I downloaded this config to set up xmonad. Hit volume up, down, works fine. Hit the volume mute hotkey, sound's gone. All good. Hit the mute key again, sound's still off. Hit volume up, nothing. alsamixer looks fine it seems, "Master" and "Headphone" are both non-zero. Restarted computer, sound still off. The lock screen before I log into xmonad does make a sound though, so clearly the sound is still working.

Any ideas how I can get my sound turned back on when using xmonad?

EDIT sound works fine when I log in using Unity. Very weird

EDIT 2 speaker-test produces no sound

  • The key shortcut is calling amixer -q set Master toggle, do you get an error if you run it from a terminal ? In alsamixer, when muted the bar aren't at zero, there is a MM at the bottom (and you type m to mute/unmute).
    – Leiaz
    Jan 24, 2015 at 21:12
  • @Leiaz Nope, no error, and alsamixer shows 00/MM accordingly when I press the hotkey, so that seems to be working fine... Jan 24, 2015 at 21:41
  • Did you only used the Al+Ctrl+M shortcut defined in XMonad or also an actual mute button or sound widget ? You are probably using Pulseaudio on top of alsa ? Could you have muted Pulseaudio at some point ?
    – Leiaz
    Jan 25, 2015 at 0:36
  • @Leiaz yes, I only used the shortcut defined in XMonad, and pulseaudio seems to be running, but I don't see how I could've muted it Jan 27, 2015 at 5:43

1 Answer 1


Finally fixed it by going through absolutely every bar in alsamixer, even the ones that I wasn't sure would matter, and unmuting them all. As it turns out, the mute toggle mutes everything, but only unmutes the master volume.

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