I have Ubuntu version 18.04. Can someone tell me how to fix this: I opened Gnome ALSA Mixer and got this popup error message:

An error occurred while loading or saving configuration information for GNOME ALSA Mixer. Some of your configuration settings may not work properly.

Bad key or directory name: /apps/gnome-alsamixer/display_mixers/: Key/directory may not end with a slash /

I did a search for "gnome-alsamixer" and got a long list of file names. I don't know anything about these files. So, I don't mess with them? I also searched for "apps" and "display_mixers" separately and came up with nothing after several minutes.

I am trying to get audio to my speakers and headset simultaneously. I had audio out of both jacks prior to installing Audacity from the Ubuntu Software depository about a week ago? Now I can only get audio out of one jack.

I read where paprefs for PulseAudio would enable multiple audio outputs from this website: https://www.maketecheasier.com/play-sound-through-multiple-devices-linux/

So I installed 'paprefs' from the Ubuntu Software depository. Then I did a [Restart]. It did not fix it. That's how I came to opening Gnome ALSA Mixer and got the error message. Gnome ALSA Mixer worked after I closed the popup. It had no fix either. I'm thinking that error could have something to do with my only getting audio out of one jack.

I have the code to install Audacity from the Terminal after uninstalling it if you think that might help? I have not used that code because it is not from a AskUbuntu member and I couldn't find it in Ubuntu Software. The code is from: https://www.how2shout.com/how-to/how-to-install-audacity-on-ubuntu-linux-using-terminal.html and is:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/audacity - and then:

sudo apt-get update - and then:

sudo apt-get install audacity

Thanks for any help you can provide, Rob

  • For mixing, use puleaudio (pacmd, pavucontrol, gnome-control-center sound). Alsa is the hw driver and Puleaudio is the mixer. You want simultaneous outputs -> configure Pulesaudio output sinks with the module module-combine-sink
    – cmak.fr
    Feb 27 '20 at 4:54
  • Also see this : askubuntu.com/questions/78174/…
    – cmak.fr
    Feb 27 '20 at 4:57

As said in a comment, you should not touch any alsa configuration as it is just the hardware driver.
Playing with outputs is the job of the mixer, Pulseaudio.
You first will have to undo what you did, then run this process

1- List your output hardware

# Ask Alsa what are the hw drivers
aplay -l

# Or ask Pulseaudio
pacmd list-sinks  | grep -e 'name:'  -e 'alsa.device ' -e 'alsa.subdevice '

2- Create a Pulseaudio output sink for a combined output speakers_headset

# Of course, adapt it with your hw information (hw:x,x)
pacmd load-module module-alsa-sink device="hw:0,0" sink_name=speakers_output
pacmd load-module module-alsa-sink device="hw:0,1" sink_name=headset_output
pacmd load-module module-combine sink_name=speakers_headset slaves=speakers_output,headset_output

3- Select the created output sink speakers_headset

# With
gnome-control-center sound
# Or with

You may also need to play with auto mute when headphones are plugged in. As you did not specify which type of speakers and headphone links are used, you'll have to digg it on yourself (BT, usb, internal, jack...)
See : https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio/Examples#Having_both_speakers_and_headphones_plugged_in_and_switching_in_software_on-the-fly

  • I installed audio apps in this order: VLC, Audacity, PulseAudio, Audio Recorder and then paprefs. Should I uninstall them all and should it be in reverse order?
    – Rob
    Feb 27 '20 at 10:54
  • P.S. I am planning on doing a complete removal of Windows 10 and a full disk Install of Ubuntu within a week. Would I be better off not doing anything and just let that take care of it?
    – Rob
    Feb 27 '20 at 11:01
  • @Rob : first, try to apply what is described in the following link about the auto mute wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio/… - VLC, Audacity, Audio Recorder and paprefs can stay installed. You may revert what done with the foreign PPA of Pulseaudio. Pulseaudio is bundled with Ubuntu, dont need to be installed from foreign source
    – cmak.fr
    Feb 28 '20 at 4:55
  • Thank you cmak.fr. I'm finally getting audio out of both speakers and headphones thanks your great efforts, information and links.
    – Rob
    Mar 5 '20 at 4:24

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