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Old 01-04-2013, 05:05 AM   #1
Registered: May 2007
Location: US
Distribution: slackware
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Switching sound devices

I feel silly asking this, but I have no idea what I'm doing.

I have a Logitech USB headset with it's own internal sound card. Is there a simple way of switching between my onboard sound card and my headset? I have yet to actually even figure out how to use my headset. I can't switch sound cards with xfce mixer or alsamixer by themselves.

I'm finding a lot of random documentation that's either old, leaning toward other distributions configurations or pulseaudio related stuff. I found this, but I don't know what is useful to me in that documentation.

Anyone can give me a simple explanation of how I accomplish this?

Thank you!!
Old 01-04-2013, 05:17 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2012
Location: Bulgaria,Varna
Distribution: Slackware64
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If you won't your USB headset to be primary sound device when system boot,then you have to create a file in /lib/modprobe with that content

options USB kernel module index=0
options other card module index=1

To view which module is used by system run that command lspci -vvv

Sorry for my english

This is mine i have a intel audio card and creative sound blaster,my creative card is a primary device

options snd-ctxfi index=0
options snd-hda-intel index=1

Last edited by tuxbg; 01-04-2013 at 05:18 AM.
Old 01-04-2013, 06:48 AM   #3
Registered: May 2007
Location: US
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Hi I'm looking to switch between the two in the same session. I'd rather not reboot my computer every time I want to use headphones. This is possible to do right?
Old 01-05-2013, 07:02 PM   #4
Registered: May 2007
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Ok update and I'm not sure if there's a better way to do this but I found a sample udev rule on an Arch blog that lets me accomplish this.

# Set USB headset as default sound card when plugged in
KERNEL=="pcmC[D0-9cp]*", ACTION=="add", PROGRAM="/bin/sh -c 'K=%k; K=$${K#pcmC}; K=$${K%%D*}; echo defaults.ctl.card $$K > /etc/asound.conf; echo defaults.pcm.card $$K >>/etc/asound.conf'"

# Restore default sound card when USB headset unplugged
KERNEL=="pcmC[D0-9cp]*", ACTION=="remove", PROGRAM="/bin/sh -c 'echo defaults.ctl.card 0 > /etc/asound.conf; echo defaults.pcm.card 0 >>/etc/asound.conf'"

Though it works, it seems a little quirky. As applications like Audacious will spit out a warning "snd_mixer_find_selem failed" when you use it with your headset.

Last edited by narz; 01-05-2013 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Wales
Distribution: KDE Neon, Mint, Mageia, OpenSUSE
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I don't know about alsa, but if you use PulseAudio Volume Control (package name pavucontrol), you can choose outputs on the Playback tab when a sound source is operating (dropdown on the right above the audio stream volume sliders).
Old 02-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Slackware does not use PulseAudio.

alsamixer should be able to assign a primary sound card, or you can manually define it in /etc/modules.conf


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