I use ArchLinux, and I recently installed Spotify which is working fine, except for one thing:

Every time any program triggers a system sound, the player volume is automatically muted in the mixer. How can I stop this?

I have verified that this also is happening with vlc, so I'm guessing is something related to Gnome.

Could it something related to pulseaudio?

  • If it is Gnome, can you try another DE like Xfce?
    – Wilf
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 17:01
  • 1
    it looks a bit overkill to configure a all new Desktop Environment to prove that gnome is messing up with my sound. I have some very critical stuff on my laptop right now, I can only test something like this after a full backup which I won't be able to do in the next few days
    – RSFalcon7
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 17:05
  • 1
    Not a problem... Your Edit got me to 1k! Let's hope I can sty there :)
    – eyoung100
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


The problem lies in a PulseAudio module called module-role-cork which exists to pause music and video during phone calls. All applications are given a media-role property which can be either music video or phone. The Cork module will give any application tagged phone exclusive access to the PulseAudio server and pause anything not tagged as such.

Simply comment out the line with load-module module-role-cork from the file /etc/pulse/default.pa

Note: Credit to David Hyrule, from this blog.

  • 6
    Thank you very much, just updated to Ubuntu 18.04 which uses Gnome and this thing was driving me crazy. Commenting the given lines and executing pulseaudio -k & pulseaudio -D to restart pulseaudio did the trick.
    – Ra'Jiska
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 20:07
  • 2
    I'm an ArchLinux user and wow this is crazy that this issue affected me in 2018... fixed my problem, thank you very much!
    – TheFrack
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 9:58

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