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Revision as of 23:59, 15 December 2013

A "Sound Configuration" icon is available which automatically determines which audio devices are available and provides a button to play a test sound. To access this utility, use Control Panel → Sound Configuration or type pc-soundconfig from within an xterm.
Figure 8.12a: Sound Configuration Utility

An example of the "Sound Configuration" screen is shown in Figure 8.12a.

To determine which audio devices are available, click the drop-down menu. In the example shown in Figure 8.12b, this system has four available sound devices with the FreeBSD device names pcm0 to pcm3. The default device is the Conexant CX20590 on pcm2.

To change the default audio device, select the desired device from the drop-down menu and test that it works by clicking the "Test sound" button. To make the change permanent, click the "Apply" button.

If you connect a USB headset, PC-BSD® will detect the new device and will automatically change the audio device to the USB input. At this time, if you insert a headset into an audio jack, the system will not detect the new input so you will have to manually change the default device using "Sound Configuration".
Figure 8.12b: Selecting the Audio Device

Troubleshooting Sound

If you are unable to get sound working using the sound configuration utility, you can try using mixer from the command line. As your regular user, type mixer to see your current settings:


Mixer vol is currently set to 0:0 Mixer pcm is currently set to 100:100 Mixer mic is currently set to 50:50 Mixer mix is currently set to 60:60 Mixer rec is currently set to 75:75 Mixer igain is currently set to 100:100

Mixer ogain is currently set to 100:100

If any of these settings are set to 0, set them to a higher value, by specifying the name of the mixer setting and a percentage value up to 100:

mixer vol 100 Setting the mixer vol from 0:0 to 100:100.

You can make that change permanent by creating a file named .xprofile in your home directory that contains the corrected mixer setting.

If you only get one or two mixer settings instead of the example output shown above, you need to change the default mixer channel. As the superuser, try this command:

sysctl -w hw.snd.default_unit=1

To see if that changed to the correct channel, type mixer again. If you still only have one or two mixer settings, try setting the sysctl value to 2, and if necessary, to 3.

Once you have all of the mixer settings and none are set to 0, your sound should work. If it still doesn't, these resources may help you to pinpoint the problem:

If you still have problems with sound, see the section on Finding Help to determine which help resources are available. When reporting your problem, include your version of PC-BSD® and the name of your sound card.


  1. http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/sound-setup.html
  2. http://wiki.freebsd.org/Sound
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