I know that the following command increases volume

amixer -D pulse sset Master 10%+

This command only increases the volume, but does not show any GUI notifications. But, the default Volume Up key also gives GUI and sound notifications.

What commands are called when I press the Volume Up button?


I don't know exactly what command is being invoked while pressing volume up button however I believe that it's not a single command. You can simulate and achieve same behavior by using three simple command:

  1. To increase the volume as you know:

    amixer -D pulse sset Master 10%+
  2. To send a notify:

    notify-send Volume volume has been increased by +10
  3. To play a song:

    paplay '/usr/share/sounds/KDE-Window-All-Desktops-Not.ogg'

change the file address with anything you want, you can find different songs at:


or run a simple search:

locate .ogg | grep /share
  • It's likely that the GUI doesn't call any command at all. It will make use of libraries. – muru Aug 31 '17 at 7:34
  • @muru Exactly, and so can we! – dessert Sep 21 '17 at 7:12
  • So, how do I do that?! – L.Shane John Paul Newton Jan 14 '18 at 10:55

You‘re probably searching for the X On-Screen Display library XOSD. The package is called xosd-bin and the command osd_cat is used to display text, status bars etc. on the screen.

osd_cat -b percentage -P 20 -T Status: -f "-adobe-helvetica-bold-*-*--34-*-*-*-*"


enter image description here

See this German wiki page for options and examples and man osd_cat for more.

As others already pointed out, sounds can be played using a player like aplay, paplay, cvlc, mplayer, cmus, … – Where do I find system sounds?

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