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AUDIOCTL(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual AUDIOCTL(1)
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audioctl -- control software audio format
audioctl [-n] [-d device] -a
audioctl [-n] [-d device] name ...
audioctl [-n] [-d device] -w name=value ...
The audioctl command displays or sets the parameters that determine the
playback and recording format for software using an audio device. It is
most useful when the full audio(4) API is not available, e.g. when play-
ing or recording raw audio data from a sh(1) script, or from the command
line. It does not control the underlying hardware format, which can be
changed with audiocfg(1).
The variables that can be inspected and changed with audioctl are nor-
mally per-application and are reset when a /dev/audioX device is opened.
This can be circumvented by using /dev/soundX instead, which retains
If a list of variables is present on the command line, then audioctl
prints the current value of those variables for the specified device. If
the -a flag is specified, all variables for the device are printed. If
the -w flag is specified audioctl attempts to set the specified variables
to the given values.
The -d flag can be used to give an alternative audio control device, the
default is /dev/audioctl0.
The -n flag suppresses printing of the variable name.
AUDIOCTLDEVICE the audio control device to use.
/dev/sound0 audio I/O device
/dev/audioctl0 audio control device
To set the playing sampling rate to 11025, you can use
audioctl -w play.sample_rate=11025
To set all of the play parameters for CD-quality audio, you can use
audioctl -w play=44100,2,16,slinear_le
The old -f flag is still supported. This support will be removed eventu-
audiocfg(1), audioplay(1), audiorecord(1), mixerctl(1), audio(4),
The audioctl command first appeared in NetBSD 1.3.
Since the parameters controlled by audioctl are global, they can be
changed unexpectedly if another application uses the same audio device.
It is always preferable to use AUDIO_SETINFO on a per-process /dev/audioX
device, if the audio(4) ioctls are available in the programming environ-
ment. Similarly, audioplay(1) and audiorecord(1) are more safe for use
NetBSD 9.99 March 21, 2021 NetBSD 9.99