Chrome Story

How To Access Chromebook’s Native Sound Manager – Alsamixer

Chrome OS has a native sound manager for accessing your sound card’s settings. It is “Alsamixer“,  a graphical mixer program for the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). It is used to configure sound settings and to adjust the volume.

Alsamixer Sound Manager on Chromebook

Alsamixer Sound Manager on Chromebook


It has an ncurses user interface and does not require the X Window System. It supports multiple sound cards with multiple devices. You get to control Master Volume, Headphone volume, Speaker,  PCM, and Mic. There is  “Mic Boost” as well.

How to Access Alsamixer on Chrome OS

Get the command prompt bu pressing CTRL + ALT + T
Now, type shell and hit enter, and go to shell prompt.
Here, type alsamixer and hit enter.

You will now have the Asamixer screen. Here are the command line options according to wikipedia page for this application.

Option Description
-h, -help Help: show available flags.
-c <card number or identification> Select the soundcard to use, if you have more than one. Cards are numbered from 0 (the default).
-D <device identification> Select the mixer device to control.
-g Toggle the usage of colors.
-V <view mode> Select the starting view mode, either playback, capture or all.

If you have CR48, try this out and let me know how it goes !! I am waiting to get my Chromium OS netbook back in action to try this there !

Via François Beaufort




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  • chris stand

    typing ‘shell” does not work.
    you can go no further

    • Dinu

      did you reach the command prompt with CTRL ALT T ?

      • b.

        I reached the command prompt with ctl+alt+t and it won’t let me into the the shell prompt either.
        Is this a dev mode thing?

        • The Answer


          • D

            The instructions given are for DEV mode, not Crosh mode. Im in the same boat here…. all info out there seems to repeat this same wrong info. So the question is, is there a way to pull up alsamixer from crosh promt?

          • The Reasonable Doubt

            I’m new to linux/chrome os so I’m not sure, but I don’t think you can access alsamixer in crosh.

          • The Answer

            Just tried using crosh. The instructions in the article is works for crosh.

            type “shell”, press enter, type “alsamixer”.

    • ALan

      You have to be on the Dev channel. That is to flip the Actual Switch not change to dev from settings menu. Only way to access root.

  • Adam

    I’m using a Samsung Chromebook. It looks like crosh doesn’t allow using “shell” anymore, so if you’re interested in doing this you’ll have to flip the little dipswitch and root the device.

  • Unknown

    Can not find “alsamixer” HELP!

  • mike will

    shell isn’t a command.