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I'm running an Ubuntu13.04 clean install on an HP Pavilion g6-1d80nr laptop, and there is no sound. There are no sound devices listed in the sound panel of System Settings, and the volume applet exists, but doesn't actually work.

The original problem was multiple sound cards being registered, and the wrong one set to default; I could see them with lspci, aplay, etc. I fixed this by commenting out a few options in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf, and now the drum noise plays on the login screen, and there the volume applet is fully functional; I can also play sound with test-speakers and aplay. However, there are still no sound devices listed under System Settings (not even dummy output, and searching Google only returns results that specifically ARE showing that), and no sound plays from any applications.

Now the problem seems to be with PulseAudio, which fails on startup with some rubbish about permissions of my home folder:

~$ pulseaudio -vv
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_NICE, (31, 31)) failed: Operation not permitted
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: setrlimit(RLIMIT_RTPRIO, (9, 9)) failed: Operation not permitted
D: [pulseaudio] core-rtclock.c: Timer slack is set to 50 us.
D: [pulseaudio] core-util.c: RealtimeKit worked.
I: [pulseaudio] core-util.c: Successfully gained nice level -11.
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: This is PulseAudio 3.0
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Compilation host: x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Compilation CFLAGS: -g -O2 -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -Wformat -Werror=format-security -Wall -W -Wextra -pipe -Wno-long-long -Wno-overlength-strings -Wunsafe-loop-optimizations -Wundef -Wformat=2 -Wlogical-op -Wsign-compare -Wformat-security -Wmissing-include-dirs -Wformat-nonliteral -Wpointer-arith -Winit-self -Wdeclaration-after-statement -Wfloat-equal -Wmissing-prototypes -Wredundant-decls -Wmissing-declarations -Wmissing-noreturn -Wshadow -Wendif-labels -Wcast-align -Wstrict-aliasing -Wwrite-strings -Wno-unused-parameter -ffast-math -Wp,-D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 -fno-common -fdiagnostics-show-option
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running on host: Linux x86_64 3.8.0-19-generic #30-Ubuntu SMP Wed May 1 16:35:23 UTC 2013
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Found 2 CPUs.
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: Page size is 4096 bytes
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Compiled with Valgrind support: no
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in valgrind mode: no
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in VM: no
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: Optimized build: yes
D: [pulseaudio] main.c: FASTPATH defined, only fast path asserts disabled.
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: Machine ID is e8ba9b2a4a942dc8a48d4b2352273fc1.
I: [pulseaudio] main.c: Using runtime directory /run/user/skye/pulse.
E: [pulseaudio] core-util.c: Home directory not accessible: Permission denied

I then tried every available solution to that with no avail, including purging/reinstalling it. When run as root in system mode, PA returns the following:

~$ sudo pulseaudio --system
W: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in system mode, but --disallow-exit not set!
W: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in system mode, but --disallow-module-loading not set!
N: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in system mode, forcibly disabling SHM mode!
N: [pulseaudio] main.c: Running in system mode, forcibly disabling exit idle time!
W: [pulseaudio] main.c: OK, so you are running PA in system mode. Please note that you most likely shouldn't be doing that.
W: [pulseaudio] main.c: If you do it nonetheless then it's your own fault if things don't work as expected.
W: [pulseaudio] main.c: Please read for an explanation why system mode is usually a bad idea.
E: [pulseaudio] module-alsa-card.c: Failed to find a working profile.
E: [pulseaudio] module.c: Failed to load module "module-alsa-card" (argument: "device_id="0" name="pci-0000_00_01.1" card_name="alsa_card.pci-0000_00_01.1" namereg_fail=false tsched=yes fixed_latency_range=no ignore_dB=no deferred_volume=yes use_ucm=yes card_properties="module-udev-detect.discovered=1""): initialization failed.
W: [pulseaudio] authkey.c: Failed to open cookie file '/var/run/pulse/.config/pulse/cookie': No such file or directory
W: [pulseaudio] authkey.c: Failed to load authorization key '/var/run/pulse/.config/pulse/cookie': No such file or directory
W: [pulseaudio] authkey.c: Failed to open cookie file '/var/run/pulse/.pulse-cookie': No such file or directory
W: [pulseaudio] authkey.c: Failed to load authorization key '/var/run/pulse/.pulse-cookie': No such file or directory

I'm not sure if it's actually the problem or not (I don't think it explains the lack of a dummy output), and any help would be appreciated; I don't really care if I have PulseAudio, I just want sound. Anybody have any suggestions?

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I had a similar issue and it was because my home directory was owned by root. Fixed it by doing the following:

sudo chown -R {user} /home/{user} 

My user account is daz so I issued the following command:

sudo chown -R daz /home/daz/
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