I'm having a little trouble with sound on my Ubuntu 18.04 system. For setup, first, I've installed default Ubuntu, then xfce-desktop, then kde-desktop.

Now, since I'm doing development, I normally graphically login as root. So when I work with gnome, and want some sound, I have to manually start pulseaudio.

So far, so little of a problem. But after installing KDE, I have no countrol over sound on the audio applet/symbol/widget.

I can also start pulseaudio manually, and start pavucontrol, but I get no devices there, other than the dummy device.

The funny thing is, sound works, just that I can't control the volume with the kde volume manager/applet/symbol/widet. There's also no pulseaudio-daemon running. I've killed them all, and the sound still works - so I assume it somehow runs on ALSA.

Now when I plugin the headphones - it mutes, and I can't unmute. I've discovered I can change the volume on the console with "alsamixer". But I can't unmute the headphones there. I turn-up the headphone volume on alaxamixer, and it's still muted.

Anybody knows how I can unmute the headphones with ALSA, or why else it doesn't work ?

Or how/where I can switch between ALSA and pulseaudio ? (to-from-andBack)
And how can I see what the system is using ?

1 Answer 1


Ah, never mind.

amixer set -c 0 Headphone 100 unmute
amixer set -c 0 Master 100 unmute

or to mute:

amixer set -c 0 Headphone 100 mute
amixer set -c 0 Master 100 mute

and to get the audio-control working:

apt-get install kmix


to increase volume

amixer set Master 30%+

to decrease volume

amixer set Master 30%-
  • You should be anle to do all that in alsamixer.
    – CL.
    Sep 5, 2018 at 6:53

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