%).

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Thank you a lot. It works also with amixer -D pulse set Master mute – Marco Sulla Nov 23 '15 at 10:33
amixer set IEC958,0 mute

You have to specify your card as shown in the amixer output. Use "unmute" instead of "mute" to turn the sound back on again.

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might be possible you use the wrong card. make sure you use the right card. If you have attached a webcam with mic for example, then it might eat the first slot ;-)

list all cards first:

cat /proc/asound/card

for me itlooks like:

 0 [Webcam         ]: USB-Audio - Philips SPC 1030NC Webcam
                      Philips CE Philips SPC 1030NC Webcam at usb-orion-ehci.0-1.2, high speed
 1 [Audio          ]: USB-Audio - USB Audio
                      USB Audio at usb-orion-ehci.0-1.5.7, full speed

then chose your card. 1st card would be default -c 0, so if you want to chose the 2. card then do:

amixer -c 1 Master +10 
share|improve this answer
I mean (forgot to enter the set): amixer -c 1 set Master 100 – oktay Sep 12 '15 at 15:43

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