GNOME Shell: convenient audio output chooser
Aug 28th, 2023 by miki

GNOME has a long standing UX issue regarding choosing the audio output device when multiple audio devices (usually PulseAudio ALSA sinks) are available. In the default GNOME desktop (until v43) the user needs to navigate all the way to Settings->Sound and fiddle with drop-down dialogues to make this choice.

Some options to make this more convenient are available.

1) On GNOME 43+: Use Quick Settings

GNOME 43 adds a new Quick Settings feature which allows, amongst others, the audio device to be chosen directly from the “top bar”‘s “system menu” UI in the upper right corner.

The exact appearance and features exposed in the Quick Settings can be modified by installing the “Quick Setting Tweaker” GNOME Shell extension (GPL-3.0/MIT license).

GNOME 43 is present in Debian based distributions since Debian 12 (bookwoorm, 2023-07) & Ubuntu 23.04 (lunar). Note that after v3.38 a new GNOME versioning scheme was introduced meaning that the following release became v40.

2) Pre GNOME 43: Use GNOME Shell extensions

Option #1: Volume Mixer (I prefer UI of this)

The Volume Mixer GNOME Shell extension (GPL-2.0 license) makes the sound output selection available from the top bar’s system menu in a nice an uncluttered way, hiding unnecessary distractions (fx. no input selection when no application is recording).

Volume Mixer when choosing output device

Option #2: Sound Input & Output Device Chooser

Similarly the Sound Input & Output Device Chooser GNOME Shell extension (GPL-3.0 license) also makes the selection available in the system menu. However, the UI is slightly more convoluted with the width of the dialogue expanding dynamically making the UX a bit unintuitive and jumpy.

Sound Input & Output Device Chooser when choosing output device (input device selection visible below)

3) Non-GNOME: Use Ubuntu AppIndicator

If you use multiple desktops or just prefer a non-GNOME specific solution another way is to install the Ubuntu AppIndicator compatible “Sound Switcher Indicator” (GPL-3.0 license) in combination with the GNOME Shell extension “AppIndicator and KStatusNotifierItem Support” (GPL-2.0 license), which will make Ubuntu AppIndicators appear as tray icons in the GNOME top bar.

The support and non-support of tray icons, requiring the use of extensions like the above, has been a long standing discussion in the GNOME community since the GNOME3 redesign work decided that no existing systray/indicator/status icon protocol was adequate for the GNOME UI requirement.

Curiously the Ubuntu AppIndicator standard is a remnant of Canonical’s attempted desktop/mobile convergence environment Ubuntu Unity (distributed in parallel on mobile OS Ubuntu Touch and standard Ubuntu desksop). This has now been abandoned by Canonical/Ubuntu but still lives somewhat on in the community; see &

EDIT 2023-09-20: add screenshots minor text corrections

Itch: eog core dump on Galaxy 7 panorama image
Jun 10th, 2019 by miki

  • Took some photos with my Galaxy 7. Some were panoramas.
  • EOG crashed while loading them.
  • Memory was low.
  • Maybe related to previously experienced missing EOI marker issue with Samsung camera application.

Will investigate later and amend the post (promise!).

Commandline Dump

$ free; find . -size +25M -exec bash -c 'ls -l {}; eog {}; echo' \;; free
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:        7746692     5767656      843228      317764     1135808     1271048
Swap:       7950332     5113012     2837320
-rw-rw-r-- 1 miki miki 39926496 Jun 10 19:25 ./20190609_184124.jpg

** (eog:23320): CRITICAL **: eog_reload_plugin_activate: assertion 'G_IS_MENU (model)' failed
eog: ../../../../src/cairo-xlib-surface-shm.c:619: _cairo_xlib_shm_pool_create: Assertion `*ptr != ((void *)0)' failed.
bash: line 1: 23320 Aborted                 (core dumped) eog ./20190609_184124.jpg

-rw-rw-r-- 1 miki miki 38286099 Jun 10 19:26 ./20190609_183714.jpg

** (eog:23332): CRITICAL **: eog_reload_plugin_activate: assertion 'G_IS_MENU (model)' failed
eog: ../../../../src/cairo-xlib-surface-shm.c:619: _cairo_xlib_shm_pool_create: Assertion `*ptr != ((void *)0)' failed.
bash: line 1: 23332 Aborted                 (core dumped) eog ./20190609_183714.jpg

-rw-rw-r-- 1 miki miki 36181801 Jun  9 17:13 ./20190609_160437.jpg

** (eog:23343): CRITICAL **: eog_reload_plugin_activate: assertion 'G_IS_MENU (model)' failed

** (eog:23343): CRITICAL **: eog_reload_plugin_deactivate: assertion 'G_IS_MENU (menu)' failed

-rw-rw-r-- 1 miki miki 39059177 Jun 10 19:25 ./20190609_184146.jpg

** (eog:23354): CRITICAL **: eog_reload_plugin_activate: assertion 'G_IS_MENU (model)' failed
eog: ../../../../src/cairo-xlib-surface-shm.c:619: _cairo_xlib_shm_pool_create: Assertion `*ptr != ((void *)0)' failed.
bash: line 1: 23354 Aborted                 (core dumped) eog ./20190609_184146.jpg

              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:        7746692     5773448      495604      659944     1477640      922956
Swap:       7950332     5112700     2837632


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