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I added a snd_aloop device to my setup and PulseAudio automatically picked it up and lists it as "Audio interne" (see eg. pavucontrol's Configuration tab), the same as my regular sound card, which makes it difficult to understand things.

This question is similarly titled but they are in fact dealing with the name of the sources and sinks, which I was able to change to suit my needs. But I want to change the name of the card itself as well because some applications refer to it directly instead of the sinks/sources.

However, while I can get the device.description of the card with pacmd list-cards, I could not find an equivalent pacmd update-card-proplist to change it.

Maybe this is set in alsa rather than pulseaudio ? The device is listed as Loopback in /proc/asound/, a name that would suit my needs.

The card name is localised into French, so I assume it is not a built-in default. I text-searched for that string in /usr/ and /etc/, to no avail. I do not know whence the system gets this name.

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  • Out of curiosity: Why do you need an ALSA snd_aloop, when Pulseaudio offers the same functionality in-built without all the drawbacks of the ALSA device? And if you use Pulseaudio functionality and load the modules explicitely, it's also a lot easier to set names and descriptions...
    – dirkt
    Feb 1, 2023 at 21:17

3 Answers 3

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I checked pulseaudio source code and found that the card name as showed on pavucontrol configuration tab comes from an attribute named "ID_MODEL_FROM_DATABASE" that you can set via udev rules. For example, to set a specific name to any USB audio card connected to a given USB port:

/etc/udev/rules.d/85-identify-usb-sound-cards.rules:

SUBSYSTEM!="sound", GOTO="pa_naming_end"
ACTION!="change", GOTO="pa_naming_end"
KERNEL!="card*", GOTO="pa_naming_end"

DEVPATH=="/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb3/3-1/3-1.2/3-1.2:1.0/sound/card?", ENV{ID_MODEL_FROM_DATABASE}="FT-2900 Audio"

LABEL="pa_naming_end"

The result (my setup involves several USB audio interfaces): pavucontrol configuration tab

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device names can be changed in Pulseaudio (pavucontrol) if Pulseaudio has module-device manager loaded

check if module is already loaded - pactl list short modules | grep device-manager

if it needs to be added - pactl load-module module-device-manager

if module-manager is loaded can right-click on the 'Port:' dropdown menu to rename the device

enter image description here

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  • 2
    Thanks but this is renaming the sink or source, which I have already done. I am trying to rename the virtual sound card as would appear in the Configuration tab.
    – ysalmon
    Apr 4, 2020 at 12:27
  • question did not mention having already tried this. this is simplest way i know to change input/output device descriptions. can also load sinks/sources statically by reconfiguring default.pa modules and name can be assigned - no card is visible in Configuration tab using that method. may be possible to statically load a whole card to set the name but i never got it to work. did not see much point in trying to use udev rules or other changes to adjust Configuration tab display when i rarely use it compared to other pavucontrol tabs
    – nik gnomic
    Apr 4, 2020 at 14:46
  • WOW thank you so much, I was having issues since I have two things named the exact same but one doesn't work, and it was a game of trial and error for video conferences. This seems like something that should have much more intuitive interface! I tried right clicking on the name, double clicking name, etc. May 30, 2021 at 3:43
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Some kind of solution : delete the existing sink/card, then recreate a new one with a choosen name ...

  1. Delete the sink/card : by unloading the module (get module used by the sink/device name):

$ pactl list sinks

Name: ...

Description: ...

Owner Module: 19 <-- HERE

  1. Then, to "delete" (disable) such sink, by unload that module :

$ pactl unload-module 19

  1. Get the cards's name :

$ pacmd list-cards

  1. Create the new sink:

$ pacmd load-module module-remap-sink master=[card-NAME] channels=2 channel_map=front-left,front-right sink_name=[SOME-sink-NAME] sink_properties=device.description=[SOME-NAME-pavucontrol]

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