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.

-h, -helpHelp: 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.
-gToggle 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

In Category: Chromebook


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 13 Comments
  • chris stand 05/06/2011, 3:00 am

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

    • Dinu 05/06/2011, 3:20 am

      did you reach the command prompt with CTRL ALT T ?

      • b. 14/06/2011, 11:37 pm

        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 03/07/2011, 3:38 am


          • D 05/07/2011, 11:06 am

            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 07/07/2011, 6:55 am

            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 30/07/2011, 5:01 am

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

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

    • ALan 11/02/2014, 9:32 am

      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 28/12/2011, 8:17 am

    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 13/01/2012, 1:43 am

    Can not find “alsamixer” HELP!

  • mike will 30/03/2015, 2:01 am

    shell isn’t a command.

    • Stephen Birtwistle 20/09/2015, 1:10 am

      it worked for me once I had entered the developer mode..when i typed shell the next line started with $

  • Mason McDonald 07/04/2015, 6:25 pm

    Actually, shell is a command. However, the shell is not available on Chromebooks unless you have Developer Mode enabled. On some older Chromebooks, this is a physical switch, but for newer ones, the process goes as follows:
    1) Hold the Esc and Refresh keys, and while holding them, press the power button.
    2) Once you see the Recovery Mode screen, hold Ctrl+D.
    3) A Warning saying “OS Verification is off” should appear, do NOT press space.
    4) Wait for developer mode to install, a command-line-style progress bar should appear at the top of the screen.
    5) Developer mode is now enabled! Keep in mind, that same warning will appear every time you restart your Chromebook. Good luck!

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