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From the kernel documentation: The hotplug mechanism asynchronously notifies userspace when hardware is inserted, removed, or undergoes a similar significant state change. There is an event variable for modules, called DRIVER, that suggests a driver for handling the hotplugged device.


As Caleb mentioned, PulseAudio lets you migrate streams from one device to another. To switch automatically, rather than manually through pavucontrol, add the module-switch-on-connect module to your PulseAudio configuration as described here: http://askubuntu.com/questions/158241/automatically-change-sound-input-output-device/158250#158250

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