Jul 20, 2023

GTK mixer for PulseAudio

PulseAudio Volume Control pavucontrol is a simple GTK based volume control tool “mixer” for the PulseAudio sound server. In contrast to classic mixer tools this one allows you to control both the volume of hardware devices and of each playback stream separately.

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For those not familiar, pavucontrol is a robust, feature-rich volume control and sound management application available in a wide range of popular Linux distributions and currently also in FreeBSD as a port. Under the hood, it functions as a graphical frontend and provides compelling interaction with PulseAudio, the sound server in UNIX-like operating systems. It’s particularly useful for users that require precise control over their audio devicesand streams.

We have provided a comprehensive guide on how to use pavucontrol in FreeBSD, making it accessible and efficient for anyone interested in FreeBSD ports.


pavucontrol offers an interface where users can manage and manipulate a variety of sound components, including individual application volumes, output devices, and stream directions. Here lies its strength – pavucontrol gives control over each audio stream, enabling users to manage the audio of each app separately. For example, you can reduce the volume of your music player without impacting the volume level inside your video conference app.


To install pavucontrol on your FreeBSD system, first, you need to update your FreeBSD repository catalogue

sudo pkg update

Then, install the pavucontrol package with this command

sudo pkg install pavucontrol

Once the installation is completed, launch it using the command

pavucontrol &


pavucontrol has a clean, user-friendly interface with four main tabs Playback, Recording, Output Devices, and Input Devices.

  • The Playback tab shows every app producing audio at that moment. You can adjust their volume or mute them independently.

  • The Recording tab lists active recording devices and apps. You can adjust the per-application volume and make individual apps use different audio inputs.

  • Output Devices tab lists all your output devices speakers, headphones, etc.. You can adjust their volume, balance and choose the default one.

  • Input Devices tab lists all your input devicesmicrophones, etc.. You can adjust their volume, balance and select the default one.

If you need to control advanced settings, you can unlock channels and modify them independently in the Configuration tab. Here, you can also turn off individual devices or set up profile preferences.


Firstly, pavucontrol offers a higher level of granularity in controlling your audio compared to other basic volume control utilities. Secondly, it serves as a troubleshooting tool when dealing with issues related to audio redirection, a specific application not producing sound, or working with HDMI audio. Thirdly, pavucontrol’s interface is more intuitive and user-friendly than dealing with the command-line control of PulseAudio.

Just remember that pavucontrol is one tool among many in your FreeBSD toolbox. To bolster your system’s security, you might consider other ports such as [nmap]https//, a powerful security scanner utility.


pavucontrol truly is a handy utility for handling all things related to sound in your FreeBSD system. With the ability to control audio streams at such a granular level, the power to manage your audio is quite literally at your fingertips.

So, whether you’re setting up a professional recording studio, assembling an entertainment centre or working on your everyday desktop machine, pavucontrol in FreeBSD provides the functionality and versatility to cater to all scenarios. Happy audio handling!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Zynaddsubfx - Realtime software synthesizer
  • Zrythm - Modern music production system, also known as DAW
  • Zplugins-lv2 - Collection of LV2 plugins to be bundled with Zrythm
  • Zmusic - GZDoom's music system as a standalone library
  • Zita-rev1 - Reworked version of the reverb originally developed for Aeolus
  • Zita-resampler - C++ library for resampling audio signals
  • Zita-njbridge - Command line client to transmit audio over a local IP network
  • Zita-mu1 - Simple Jack app used to organise stereo monitoring
  • Zita-jclient - Library to create a Jack client with a few lines of C++
  • Zita-dpl1 - Look-ahead digital peak level limiter
  • Zita-convolver - Fast, partitioned convolution engine library
  • Zita-bls1 - Blumlein Shuffler converter of binaural signals to stereo speaker pair
  • Zita-at1 - Autotuner Jack application
  • Zita-alsa-pcmi - Easy access to ALSA PCM devices
  • Zinf - GTK-based MP3 player