Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've spent 2 hours on this and still can't figure this out. It's driving me insane. Please save my sanity.

When I press mute, the pnmixer control in the top right shows that I've pressed mute, but the sound is not muted. A graphic also appears on my screen with a volume bar to show that the volume has been muted.

When I press mute again, the pnmixer control shows that I have pressed the key, and three graphics appear on my screen in a row to show that I've pressed it. This doesn't make sense. No change in sound.

With the volume up and volume down keys, the graphic changes accordingly but again no change in sound.

I've tried editing rf.xml with the following:

<!-- Keybindings for volume keys -->
   <keybind key="XF86AudioRaiseVolume">
  <action name="Execute">
    <execute>amixer set -q Master,0 5%+</execute>
<keybind key="XF86AudioLowerVolume">
  <action name="Execute">
    <execute>amixer set -q Master,0 5%-</execute>
<keybind key="XFAudioMute">
  <action name="Execute">
    <execute>amixer set -q Master,0 toggle</execute>

I used xev to get the names of the key bindings.

After reconfiguring or restarting openbox, or restarting my computer, this change in the script had no effect at all.

Btw, uname -a gives me: Linux KGBXCrunch 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.35-2 x86_64 GNU/Linux

share|improve this question
Did you try running the commands independently to see if they work? –  schaiba Jan 31 '13 at 21:19
One thing I noticed is that it should be mixer -q set Master. So the ` ,0 ` looks wired. Second shouldn't XFAudioMute be XF86AudioMute? –  Raphael Ahrens Nov 28 '13 at 19:15
add comment

1 Answer

My stab at this: it sounds like the programs are registering the correct key commands (as evidenced by the visual cues.) Are you positive that your sound card's hardware is actually being managed by the mixer?

This thread has some great general audio issue troubleshooting tips:


But my guess is that the audio management interface isn't actually in control of your systems audio hardware (at the moment.) Sussing that out might not be all that simple. If I were in your shoes, I would try a live CD boot of Ubuntu (also based Debian based distribution) and see if their default audio management settings work. If they do, then you can safely rule out actual hardware malfunction, and try and get a clue as to what packages were actually being used, in what way, and apply them to your #! install.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.