Volume control for GNU/Linux desktops featuring per-app sliders

View the Project on GitHub buzz/volctl


Per-application volume control and OSD for Linux desktops.


I couldn’t find a simple tray icon that allows to control multiple applications easily from the task bar. So I wrote my own.

Bug reports and patches welcome!

It’s not meant to be an replacement for a full-featured mixer application. If you’re looking for that check out the excellent pavucontrol.



Manual installation

  1. Clone this repository somewhere and cd into it.
  2. To install: sudo ./setup.py install Note: You might need to copy data/apps.volctl.gschema.xml to /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/ manually.
  3. For the application icon to show up in the menu: sudo update-desktop-database
  4. Compile GSettings schemas: sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/ or sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/local/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

Arch Linux

Available in AUR: volctl

Status/tray icon implementation

volctl strives to achieve a high level of support across different Desktop Environments. Unfortunately, on the Linux Desktop several tray icon implemenations with various levels of support and capabilities co-exist.

volctl supports

Your Desktop Environment might support both, one or none of these standards. Personally I use XEmbed as it allows for all important user interactions (mouse wheel, double-click, etc.) on my current system. The default is to prefer SNI which can be changed under the Preferences ➝ Prefer XEmbed.

Please try for yourself which type of tray icon works best for you.

Note: If you need support for SNI you have to compile and install statusnotifier. Use the configure flags --enable-introspection and --enable-dbusmenu. If you’re on Arch Linux you can use the AUR package statusnotifier-introspection-dbus-menu.

No Wayland support (#39)

Through SNI volctl now supports tray icons under Wayland. Unfortunately it’s not possible to display the volume slider window on Wayland at the mouse pointer position. The Wayland protocol does not allow this unless non-standard Wayland extensions are used. The only entity that is capable of doing so is the Wayland compositor (generally your Desktop Environment).


Deploy dev version in Virtualenv

You can start volctl from the source tree.

$ python -m venv --system-site-packages venv
$ ./setup.py develop
$ venv/bin/volctl


Use pylint and flake8 for linting the sources.

$ make lint

Use black to auto-format the code.

$ make black


GNU General Public License v2.0