I'm running the testing branch of with codename Jessie and as desktop environment on a Lenovo ThinkPad T410. When I press the mute-button, it mutes pulse-audio and alsa, but when I press the mute-button again it unmutes pulse-audio but not alsa. I can happily mute and unmute in the terminal by

amixer set Master toggle

Now I'd like to set this command to be executed when pressing the mute button. has a setting for that, it works for other buttons, but not the mute button. In .config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml I have the line

<property name="XF86AudioMute" type="string" value="amixer set Master toggle"/>

but to no avail. Does anyone know how I can either turn off the mute button or overwrite what happens when I press it?

3 Answers 3



load-module module-alsa-sink
load-module module-alsa-source device=hw:1,0

in /etc/pulse/default.pa did the trick.

Edit: However, after uncommenting the lines mentioned above, I ran into all sorts of problems, for example started crashing. I now removed the complete folder /etc/pulse/ and now everything seems to work fine, including sound and mute button.


I found this solution on a blog to work on my Debian Jessie / XFCE machine.

In brief, the problem seems to be a missing "gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio" package. This causes a behavior where you can mute all audio using the keyboard button, but to unmute it you have to go into alsamixer and press M to unmute; the unmute action apparently doesn't get communicated by default.

  1. sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio
  2. Reboot (might be sufficient to restart X, but I just rebooted)
  3. Verify the output of xfconf-query -lc xfce4-mixer to ensure that PlaybackBuiltinAudioAnalogStereoPulseAudioMixer is listed.
  4. The author recommends running xfconf-query -c xfce4-mixer -p /active-card -s PlaybackBuiltinAudioAnalogStereoPulseAudioMixer to set Pulseaudio as the "active card", but this doesn't seem to be necessary and throws an error for me when I tried ("Property "/active-card" does not exist on channel "xfce4-mixer".)

Note that I previously implemented the first part of Michael Tomkins' proposed solution (mapping amixer set Master toggle to the keyboard mute button in the xfce4-menu settings control), so that may be related and is worth a try. I did not remove any of the gstreamer components, and don't recommend doing so given the number of things in Jessie that are (apparently) dependent on them.

  • 4. worked for me with /sound-card instead of /active-card, things where renamed apparently... Dec 22, 2016 at 10:07

Added (not sure step important)

 xfce4-menu -> Settings -> Settings Manager -> keyboard
 Application Shortcuts
 <Command:> amixer set Master toggle <Ok>
 <Press volume toggle button>

Open Audio Mixer and check that both Master and Speaker are toggling, if so finish.

Was only Toggling Master, speaker was just turning on not off. I noticed on Jessie that both

ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad:amd64       0.10.23-7.1                        amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "bad" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-base:amd64      0.10.36-1.1                        amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "base" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good:amd64      0.10.31-3+nmu2                     amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "good" set
rc  gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad      0.10.22-0.1                        amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "bad" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly:amd64      0.10.19-2+b3                       amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "ugly" set
ii  gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio:amd64        0.10.31-3+nmu2                     amd64        GStreamer plugin for PulseAudio
ii  gstreamer1.0-plugins-base:amd64       1.2.3-1                            amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "base" set
ii  gstreamer1.0-plugins-good:amd64       1.2.3-1                            amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "good" set
ii  gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly:amd64       1.2.3-2                            amd64        GStreamer plugins from the "ugly" set

were present.

Tried removing gstreamer0.10 which had too many dependencies. So

aptitude purge gstreamer1.0-plugins-base gstreamer1.0-plugins-good  gstreamer1.0-plugins-ugly

Didn't touch libgstreamer1.0-0 or libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-0

The above also fixes plugging/unplugging headphones AND speaker toggle.

Worked for me.

  • I have too many dependencies on both gstreamer0.10 and gstreamer1.0 to purge them from my system.
    – pfnuesel
    Apr 14, 2014 at 11:08
  • Just noticed that I now have 3 rather than 6 menus in Audio Mixer. This looks like a wait for the patch/bug fix. Apr 14, 2014 at 11:18

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