I'm using Precise (development version), which means I'm very much expecting to see bugs. However, this time, it's fairly important that I find a workaround quickly – and it is a general question.

The problem: When I open Sound Settings from the audio menu or from Gnome Control Center, it simply closes with no question of bug reports. I am too drunk to look at stack traces, and I really want to listen to Nellie McKay – loudly. Now, I have a USB audio device that's connected to my speakers. It has no headphone output. I would like to change the output device to my internal audio source – which does have headphone output – so that I can listen to music without bothering the neighbors. For some reason or other, I can't open the audio dialog.

Since PulseAudio seems to be working properly, I need a CLI-way to change the audio device that's used for output for PulseAudio sources.

If someone can tell me how to do this, I'd be very happy. If I get the explanation before I'm evicted for public disturbance, I'll consider that a bonus. :)


An alternative way that does not use the Control center is to use the sound switcher indicator (webup8 article).

  • The OP requested a non-gui solution. The linked Sound Switcher Indicator is a gui element – gesell Oct 14 '16 at 11:20

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