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Ubuntu Command for Mic Mute with Pulsemixer

Written by Lorna Jane / Original link on Nov. 12, 2020

One of the major problems I run into with video conferencing tools is how many of them are not at all accessible. I'm a keyboard-only user so if I need to hover a pointer in a particular area of the screen and then click an icon to mute ... then I can't do that. And if you mute me when I join because there are a lot of people here, then I can't participate at all. To work around this, I need a one-liner to mute (and unmute) my mic ... so here it is.
pulsemixer --id source-5 --toggle-mute

Seems easy, right? There's a catch!

The source-5 identifier changes on boot. Check out your list of sources:

pulsemixer --source-list

Pick your mic from the list, run the toggle command so it's in your command history, and then repeat as needed. You could even wrap it up in a shell script, or as I do, hook it up to your streamdeck or other external input. It would be even better if you could automate finding your source .... I have this dumped in a comment in the code but I haven't dared to use it for real yet:

pulsemixer --list-sources | cut -f3 | grep 'UMC404HD 192k Multichannel' | cut -d ',' -f 1 | cut -c 6-

I will leave it here just in case it's useful to you!

Pro-tip: More and more of the video conference tools seem to be introducing support for muting and unmuting you when your system microphone is muted or unmuted. This is brilliant because people can still see that you actively unmuted to say something!

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