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I have a panasonic toughbook cf-w8 with intel hda sound card, with a fresh install of ubuntu 11.10, I can get sound out of headphones, but not from external speaker. would appreciate step by step help to solve problem. Iam fairly new to linux. thank you

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Did you check Connector in Sound Settings is not set to Analog Headphones? – danjjl Mar 30 '12 at 14:55
This answer might help, Question was very similar. – danjjl Mar 30 '12 at 15:00
Are you sure you don't mean internal speakers when you say external speaker? – danjjl Mar 30 '12 at 15:01

I had the same issue on 11.10 and 12.04. Adding the following line at the bottom of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

options snd-hda-intel model=laptop

fixed the issue on my laptop.

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