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I've been using Ubuntu for some time now but only after I got a new 5.1 speaker system, has this began to create a problem.

I am using an ASRock N68C-GS UCC Motherboard with on-board audio and faced a similar issue on Windows 7. The drivers that came with the motherboard only supported stereo sound, as the rear jacks are only Speakers, Line-in and Mic. I somehow managed to download and install a different set of drivers from VIA audio.

I could find a solution to this on Ubuntu however. I'm currently running a Daily Build of 13.04.

In the sound setting, selecting Analogue Surround 5.1 Output changes nothing as the 2 other jack are still recognised and rear mic and line-in in the input section.

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Can you please edit your question to explain in more detail what you did to make this work in Windows? A better understanding of that may help us find an answer for Ubuntu. – ændrük Apr 13 '13 at 5:48

From my understanding, you need to have the correct connections on your sound device first (ex. 4 or 5 outputs that correspond to each speaker). Otherwise, you are just emulating the surround. I do not think you can tell 'mic' or 'line-in' to output sound, as they are not designed to do this.

This may give you more info - Using microphone input port as headphone output

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