Following this post: https://askubuntu.com/a/1164973/574240

I was able to get media keys working again by enabling xfce4-notifyd. Brightness and media keys work.

The problem is, if I unplug headphones even once (from either an external sound card, or internal sound card jack), the ability to use media keys stops. The keys won't change the sound for the headphones. Brightness and other keys still work.

The only resolution is a computer restart to get the notify / volume change working again on the headphones.

Restarting the notify service, nor pulse audio changes this.

18.04 xubunu doesn't seem to have xfce-mixer packages anymore. The new functionality is also fairly frustrating with all of these small bugs with sound.

Any idea how to fix media keys so that even if headphones are re-plugged in, the system will listen for them?

  • xfce4-volumed does exist - packages.ubuntu.com/bionic/xfce4-volumed - couldn't find the other one. – ajgringo619 Aug 16 '19 at 3:43
  • Sorry, xfce4-volumd does exist, but doesn't seem to do anything in this instance. xfce4-mixer was the one that got removed. Good catch! – jake Aug 16 '19 at 21:36

I went to xfce4-keyboard-settings settings (search keyboard) and added the following:

amixer -D pulse sset Master 5%+
amixer -D pulse sset Master 5%-

For the key, I just input media up and down keys.

Now with the xfce4-notifyd being enabled, it correctly tracks the sound volume up and down keys, even when headphones are unplugged and re-plugged in.

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