When adding a USB device to my system (I deliberately run no modern stack for device detection), Pulseaudio can't pickup it without restart (pulseaudio -k; pulseaudio --start).

Is there an option for, say, pactl, which will make pulseaudio to "detect" and start using newly plugged in devices?

  • I'm confused how udev, which has been around since 2005, is too modern, and yet pulseaudio is fine... And given that udev doesn't even do device detection (the kernel does), "no modern stack for device detection" would kinda imply a kernel with no USB support. – grawity Nov 27 '14 at 12:35
  • I'm not sure if I understood your question properly. The matter involving auto detection of audio devices (and possibly selecting the correct profile) seems to be solved once for all in Debian Buster: you simply say what is the default input/output devices you prefer and once connected Pulseaudio switches to those devices. If you are using something a bit older, you can try gist.github.com/pylover/d68be364adac5f946887b85e6ed6e7ae – Richard Gomes May 27 '18 at 9:07
  • You may (or may not) find this useful: superuser.com/questions/1324152/… – Richard Gomes May 27 '18 at 9:08

Actually, yes, there is a way to do so without restarting Pulseaudio:

pacmd unload-module module-udev-detect && pacmd load-module module-udev-detect

I use it everytime I plug in my external-soundcard or after waking up my laptop. Pulseaudio cleans up his room and bring back my Spotify music on my external soundcard automatically (as it is my default soundcard).

You will need pacmd to do so; it is included in the pulseaudio-utils package on Ubuntu.

  • Sometimes works sometimes not. I guess it's a fully correct answer anyway. – Stéphane Gourichon Jun 13 '17 at 12:00

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