Jack That Shat!

So you just wooted some awesome new desktop speakers for your Ubuntu desktop computer, you plug them into the headphone jack, and you behold the megawatt goodness of thumping 4-inch speakers. But what ho? What’s this? The on-board sound card speaker is still pumping it’s pathetic little pings and bleeps into your otherwise blissful aural wonderland! It’s enough to drive a command line idiot to drink. Well, pretty much anything is enough to drive this command line idiot to drink. Things like “Mother’s Day” and “Tuesday”.

You would think that plugging something into the headphone jack would automatically shut off the speaker inside your box. You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Not only are you wrong, but it’s such a stupid thing to want that the Ubuntu gods have hidden the setting under like 500 menu levels. Let’s go digging, shall we?

In the upper right corner, you have a volume icon. Click on that, and select “Volume Control”.
toolbar_icon

In the “Volume Control” dialog, you’ll see all of the volume sliders for various outputs. Select “Preferences”.
volumecontrol

Now, you can control which settings show up in the “Volume Control” dialog. About halfway down the list, you’ll find the setting for “Headphone Jack Sense”. Yes, let’s please jack some sense into these headphone outputs, shall we? Check the box.
preferences

Now, back in the “Volume Control” dialog, you’ll find a new tab for switches. Our preference for headphone jack behavior shows up there.
jacksense

That’s it! Now, you perfectly idiotic request to shut down the internal speakers when you plug in headphones (just like every other operating system does) will work with your fancy new speakers.

Now leave me alone. It’s 10am, and this tear-soaked gin & tonic isn’t going to guzzle itself.

Leave a Reply