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jlinkels 04-09-2011 11:56 AM

KDE4 mixer or how to set and store sound system settings
This computer runs KDE4.4, Debian Squeeze, used by my wife who is a complete computer illiterate. Sound is provided by a HDA Intel card with controller with Realtec ALC888 chip. The C200 webcam is connected but not use for sound.

When she starts the computer, she is not able to use Skype: the sound is not captured. She is barely able to find KMixer, but when she does, there are 2 input controls shown:
- Internal Audio Analog Stereo
- Logitech C200 Analog Mono
Nothing more, no controls, no flags, no way to add any more controls, not even through settings or whatever.

<rant mode>
What else did you expect in KDE4. This desktop is famous for oversimplification of settings, making sure that whatever you want to change is not possible thru the GUI. But gets controlled thru KDE anyway in the way you didn't intend.
</rant mode>

Anyway, when I open alsamixer, not less than 6 capture controls are available:
- Front Mic Boost (level)
- Mic Boost (level)
- Capture (flag + level)
- Capture 1 (flag + level)
- Input Source (enumeration, line, mic, front mic)
- Input Source 1 (enumeration, line, mic, front mic)
Mind you, this is only for the HDA Intel device not even for de C200 webcam.

Certain combinations of flags and levels make sound appear in Skype. There are about 36 possible combinations of flags where most do not produce the desired result.

As said, the settings get lost at reboot and my wife can use KMix but there is no way she can start alsamixer, let alone select the correct settings.

So the questions:
- Is there a way to make KMix simply show the controls for the devices which are available? I hope once the controls are set from this interface they are restored at the next boot.
- Is there a way to store the alsamixer settings and have them restored at the next boot, without some stupid KDE application with settings not reachable in the GUI put the controls back in a state which is undesired?

I feel that when push comes to shove, I have to write a startup script which let amixer set all the controls settings correctly after my wife has logged in into KDE. But this is quite stupid, isn't it?


andrewthomas 04-09-2011 12:22 PM

Have you tried?


alsactl store

jlinkels 04-09-2011 02:51 PM

Yes I did, settings are not retained.


andrewthomas 04-12-2011 10:26 AM


alsactl restore
being run at boot?

nicolasjengler 04-12-2011 10:44 AM

I had the exact same problem. After doing this I have two icons for volume control, all I did was deactivating the autostart entry "Volume control (shows an icon for volumen control on desktop)", rebooted and everything is okay, no extra icons (and the volume works fine).

jlinkels 04-16-2011 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by andrewthomas (Post 4322191)

alsactl restore
being run at boot?

I didn't try. I am pretty sure it would have worked, but I feel it is stupid to shatter scripts all over the machine to correct KDE behaviour. Unfortunately I find myself doing this more and more often.

In the mean time I posted something in the KDE forum, solved one part of the problem, wrecked Skype anyway. Look here:


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