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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KDEmannekeKlasStefan FreyrBobJason Boxman Recent comment authors

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Jason Boxman

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.


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

@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

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


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


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