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Sounds works for uid=1000, but not for the main user on the system, running with uid=1003. Upon boot, the Ubuntu chime clearly plays. When the user is logged in, sound test shows no input device.

I looked at several of the previous questions, added the user to audio, video, pulse, pulse-access --- but still no luck.

To recap: This worked perfectly in 11.04, 11.10, 12.04. It works for the default user uid=1000, it does not work for the actual user. The differing group memberships are mainly for adm, admin, sudo and the like.

Edit: Some exploring confirms that it is local to the user and machine; on a second box it works fine. So somewhere below ~/.gconf/ a toggle must have been flipped. And yes, reset alsamixer, reset mute button -- all to no avail.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

To debug or resolve this, please try the following steps:

  • remove all users (including user 1000) from the groups audio, pulse, pulse-access then reboot (no user needs to be in these groups for audio!).

  • Is pulseaudio running? Watch out for errors when running the following in a terminal:

  • log in to the Guest account. Does your guest user have sound?

  • From your affected user account issue the following command in a terminal:

    mv ~/.pulse/ ~/.pulse.bak/  ## removes erroneous user audio settings
    pulseaudio -k               ## restarts the sound server
  • Create a new test account to see if sound works there.

  • Do not run pulseaudio in system wide mode.

  • Is there an audio output sink at all? Read the output of the following command:

    pacmd list-sinks
  • Remove all attached external sound devices including speakers, reboot and then plug them back in.

  • Further reading: Ubuntu Wiki: Audio

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Wonderfully precise answer, and spot on. I had suspected ~/.gconf/, and ~/.pulse it was. I now have a much happier 12-year being back to watch as watch YouTube as she wants. Thanks! – Dirk Eddelbuettel Dec 2 '12 at 16:16

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