Re-enable alsa channels in Kmix for Kubuntu 10.10

So I installed Kubuntu 10.10 only to find it’s now using pulseaudio. In all honesty it seems to work fine with one exception. Kmix the system tray volume manager & mixer only showed pulseaudio channels instead of my standard alsa channels. I could access them fine by going to command prompt and typing alsamixer, but in kmix it was a no go. So I went on the hunt to see what I could figure out.

After a bit of googling I found the following steps could restore kmix to it’s former alsamixer glory:

  • Close Kmix by right-clicking on it in the system tray & clicking quit
  • in konsole run the following command

kquitapp kmix && KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 kmix

  • You should now be able to access your normal alsa channels via kmix

To make it run on on startup I did the following:

  • open kate or your favorite bash editor
  • add the following code to the document

#!/bin/bash kquitapp kmix && KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 kmix

  • save the document to ~/.kde/Autostart
  • make the document executable

chmod 755 ~/.kde/Autostart/kmixfix

  • Log out and back in and you should now have your normal alsa channels back in kmix upon login

This is just a simple fix and I’m sure there are much cleaner ways to get it to run on startup. But it works for me and I now have all my mixer channels back in kmix where they belong.

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Jason Boxman
13 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I just came across the same issue as well. The volume handling using Pulse is too unpredictable for safe headphone usage.

Another approach is to stick a script named kmix in ~/bin that does the above, as PATH has your home bin before /usr/bin. Then you don't need to kill and restart it as an auto start script.

13 years ago

Didn't work for me as user or root. ;( Also I clicked "hide menubar". What a useless feature…

# kquitapp kmix && KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 kmix
<unknown program name>(31904)/: "Application kmix could not be found using service org.kde.kmix and path /MainApplication."

Stefan Freyr
Stefan Freyr
12 years ago

@Bob: this means that kmix wasn't running when the first part was run ("kquitapp kmix"). This results in kquitapp to give a non-zero return value and the && in the line basically means "don't run the second command unless the first one succeeds". I don't know if there is any well thought out reason for not running the second command if the first one fails but changing the && to a semicolon (;) should work fine. In that case, if kmix isn't running, the script will not fail alltogether, but will continue on and start kmix (with the pulseaudio fix).… Read more »

Stefan Freyr
Stefan Freyr
12 years ago
Reply to  Stefan Freyr

Just came across another problem though… it seems that I'm having problems starting kmix after using kquitapp to shut it down.

My new script looks a little more brutal but it seems to work better:
killall kmix ; KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 kmix

12 years ago

A better way to do it:


If you want to make this permanent then add KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 to the file /etc/conf.d/alsasound

12 years ago
Reply to  Klas

/etc/conf.d/alsasound doesn't exists in Mint. Which file is it for Mint 12?

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