PulseAudio is what most modern Linux distributions use as a
sound server, the part of the sound subsystem that sits between
applications and the sound driver supporting features like allowing
multiple applications to output sound simultaneously. PulseAudio
adds various features not present in other Linux sound servers like
per-application volume controls and easily outputting to different audio
devices (for instance, using HDMI audio instead of the normal
PulseAudio can be controlled using
which is a GUI audio mixer. It shows a volume meter and control for every
application producing sound as well as an option to choose which audio
device it is outputting to. It additionally lists all of the hardware
input and output devices, as you would expect from an audio mixer.
If PulseAudio is not working properly, you can restart it by running
No, really, that's what Debian's PulseAudio page says to do.
When I initially installed PulseAudio, it didn't have my sound cards
listed and just had the default null outuput, making it not very useful.
Running that command to restart it fixed it.
PulseAudio seems to mute my sound card all by itself. Currently, I just
pavucontrol and unmute it.