One might notice the names of output devices (called “sinks”) that
uses are not very pretty. Unless you’re a robot, something like
just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like,
Headphones. Fortunately, there
is a way to reconfigure the names to whatever we want them to be.
First, get a list of the sinks
pulseaudio is aware of …
$ pacmd list-sinks | grep name: | fields 2 | sed 's/<//g' | sed 's/>//g'
That is a list of the three output devices plugged into my computer. Actually, one of them happens to be a microphone that reports itself as both a sink and a source.
Now create a file at
~/.config/pulse/default.pa that includes an include
directive and a list of our devices with our preferred names. For me, the
file ends uplooking like this …
$ cat .config/pulse/default.pa
update-sink-proplist alsa_output.usb-0c76_USB_PnP_Audio_Device-00.analog-stereo device.description="Ignore"
update-sink-proplist alsa_output.pci-0000_0b_00.1.hdmi-stereo device.description="Headphones"
update-sink-proplist alsa_output.pci-0000_0d_00.4.analog-stereo device.description="Google Max"
That include directive is important - we still want all of the normal
pulseaudio configuration to be loaded first.
Beyond that, we use the
update-sink-proplist command to create an alias
for each sink using the
device.description setting. In my case there are
three of them, and I named them
Google Max, and
If needed reboot (or logout/in) to get your desktop environment to detect and respect the changes. For Ubuntu / Gnome, the indicator thingy should list the custom names …