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Manual Reference Pages  -  PULSE-CLI-SYNTAX (5)


pulse-cli-syntax - PulseAudio Command Line Interface Syntax


General Commands
Status Commands
Module Management
Volume Commands
Configuration Commands
Moving Streams
Property Lists
Sample Cache
Killing Clients/streams
Log Commands
Miscellaneous Commands
Meta Commands
See Also






PulseAudio provides a simple command line language used by configuration scripts, the pacmd interactive shell, and the modules module-cli and module-cli-protocol-{unix,tcp}. Empty lines and lines beginning with a hashmark (#) are silently ignored. Several commands are supported.

Note that any boolean arguments can be given positively as ’1’, ’t’, ’y’, ’true’, ’yes’ or ’on’. Likewise, negative values can be given as ’0’, ’f’, ’n’, ’false’, ’no’ or ’off’. Case is ignored.


help Show a quick help on the commands available.


  Show all currently loaded modules with their arguments.
  Show all currently registered cards
list-sinks or list-sources
  Show all currently registered sinks (resp. sources).
  Show all currently active clients.
list-sink-inputs or list-source-outputs
  Show all currently active inputs to sinks a.k.a. playback streams (resp. outputs of sources a.k.a. recording streams).
stat Show some simple statistics about the allocated memory blocks and the space used by them.
info or ls or list
  A combination of all status commands described above (all three commands are synonyms).


load-module name [arguments...]
  Load a module specified by its name and arguments. For most modules it is OK to be loaded more than once.
unload-module index|name
  Unload a module, specified either by its index in the module list or its name.
describe-module name
  Give information about a module specified by its name.


set-sink-volume|set-source-volume index|name volume
  Set the volume of the specified sink (resp. source). You may specify the sink (resp. source) either by its index in the sink/source list or by its name. The volume should be an integer value greater or equal than 0 (muted). Volume 65536 (0x10000) is ’normal’ volume a.k.a. 100%. Values greater than this amplify the audio signal (with clipping).
set-sink-mute|set-source-mute index|name boolean
  Mute or unmute the specified sink (resp. source). You may specify the sink (resp. source) either by its index or by its name. The mute value is either 0 (not muted) or 1 (muted).
set-sink-input-volume|set-source-output-volume index volume
  Set the volume of a sink input (resp. source output) specified by its index. The same volume rules apply as with set-sink-volume.
set-sink-input-mute|set-source-output-mute index boolean
  Mute or unmute a sink input (resp. source output) specified by its index. The same mute rules apply as with set-sink-mute.


set-default-sink|set-default-source index|name
  Make a sink (resp. source) the default. You may specify the sink (resp. source) by its index in the sink (resp. source) list or by its name.

Note that defaults may be overridden by various policy modules or by specific stream configurations.

set-card-profile index|name profile-name
  Change the profile of a card.
set-sink-port|set-source-port index|name port-name
  Change the profile of a sink (resp. source).
set-port-latency-offset card-index|card-name port-name offset
  Change the latency offset of a port belonging to the specified card
suspend-sink|suspend-source index|name boolean
  Suspend (i.e. disconnect from the underlying hardware) a sink (resp. source).
suspend boolean
  Suspend all sinks and sources.


move-sink-input|move-source-output index sink-index|sink-name
  Move sink input (resp. source output) to another sink (resp. source).


update-sink-proplist|update-source-proplist index|name properties
  Update the properties of a sink (resp. source) specified by name or index. The property is specified as e.g. device.description="My Preferred Name"
update-sink-input-proplist|update-source-output-proplist index properties
  Update the properties of a sink input (resp. source output) specified by index. The properties are specified as above.


  Lists the contents of the sample cache.
play-sample name sink-index|sink-name
  Play a sample cache entry to a sink.
remove-sample name
  Remove an entry from the sample cache.
load-sample name filename
  Load an audio file to the sample cache.
load-sample-lazy name filename
  Create a new entry in the sample cache, but don’t load the sample immediately. The sample is loaded only when it is first used. After a certain idle time it is freed again.
load-sample-dir-lazy path
  Load all entries in the specified directory into the sample cache as lazy entries. A shell globbing expression (e.g. *.wav) may be appended to the path of the directory to add.


kill-client index
  Remove a client forcibly from the server. There is no protection against the client reconnecting immediately.
kill-sink-input|kill-source-output index
  Remove a sink input (resp. source output) forcibly from the server. This will not remove the owning client or any other streams opened by the same client from the server.


set-log-level numeric-level
  Change the log level.
set-log-meta boolean
  Show source code location in log messages.
set-log-target target
  Change the log target (null, auto, journal, syslog, stderr, file:PATH, newfile:PATH).
set-log-time boolean
  Show timestamps in log messages.
set-log-backtrace num-frames
  Show backtrace in log messages.


play-file filename sink-index|sink-name
  Play an audio file to a sink.
dump Dump the daemon’s current configuration in CLI commands.
  Debug: Shows the current state of all volumes.
shared Debug: Show shared properties.
exit Terminate the daemon. If you want to terminate a CLI connection ("log out") you might want to use ctrl+d


In addition to the commands described above there are a few meta directives supported by the command line interpreter.
.include filename|folder
  Executes the commands from the specified script file or in all of the *.pa files within the folder.
.fail and .nofail
  Enable (resp. disable) that following failing commands will cancel the execution of the current script file. This is ignored when used on the interactive command line.
.ifexists filename
  Execute the subsequent block of commands only if the specified file exists. Typically filename indicates a module. Relative paths are resolved using the module directory as the base. By using an absolute path, the existance of other files can be checked as well.
.else and .endif
  A block of commands is delimited by an .else or .endif meta command. Nesting conditional commands is not supported.


The PulseAudio Developers <pulseaudio-discuss (at) lists (dot) freedesktop (dot) org>; PulseAudio is available from

SEE ALSO, pacmd(1), pulseaudio(1)
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