NAME alsactl - advanced controls for ALSA soundcard driver

SYNOPSIS alsactl [options] [store|restore|init] <card # or id or device>

alsactl monitor <card # or id>

DESCRIPTION alsactl is used to control advanced settings for the ALSA soundcard drivers. It supports multiple soundcards. If your card has features that you cant seem to control from a mixer application, you have come to the right place.

COMMANDS store saves the current driver state for the selected soundcard to the configuration file.

restore loads driver state for the selected soundcard from the configu- ration file. If restoring fails (eventually partly), the init action is called.

nrestore is like restore, but it notifies also the daemon to do new rescan for available soundcards.

init tries to initialize all devices to a default state. If device is not known, error code 99 is returned.

daemon manages to save periodically the sound state.

rdaemon like daemon but restore the sound state at first.

kill notifies the daemon to do the specified operation (quit, rescan, save_and_quit).

monitor is for monitoring the events received from the given control device.

If no soundcards are specified, setup for all cards will be saved, loaded or monitored.

OPTIONS -h, --help Help: show available flags and commands.

-d, --debug Use debug mode: a bit more verbose.

-v, --version Print alsactl version number.

-f, --file Select the configuration file to use. The default is /var/lib/alsa/asound.state.

-l, --lock Use the file locking to serialize the concurrent access to the state file (this option is default for the global state file).

-L, --no-lock Do not use the file locking to serialize the concurrent access to the state file (including the global state file).

-O, --lock-state-file Select the state lock file path.

-F, --force Used with restore command. Try to restore the matching control elements as much as possible. This option is set as default now.

-g, --ignore Used with store and restore commands. Do not show No soundcards found and do not set an error exit code when soundcards are not installed.

-P, --pedantic Used with restore command. Don t restore mismatching control elements. This option was the old default behavior.

-I, --no-init-fallback Dont initialize cards if restore fails. Since version 1.0.18, alsactl tries to initialize the card with the restore operation as default. But this can cause incompatibility with the older version. The caller may expect that the state won t be touched if no state file exists. This option takes the restore behavior back to the older version by suppressing the initialization.

-r, --runstate Save restore and init state to this file. The file will contain only errors. Errors are appended with the soundcard id to the end of file.

-R, --remove Remove runstate file at first.

-E, --env #=# Set environment variable (useful for init action or you may override ALSA_CONFIG_PATH to read different or optimized config- uration - may be useful for "boot" scripts).

-i, --initfile The configuration file for init. By default, PRE- FIX/share/alsa/init/00main is used.

-p, --period The store period in seconds for the daemon command.

-e, --pid-file The pathname to store the process-id file in the HDB UUCP format (ASCII).

-b, --background Run the task in background.

-s, --syslog Use syslog for messages.

-n, --nice Set the process priority (see man nice)

-c, --sched-idle Set the process scheduling policy to idle (SCHED_IDLE).

FILES /var/lib/alsa/asound.state (or whatever file you specify with the -f flag) is used to store current settings for your soundcards. The set- tings include all the usual soundcard mixer settings. More impor- tantly, alsactl is capable of controlling other card-specific features that mixer apps usually dont know about.

The configuration file is generated automatically by running alsactl store. Editing the configuration file by hand may be necessary for some soundcard features (e.g. enabling/disabling automatic mic gain, digital output, joystick/game ports, some future MIDI routing options, etc).

SEE ALSO amixer(1), alsamixer(1), aplay(1), alsactl_init(7)

BUGS None known.

AUTHOR alsactl is by Jaroslav Kysela <> and Abramo Bagnara <>. This document is by Paul Winkler <>.

07 May 2014 ALSACTL(1)