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man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2022



audioctl - audio mixer control command line application


audioctl list-devices
audioctl show-device [-v] [-d device]
audioctl show-control [-v] [-d device] [control ...]
audioctl set-control [-v] [-d device] control value
audioctl save-controls [-d device] [-f] file
audioctl load-controls [-d device] file
audioctl help


The audioctl command is used to control various features of the audio mixer and to get information about the audio mixer and the audio device. The audioctl command operates on the following data types:


An audio device, such as audiohd#0. The subcommands that accept this do so as an argument to an option –d. If not supplied, the default audio device is assumed. Any device node associated with an audio device works as well, such as /dev/sound/0 , /dev/dsp1, or /dev/audio.


A mixer control name, such as volume.


The value of a control. The specific format depends on the type of control. Monophonic values usually use a single whole number between 0 and 100, inclusive. Stereo values use a pair of such numbers, representing the right and left channels. Boolean values indicate either on or off. Enumerations take a single value of one or more names.


An ASCII text file of control settings.


Each subcommand has its own set of options that it takes. However, some subcommands support the special flag -v, which indicates a request for more verbose output.

Sub Commands

The following subcommands are supported:

audioctl list-devices

List all the audio devices on the system.

audioctl show-device [-v] [-d devices]

Display general information about a device.

audioctl show-control [-v] [-d device] [control ..]

Display the control setting values for the device. The named controls are displayed. If no control names are provided, then all control values are displayed.

audioctl set-control [-v] [-d device] control value

Changes the value of a control to the supplied value.

audioctl save-controls [-f] [-d device] file

Saves the current state of all mixer control values to the named file. The command aborts safely if the file already exists, unless –f is specified.

audioctl load-controls [-d device] file

Restores previously saved state in the named file for all mixer controls.

audioctl help

Displays audioctl command usage information.

Environment Variables


If the –d and –a options are not specified, the AUDIODEV environment variable is consulted. If set, AUDIODEV contains the full path name of the user's default audio device.


/dev/audioctl /dev/sound/{0...n}ctl


See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

SPARC, x86
Interface Stability
See below.

The audioctl command and its subcommands are Committed. The human readable output is Not An Interface. The device names, control names, and values are Uncommitted. The format of the state files used by the save-controls and load-controls subcommands is Committed Private.

See Also

audioconvert(1), audioplay(1), audiorecord(1), open(2), attributes(7)