I am currently running Kubuntu Feisty on a Thinkpad T43, having recently
moved up from Edgy. My external speakers, which are attached through
the headphone jack, have their own volume control.
On Edgy (and Dapper), I could use the Thinkpad mute button to turn off
the internal speakers and use only the external speakers. The external
speaker volume was controlled independently by both kmix and the hardware
volume control. If the internal speakers were un-muted (through the
Thinkpad button), their volume was controlled by Thinkpad volume buttons and
kmix. So kmix controlled the system volume at the software level, and
each set of speakers had its own independent hardware volume control.
With Feisty, the Thinkpad buttons control kmix directly, not the Thinkpad
speakers. As a result, I can't turn off the Thinkpad speakers (and
their marginal sound quality) and still use the external speakers. If I
use the Thinkpad mute button, it mutes the entire sound system. As a
result, in order to get sound out of the external speakers, I need some
volume on the internal speakers.
I don't want to permanently inactivate the internal speakers since I do
use them when I'm not connected to the dock.
How can I restore the old situation where the Thinkpad sound buttons are
controlling only the internal speakers, not kmix?
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