Is there a way of muting sound from my computer everytime I unplug my headphones (Like a phone does) to stop sound then playing out of my speakers?


Howto detect an unplug

Basically what worked for me was:

# When plugged in:
cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 > pluggedin.txt

# When not plugged in:
cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 > notplugged.txt

# Then compare the differences
diff pluggedin.txt notplugged.txt

For me the difference was in 'Node 0x16' under 'Amp-Out vals':

Node 0x16 [Pin Complex] wcaps 0x40058d: Stereo Amp-Out             Node 0x16 [PinComplex] wcaps 0x40058d: Stereo Amp-Out
  Amp-Out caps: ofs=0x00, nsteps=0x00, stepsize=0x00, mute=1         Amp-Out caps:ofs=0x00, nsteps=0x00, stepsize=0x00, mute=1
  Amp-Out vals:  [0x80 0x80]                                    |    Amp-Out vals:  [0x00 0x00]

So I based the detection on the difference found.

Howto mute

With this knowledge you can have a script running in the background. If unplugged the scripts mutes your speakers like using amixer sset Master playback 0% (or any other command).

# This scripts detecs unplugging headphones.

oldstatus="unrelated string"
while [ 1 ]; do
    # The following line has to be changed depending on the difference (use diff) in '/proc/asound/card0/code#0'
    status=$(grep -A 4 'Node 0x16' '/proc/asound/card0/codec#0' |  grep 'Amp-Out vals:  \[0x80 0x80\]')
    if [ "$status" != "$oldstatus" ]; then
        if [ -n "$status" ]; then
            echo "Plugged in"
             amixer sset Master playback 80% # Set volume to 80%
            echo "Unplugged"
            amixer sset Master playback 0%  # Mute

You can make it executable with chmod +x scriptname.sh and put it in the startup applications. You will have to adjust the unplug detection though by finding your own difference in /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 (maybe even change the numbers here for multiple soundcards.

Related Links:



How to automatically change volume level when un-/plugging headphones?

  • This works perfectly on Mint 17.3. Thanks! – Briscoooe Dec 31 '15 at 12:03
  • 4
    Having a script with an infinite while loop (without even a little sleep instruction) running continuously in the background is far from an ideal solution; it's an ugly and hacky workaround, in addition to being a cpu and battery killer. I tried it and went from a normal situation of constant 5% cpu utilization (with browser, spotify, terminal, IDE, Telegram, and other apps open) to 45% constant cpu use. – LeartS Aug 22 '17 at 16:06
  • This solution is a horribly bad citizen, as @LearlS points out. Please don't ever do this. For a good-citizen solution, use acpi_listen, as suggested in one of the links in this answer. – Don Hatch Jun 2 '18 at 12:25

This worked for me on Ubuntu 14.04:

"with the headphones out mute it. Insert headphones and raise volume. Remove headphones and check for mute."

Credit: RevDrStrangelove on https://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/369k76/lpt_request_automaticly_mute_laptop_after_headset/


For ubuntu-16.10 I made few change in this answer.

oldresult="Some Random String"

while [ 1 ]; do
        # incase of plugged out result will contain some data
        result=$(grep "EAPD 0x2: EAPD" /proc/asound/card0/codec#0)

        # checking for oldresult if not same then only go inside
        if [ "$oldresult" != "$result" ]; then
                if [[ -z "$result" ]]; then
                        notify-send "Plugged In"
                        amixer sset Master playback 80% # Set volume to 80%
                        notify-send "Plugged Out"
                        amixer sset Master playback 0% # Set volume to 0%
  • Both this answer and the answer it came from are bad citizens. They appear to work, but they hog the system resources which doesn't scale-- run a few programs like this at the same time, and it ruins the system. Please don't ever do this. You can use one of the solutions involving acpi_listen or similar instead. – Don Hatch Jun 2 '18 at 12:43

If you have problems with events catching in /etc/acpi/handler.sh see my answer. It's also without device codes as Node 0x16.

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