[SOLVED] Cannot use media keys for volume control with pa-applet

Hi. As of yesterday, I'm having problems with pa-applet (and a bit with nm-applet). pa-applet stopped recognizing the media keys, so I can't use them for volume control. I can still, however, change the volume using pavucontrol or by clicking on the pa-applet icon in the status bar, and using the slider.

Running pa-applet in bash I get:

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:71:44: Invalid number for color value

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:72:44: Invalid number for color value

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:74:53: Invalid number for color value

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:75:53: Invalid number for color value

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:76:56: Invalid number for color value

(pa-applet:3272): Gtk-WARNING **: 16:32:58.766: Theme parsing error: colors.css:77:65: Invalid number for color value
Failed to grab XF86AudioRaiseVolume
Failed to grab XF86AudioLowerVolume
Failed to grab XF86AudioMute

As for the nm-applet: at first, it doesn't work if I click on it after booting, but starts to work a while after the click. It's almost like it crashes, and that restarts. Only mentioning it because this behavior is different than before.

Also, both applets seem to sometimes fail to load properly - they don't show up in the i3bar at all, or there's only a blank space. If pa-applet doesn't appear in the i3bar, it seems I have to manually start pulseaudio and/or pa-applet.

Obviously, I can work around those issues, but they are annoying me...

I'm using Manjaro i3 20. I've reinstalled the system in the morning, but the issues prevail.

My i3 config has:

exec --no-startup-id nm-applet
#exec --no-startup-id volumeicon
#bindsym $mod+Ctrl+m exec terminal -e 'alsamixer'
exec --no-startup-id pulseaudio
exec --no-startup-id pa-applet
bindsym $mod+Ctrl+m exec pavucontrol

and, as far as I'm aware, doesn't bind the volume keys to anything.

xev gives:

FocusOut event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyGrab, detail NotifyAncestor

FocusIn event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyUngrab, detail NotifyAncestor

KeymapNotify event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x0,
    keys:  4294967172 0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
           0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   

FocusOut event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyGrab, detail NotifyAncestor

FocusIn event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyUngrab, detail NotifyAncestor

KeymapNotify event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x0,
    keys:  2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
           0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   

FocusOut event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyGrab, detail NotifyAncestor

FocusIn event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x3200001,
    mode NotifyUngrab, detail NotifyAncestor

KeymapNotify event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0x0,
    keys:  2   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
           0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   

for mute, vol down, and vol up respectively.

showkey gives:

keycode 113 press
keycode 113 release
keycode 114 press
keycode 114 release
keycode 115 press
keycode 115 release

on pressing vol mute, down, and up respectively.

Below is the output of my inxi -Fx:

System:    Host: xxxxxx Kernel: 5.4.39-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.3.0 Desktop: i3 4.18.1 
           Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK product: VivoBook_ASUSLaptop X580GD_N580GD v: 1.0 serial: <root required> 
           Mobo: ASUSTeK model: X580GD v: 1.0 serial: <root required> UEFI: American Megatrends v: X580GD.309 date: 10/18/2018 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 41.2 Wh condition: 41.2/48.1 Wh (86%) model: ASUSTeK ASUS Battery status: Not charging 
CPU:       Topology: 6-Core model: Intel Core i7-8750H bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Kaby Lake rev: A L2 cache: 9216 KiB 
           flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 52815 
           Speed: 965 MHz min/max: 800/4100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 900 2: 900 3: 900 4: 900 5: 900 6: 900 7: 900 8: 900 
           9: 900 10: 900 11: 900 12: 900 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel UHD Graphics 630 vendor: ASUSTeK driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 
           Device-2: NVIDIA GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile] vendor: ASUSTeK driver: nouveau v: kernel bus ID: 01:00.0 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.8 driver: intel,nouveau unloaded: modesetting 
           resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz, 1920x1080~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel UHD Graphics 630 (CFL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 20.0.6 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel Cannon Lake PCH cAVS vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1f.3 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.39-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Device-1: Intel Wireless-AC 9560 [Jefferson Peak] driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: 5000 bus ID: 00:14.3 
           IF: wlo1 state: up mac: fc:77:74:6a:3a:ec 
           Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: ASUSTeK driver: r8169 v: kernel port: 3000 
           bus ID: 03:00.0 
           IF: eno2 state: down mac: 04:92:26:13:91:5c 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 1.14 TiB used: 103.18 GiB (8.8%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: MQ04ABF100 size: 931.51 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Micron model: 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN size: 238.47 GiB 
RAID:      Hardware-1: Intel 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] driver: ahci v: 3.0 bus ID: 00:17.0 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 233.20 GiB used: 32.25 GiB (13.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb2 
           ID-2: /home size: 732.55 GiB used: 70.93 GiB (9.7%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 53.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nouveau temp: 46 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 2400 
Info:      Processes: 252 Uptime: 6m Memory: 15.49 GiB used: 1.34 GiB (8.7%) Init: systemd Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 Shell: bash 
           v: 5.0.16 inxi: 3.0.37 

EDIT

So, I kinda solved the issue(s).

As for nm-applet not working properly: it seems that its malfunctioning would sometimes half-freeze the laptop (I could move the mouse around, i3bar updated, but I couldn't interact with the computer in any way).

I've installed connman, and disabled NetworkManager.service. So switching seems to have fixed those issues for now.

As for pa-applet: I've noticed that dunst isn't sending or receiving any notifications. The reason being that it wasn't enabled on startup. Enabling dunst seems to have solved the pa-applet issue, as it's now receiving input from the media keys.

Come to think of it, maybe dunst not starting caused both issues, since it usually displayed a notification when a wifi connection was established.

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