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I solved this problem in Jaunty, but the Sound preferences menu has extensively changed in Karmic. What is the new way to do this?

Original question: I always have my master channel muted, and I switched the volume applet to adjust the headphone channel. This way, sound never comes out of my speakers, but it's always on when I plug headphones in.

However, when I use my Fn keys to adjust volume, they adjust the "master" channel, rather than the "headphone" channel. How do I change this behavior? If it makes a difference, I am using a Dell Inspiron 1200.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

you can use xbindkeys: Run xbindkeys -k in a terminal. Press your keybinding, and add the appropriate line to your ~/.xkeybindkeysrc. for example, With an 'amixer' command to raise/lower your headphone volume.) Don't forget to have xbindkeys start before your windowmanager. You can have a look here for more on xbindkeys. This way, you're not dependent on DE, and you can even transfer you keyboard short cuts to other distros/releases.

(I know it's not exactly what you want, but it might solve your problems?)

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If you can't find any configuration option, you could take the barebones approach and assign those function keys to a raw command which increases or decreases the volume on the headphone channel. Karmic uses some crazy pulseaudio whatsit, but I think the alsa commands will still work, namely: aumix.

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For some reason I can't take a screen shot with the drop down, but can you try clicking on the connector drop down and selecting the headphones output? I'm using karmic and a dell and mine says "Analog Headphones". I think that may do it for you.

enter image description here

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Right now my volume is all screwed up, so that I can't adjust it at all. Once I get it fixed (probably not 'til Lucid, by the look of things), I'll test this and see if it works. – Matthew Pirocchi Dec 31 '09 at 22:13
    
Matthew is anything being logged in error logs when you try to change the volume (and it's failing to change) ? This seems pretty darn screwed up to me; if you have your data directories consolidatated it might be worthwhile to back everything up and reinstall. – pbr Jan 15 '10 at 1:08
    
@pbr It appears to be a bug in the linux kernel. The kernel isn't correctly reporting the dB level. For some reason, this won't be fixed in karmic, but will be fixed in lucid. See bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/410948 – Matthew Pirocchi Jan 17 '10 at 1:41

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