Headphones always on mute after startup PC or killing pulseaudio by pulseaudio -k

It can be unmuted in alsamixer or in terminal amixer set "Headphone" unmute, but do this after each startup is annoying. I created a script and added it to "Startup Applications", but it doesn't work.

amixer set "Headphone" unmute

Also tried this and this guides, same result. Headphones connected to Front Panel by 3.5 jack.

2 Answers 2


To tell pulseaudio that headphones are always plugged in, edit the /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output-lineout.conf file.

Try to find the following lines in the file:

[Jack Headphone]
state.plugged = no
state.unplugged = unknown

And, if they exist, change state.plugged = no to state.plugged = yes.

Next, try find the following lines:

[Jack Front Headphone]
state.plugged = no
state.unplugged = unknown

Similarly, change state.plugged = no to state.plugged = yes if the lines exist.

Next, find these lines (if they exist):

[Element Headphone]
switch = off
volume = off

Change switch = off to switch = on here.

Also try to find these lines:

[Element Headphone2]
switch = off
volume = off

If they exist, change switch = off to switch = on.

Save the file and, finally, restart pulseaudio:

$ pulseaudio -k
$ pulseaudio --start
  • Thanks! In my case, i only had to change this [Element Headphone] switch = off volume = off Feb 5, 2018 at 23:23
  • Also you may want to change volume = off to volume = merge otherwise you won't hear anything because volumen will be at 0
    – lboullo0
    May 20, 2020 at 20:31

Sorry, I don't have enough reputation to comment Zé Bento's post.

What worked for me was changing both Jack Headphone's and Jack Front Headphone's state.plugged to unknown.

I don't know the meaning of that, but that was the default value for all other input types in my files.

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