Request for Comments (RFC): Potential change in setting sound card volume on boot

Michael R. Head burner at
Wed Jun 27 15:32:41 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-06-26 at 21:20 -0400, Daniel T. Chen wrote:
> Hi folks,

> This change means that volume restoration would be delegated to KMix,
> mixer_applet2, and xfce4-mixer (for Kubuntu, Ubuntu/Edubuntu/Ubuntu
> Studio, and Xubuntu, respectively).  The change resolves issue 1[1],
> since at shutdown `alsactl store` is executed, which stores the new
> state; also resolved are issues 2[3], 3, and 4[5], since the driver is
> responsible for setting a sane toggle.
> Users who elect to continue to restore volume levels at boot can do so
> by adding the invocation of `/etc/init.d/alsa-utils start`
> to /etc/rc.local.

I'm not sold on this part of the solution. My feeling is that levels
should be restored before gdm beats its drums (this is particularly
needful for the "laptops in meetings" case). Further, requiring users to
modify stuff in etc (or adding a new admin screen with a preference)
isn't going to work for a more users. This is most important for
machines with just one user, it's less critical for multi-user machines.

Is there some way to be as smart/correct as the desktop mixer applets
with respect to level and toggle settings without requiring a user to be
logged in with the desktop up and running?

> All the best,
> Daniel Chen
> [0] `alsactl restore` is invoked via /etc/init.d/alsa-utils as a RUN
> target for each detected audio device.  See [4] below.
> [1] e.g.,
> [2] /var/lib/alsa/asound.state
> [3] e.g.,
> [4] e.g.,
> [5] RUN+="/sbin/start-stop-daemon --start --background
> --pidfile /var/run/alsa/bogus --startas /etc/init.d/alsa-utils -- start
> %n"
Michael R. Head <burner at>
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