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I realize this question has been asked before, but i'm yet to find an answer that helps me, so I guess I'll have to ask it again.

Hi! I'm a new Ubuntu user, first time in Linux switching from Windows, running Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial?) I have a laptop which of course, has built-in speakers and an audio jack, I have a couple of headphones plugged into it at all times, since plugging them and unplugging them would wear out the port, and in Windows this is not an issue, since I can just go to the sound control panel and software switch which device outputs audio.

Homever, in Ubuntu that does not seem to be an option, when I plug the headphones in, the OS will recognize them as built-in audio, and I'd like to know how I can fix this, I already tried installing a software called "sound switcher indicator", but I was not able to go trough with that because I'm missing the authentication key, and I don't know where to get it.

Other than that, the other threads I've found seem to only say it's not possible, or to get an external sound card, which of course I don't think is necesary considering I did this on Windows with no problems.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the tired old question, but I'd definitely like to solve this issue. And i'm kinda lost.

  • What happens when you try to install sound switcher indicator (presumably using the "Installation from Package" method on this page? Post the output, please. – fakedad Aug 16 '16 at 1:48
  • As usual with this things, I restarted my computer, and it's now working...oh well, I could install the software but it didn't fixed my issue, just for the record, the problem installing before was, during the update process, it would tell me that it would not install the package due to not trusting the source, because it didn't had the authentication key, but now apparently it was able to retrieve it I guess. Maybe it was a spelling error or something on my part. – Tairetsu Aug 16 '16 at 2:30
  • Install "pulseaudio volume control" , and see "output device tab" , you should have selectable "port" headphone or loudspeaker – laugeo Aug 17 '16 at 20:31
  • I did that before I tried to install switcher indicator, in both softwares, when I do that, the computer just stays mute, no sound comes trough the speakers, and they're marked as "unaviable". – Tairetsu Aug 21 '16 at 21:58
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I don't think plugging them and unplugging them wears out the jack or port. Having your headphone cables snag on something and rip your smartphone out of your pocket and onto the pavement does cause wear as I've discovered many times.

That said, this thread discusses many options to achieve what you want. When you read the thread note that Ubuntu uses Pulse Audio and not ALSA.

  • Is it possible to replace Pulse Audio with Alsa? – Tairetsu Aug 16 '16 at 2:43
  • Yes it is possible to replace Pulse Audio with Alsa but, it's probably a bad idea. Google your question and you'll find lots of problems others have had. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Aug 16 '16 at 4:11

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