My thoughts on Slackware, life and everything

Alien tip: Volume change percentages in KDE

I have felt frustrated at times, when I press the Volume Up/Down buttons on my keyboard and the sound volume in KDE becomes just too loud, or just too soft. When you are running the KDE desktop, the increments in volume change are controlled by KMix, the KDE mixer. By default, the sound volume changes with increments of 4% which means that with a few keypresses you go from almost inaudible sound to full blast. And there is no way to change that 4% increment value into something more fitting… pretty annoying.

Although… something changed with KDE 4.8!

You can change the volume increment value since KDE 4.8, but this option is not exposed in any KDE GUI. Fortunately we Slackers are not afraid to use the vi editor and therefore you can change the increment to any other value (2.5% is a nice comfortable incremental change):

  • Stop the KMix program if it is running (right-click on its icon in the systray and select “Exit“)
  • Open the KMix confguration file in a text editor: “vi $HOME/.kde/share/config/kmixrc
  • Add the following line to the [Global] section of that file to get a 2.5% increment value instead of the default 4%:
    • VolumePercentageStep=2.5
  • Start KMix again (for instance, Alt-F2 and enter “kmix”)
  • Try your Volume Up/Down buttons – they are more fine-grained now!

Cheers, Eric


  1. amigib

    nice, thanks

  2. jaycee

    That’s all very well Eric, but you’re wrong about one thing – you should be using Emacs. πŸ˜‰ (Or you could go one better and use nano! :D)
    Cheers for the tip! I’ve found this to be an issue myself at times, so knowing this is most useful. πŸ™‚

  3. Beelzebud

    Very cool tip!

    Just a heads up but the newest Calibre seems to have added a new dep. I had to install the python module called “six” to get it to work, after upgrading to the newest version. has a slackbuild for it, if anyone is having trouble.

  4. alienbob

    Hi Beelzebud

    Python-dateutil has “python-six” as a dependency but only for recent versions, did you upgrade python-dateutil from the version 1.5 I have in my repository to the 2.1 which is on


  5. Niki Kovacs

    VolumePercentageStep=100 feels more appropriate for the music I’m listening to right now (Clutch, Burning Beard) :oD

  6. alienbob

    Heh, my playlist has more variation in decibels πŸ™‚
    I noticed you removed the link to your audio stream from your LQ sig… too many visitors?
    You might want to try “http:// /slackware14” (spaces added to prevent URL harvesting) in an icecast-capable player. It will widen your musical experience πŸ˜‰


  7. alekow

    Nice music alien πŸ™‚

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