My speakers use a digital input, but my headphones use an analog input. I have them both plugged in, and when I want to use the headphones I just turn off the speakers and switch on the headphones. I know that simultaneous output on digital and analog is supported by the hardware, because it worked fine in Windows XP. But on Ubuntu, I seem to only get one at a time, depending on which setting is selected in the combo box located at System -> Preferences -> Sound -> Hardware.

How can I get simultaneous analog and digital output without having to switch the profile every time? I'm on Ubuntu 11.04 and it's an HDA Intel chip.

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2 Answers 2


We have the optional application paprefs Install paprefs that allows to install a virtual output device to pulseaudio. This enables simultaneous output to all attached sound cards/devices:


The additionally created audio output device for simultaneous output may be selected in the "Output" tab from pulseaudio sound preferences menu:

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From the command line we can also load the device for simultaneous output without having to run paprefs by

pacmd load-module module-combine-sink
# pacmd load-module module-combine # for PulseAudio < 1.0

Put this line (without pacmd) in your /etc/pulse/default.pa to load this device at startup.

  • 1
    great , it worked !
    – wim
    Aug 17, 2011 at 12:41
  • Do you know how to do this without installing this application? I'm guessing it should be only a single command line operation.
    – l0b0
    Dec 14, 2011 at 9:53
  • 1
    @l0b0: see edit for this.
    – Takkat
    Dec 14, 2011 at 21:56
  • This works, though sometimes, such as after suspend/resume, the sound goes out again through one source and I have to select the synchronous output again. Plus sometimes the audio is out of sync, but this I can solve easily pausing and resuming the video. Apr 18, 2020 at 19:55
  • 1
    @JoseGómez: both may be a timing issue, e.g. a sink is not yet ready on resuming after suspend. Hard to get around this - at least I don't have any good idea.
    – Takkat
    Apr 18, 2020 at 20:05

The accepted answer doesn't work anymore, at least from ubuntu 16.04 LTS (maybe even more, but I am not sure). What works is the following (tested in ubuntu 17.10): https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio/Examples

Specifically add the following to your /etc/pulse/default.pa

### Load analog device
load-module module-alsa-sink device=hw:0,0
load-module module-combine-sink sink_name=combined
set-default-sink combined
  • 1
    Sorry. Made the corrections.
    – mahesh
    Mar 12, 2018 at 14:48

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