Audio "too loud" and volume switch not working in Ubuntu

Posted by ads on Friday, 2019-12-27
Posted in [Linux]

Installed my new laptop, and everything seemed to work, out of the box. Almost everything.

The audio was quite annoying. First of all, every application got it’s own volume setting. In theory that is a nice idea, and you can control and manage the volume for every application separately. In practice, this is a nightmare: try changing the volume of an application which only once in a while sends a short notification. Or try changing the volume of the sound when you close the laptop lid. On top of that, the volume for applications like Chome and Firefox seem to be stuck at 100%. Every time I change the volume, the setting is back on “loud” the next time the browser plays something.

Second the global volume settings (Fn+“Volume up” or Fn+“Volume down”) seem to have no effect at all.

After digging around for a while, I found that PulseAudio is at fault. What else … But given that it is PulseAudio, pretty sure that anyone else is at fault, not the product.

Anyway, the fix is relatively easy. As root, change the following config file: /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output.conf.common. Search the Element PCM section, and change/add the following settings:

volume = ignore
volume-limit = 0.01

The volume setting is merge by default, the volume-limit setting needs to be added. After that, restart the PulseAudio daemon for any user (as this user, not as root):

pulseaudio -k

Now the volume settings should work globally.

Categories: [Linux]