whither xfce4-mixer?

Brandon Watkins bwat47 at gmail.com
Sat May 11 17:50:46 CEST 2013

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM, Genghis Khan <genghiskhan at gmx.ca> wrote:

> Hello,
> May you detail what parts of Xfce are those that you want to support
> PulseAudio in a satisfactory manner?
> Does your GNU distro use xfce4-mixer or another sort of mixer?
> Last time I used that distro (2008 or 2009), it had a bloated setup and
> consumed too much memory in relation to what Xfce regularly consumes, I
> had GNOME mixer installed and also gnome-panel when xfce-panel was the
> default panel; I felt as if I am using a pilot version of GNU/Linux.
> If I need PulseAudio in Salix OS, I install PulseAudio tools from
> SBo[1] and mate-media[2] which has a fork of gnome-volume-control
> (mate-volume-control) which is working well with PulseAudio.
> [1]: http://slackbuilds.org/result/?search=PulseAudio
> [2]: https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-media
> [2]: http://git.mate-desktop.org/mate-media/
> On Fri, 10 May 2013 11:06:45 -0400
> Brandon Watkins <bwat47 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > OTOH, some users love to use Xfce without PulseAudio (ALSA alone),
> > > and won't accept PulseAudio as a dependancy of xfce4-volumed or
> > > xfce4-mixer. I understand them, since I used ALSA alone for years
> > > before I could make PA work with Timidity++ without any lag.
> PulseAudio can be a suggested/optional dependency.
> > I agree XFCE shouldn't make pulseaudio required because a lot of XFCE
> > users probably do prefer using just alsa, but I think XFCE properly
> > supporting pulseaudio out of the box is long overdue. Pulseaudio
> > works quite well these days and is the default in many distros. On my
> > system I've found pulseaudio to be a necessity for doing things like
> > using my HDMI audio output (its a PIA to do with just alsa). It
> > currently takes too much tweaking to get XFCE working satisfactorily
> > with pulseaudio, luckily the xubuntu distro has done a good job of
> > getting this working out of the box and thats one of the major
> > reasons that its my XFCE distro of choice.
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XFCE4-volumed and XFCE4-Mixer both work poorly with pulseaudio. If you have
multiple outputs (such as your integrated speakers and HDMI output, and you
say, switch to the HDMI output, using your volume hotkeys will continue to
change the volume on your speakers even though they are not the current
output. And XFCE4-Mixer was fairly useless with pulseaudio last time I
tried it, it would not allow me to set my HDMI device as output (selecting
it in the mixer would have no effect, so I had to use pavucontrol). I also
recall xfce4-mixer having big problems with muting with pulseaudio. If I
muted the volume with my keyboard shortcut it would refuse to unmute, and
it often showed inaccurate volume in the panel applet.

Xubuntu isn't as bloated as I keep seeing people claiming. On my machine
(and this is the 64-bit version) it only uses around 300-330mb of ram upon
login (And I have some extra things running on startup like compton and

For sound it uses ubuntu's sound-indicator in the panel instead of
xfce4-mixer applet, and the "sound settings" link in the sound indicator
opens pavucontrol instead of xfce4-mixer, and they use a fork of
xfce4-volumed that uses pulseaudio so my volume hotkeys work great even
with hdmi output. Aside from that it uses mostly standard XFCE stuff...It
no longer has gnome-panel or anything like that installed...
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