mixer type

Running on a Raspberry Pi, with built in audio output (either analog or HDMI), does setting the mixer type to “hardware” function exactly the same as “disabled” ?

With Disabled you have no mixer, I think, but in the (my) default install you see in the preferences “disabled” even if it is enabled (in my case it was software I think). After you change the setting, it will be coherent.

I think you missed my point.
The documentation says that hardware mixer is only supported on certain sound cards. I assume the Pi’s primitive sound card does not have this capability. So I’m wondering what happens exactly when you set hardware mode, does it function exactly the same as in disabled mode?

I assume almost all soundcards work, in 2014.
Select mixer hw, log in with ssh, execute “alsa-mixer” and see if there is a hw volume.