alsamixer - soundcard mixer for ALSA soundcard driver, with ncurses interface
is an ncurses mixer program for use with the ALSA soundcard
drivers. It supports multiple soundcards with multiple devices.
- -h, --help
- Help: show available flags.
- -c, --card <card number or identification>
- Select the soundcard to use, if you have more than one. Cards are numbered
from 0 (the default).
- -D, --device <device identification>
- Select the mixer device to control.
- -V, --view <mode>
- Select the starting view mode, either playback, capture or
- -g, --no-color
- Toggle the using of colors.
The top-left corner of alsamixer
is the are to show some basic
information: the card name, the mixer chip name, the current view mode and the
currently selected mixer item. When the mixer item is switched off,
is displayed in its name.
Volume bars are located below the basic information area. You can scroll
left/right when all controls can't be put in a single screen. The name of each
control is shown in the bottom below the volume bars. The currently selected
item is drawn in red and/of emphasized.
Each mixer control with volume capability shows a box and the current volume
filled in that box. The volume percentages are displayed below the volume bar
for left and right channels. For a mono control, only one value is shown
When a mixer control is turned off, M
(mute) appears below the volume
bar. When it's turned on, O
in green appears instead. You can toggle
the switch via m
When a mixer control has capture capability, the capture flag appears below the
volume bar, too. When the capture is turned off, ------- is shown.
in red appears when the capture switch is turned on. In
letters appear in left and right side to
indicate that left and the right channels are turned on.
Some controls have the enumeration list, and don't show boxes but only texts
which indicate the currently active item. You can change the item via up/down
has three view modes: playback, capture and all. In the
playback view, only the controls related with playback are shown. Similarly,
only the controls for capture (recording) are shown in the capture view. The
all view mode shows all controls. The current view mode is displayed in the
top-left position together with the mixer name, etc.
The default view mode is the playback view. You can change it via -V
Each view mode can be switched via keyboard commands, too. See the next section.
recognizes the following keyboard commands to control the
soundcard. Commands shown here in upper case can also be given in lower case.
To be reminded of these keystrokes, hit the h
and right arrow
keys are used to select the channel (or
device, depending on your preferred terminology). You can also use n
("next") and p
and Down Arrows
control the volume for the currently
selected device. You can also use +
for the same purpose.
Both the left and right signals are affected. For independent left and right
control, see below.
key adjusts the balance of volumes on left and right
toggles muting for the current channel (both left and right). If the
hardware supports it, you can mute left and right independently by using
) and .
enables recording for the current channel. If any other channels
have recording enabled, they will have their recording function disabled
first. This only works for valid input channels, of course.
re-draws the screen.
View Mode Controls¶
Function keys are used to change view modes. You can switch to the help mode and
the proc info mode via F1
keys, respectively. On
terminals that can't use function keys like gnome-terminal, ?
keys can be used alternatively for help and proc modes.
keys are used to switch to playback, capture
and all view mode, respectively. TAB
key toggles the current view mode
Quick Volume Changes¶
increases volume by 5.
decreases volume by 5.
sets volume to 0.
You can also control left & right levels for the current channel
independently, as follows:
] -- turn UP [ left | both | right ]
] -- turn DOWN [ left | both | right ]
If the currently selected mixer channel is not a stereo channel, then all UP
keys will work like W
, and all DOWN keys will work like X
The number keys from 0
are to change the absolute volume
quickly. They correspond to 0 to 90% volume.
Selecting the Sound Card¶
You can select another sound card by pressing the F6
This will show a list of available sound cards to choose from, and an entry to
enter the mixer device name by hand.
Quit the program with ALT Q
, or by hitting ESC
. Please note that
you might need to hit ESC
twice on some terminals since it's regarded
as a prefix key.
, the volume is mapped to a value that is more natural for a
human ear. The mapping is designed so that the position in the interval is
proportional to the volume as a human ear would perceive it, i.e. the position
is the cubic root of the linear sample multiplication factor. For controls
with a small range (24 dB or less), the mapping is linear in the dB values so
that each step has the same size visually.
Only for controls without dB information, a linear mapping of the hardware
volume register values is used (this is the same algorithm as used in the old
amixer(1), aplay(1), arecord(1)
Some terminal emulators (e.g. nxterm
) may not work quite right with
ncurses, but that's their own damn fault. Plain old xterm
seems to be
has been written by Tim Janik and been further improved by
Jaroslav Kysela <email@example.com> and Clemens Ladisch
This manual page was provided by Paul Winkler <firstname.lastname@example.org>.