I installed Ubuntu 12.04 a month ago and am using it till now. I failed to notice that all this time there was no sound at all while running Ubuntu, even while playing a game in Wine. The weird thing is that only the startup sound comes when I log in (Indian/African drum tone), then comes the utter silence.

I tested both Digital Output (S/PDIF) and the speakers in the sound settings but can hear nothing.

Any help?

  • I found a fix: just enable from BIOS to boot directly in the monitor where you want the hdmi/displayport sound from, it will activate the HDMI or Displayport sound of the monitor. And then you always can switch back and forward during the playback to hdmi and laptop sound, from the Ubuntu sound settings. – Szabi Mar 30 '13 at 18:53

15 Answers 15


After searching, I have found a simple answer. Just execute

killall pulseaudio

Your speakers should work fine now. To ensure this, test the sound stack in System Settings > Sound > Test Sound (Speaker test, Not Digital Output (S/PDIF) test)

  • This worked for me -- Thinkpad T410 with Ubuntu 12.10. – nibot Jan 24 '13 at 8:56
  • 1
    Hm - it worked once, but then sound stopped working again, and was not revived by killing pulseaudio again. – nibot Jan 24 '13 at 10:34

Sometimes the problem is that alsa somehow got muted. Open a terminal and type:



and disable Auto-Mute Mode. The mute can be toggled with the M key.



killall pulseaudio

and go to System SettingsSoundOutput tab → ConnectorAnalog Output

This solved it for me.

  • 2
    There is no "connector" on 12.04, All I see are "Digital Output" and "Speakers" as options to select from... – Mr. Polywhirl May 7 '14 at 2:07

killall pulseaudio wasn't working for me. My issue was that I was not in the sound group.


gpasswd -a yourusername audio

Then do

killall pulseaudio

That worked for me.


Type alsamixer in the terminal.

Press F6 to select sound card and try switching to HDA Intel if available or something else apart from Nvidia. You might also want to increase a few settings that are low a little bit, like Mic and Mic boost.

Restart any application that might be running. This helped me enable skype sounds and hear the ringer.

If you check Applications > Multimedia > Pulseaudio Volume Control; in Output devices there should only be one device.

Hope this helps. Worked for me in Xubuntu 12.04.


Possible Fix

Remove the hidden .pulseaudio folder, log out and log back in. This might help in getting back the sound.

Just in case you don't know where .pulseaudio folder (pulse in case of modern versions), open Terminal Ctrl+Alt+T and type the following code

mv ~/.config/pulse ~/.config/old_pulse

It just renames the 'pulse' folder to 'old_pulse'. Do reboot your PC so that the folder can be recreated with default configurations.

  • for me deleting the .pulse (there was no .pulseaudio) folder worked. Thanks. – kapcom01 Feb 7 '16 at 16:41

Just in case nothing of the above works - check that the issue is not with the amplifier. I eventually plugged in another computer, and still silence.

Moving the cable to a different HDMI input of the amplifier did the trick. Who knows what is wrong with "HDMI3", but I can live with that. :-)


A a possible fix:

12.04 sound problem fixed

if 11.10 was ok for you, just use the 11.10 kernel, i used, check the link.

AND after that if you still don't hear anything do this steps:

SystemSettings -> Sound -> (Select output) SPEAKERS, NOT HDMI..

(what is worng with this Ubuntu dev guys... I never used HDMI output, make that setting seccondary, let me hunt how to enable when i need that crap... J)

P.S. what do you think fossfreedom is this post ok? comments should also be left, are the only feedback to developers, if they care.


You do not need to install a new kernel. You can install only another version of ALSA. You can try this https://code.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-audio-dev/+archive/alsa-daily/+packages daily build repositary of ALSA.


I did the following. Try it:

  1. Open terminal and typed alsamixer.

  2. Press a few tabs or F5 so you can see all the options.

  3. Now with your arrow keys go to loopback and enable it



Similar problem. Solution:

sudo su -
alsamixer -V all 

Press m to unmute the channels, as root.


What helped me is just bringing up the sound settings via the sound control (upper corner icon). And then testing the speakers.


I had no sound problem with Xubuntu 12.04 Beta on my HP laptop. After some googling I fixed it with setting HDMI Audio Profile to OFF in Application Menu - Multimedia - PulseAudio Volume Control - Configuration.

  • 1
    I'm sorry but I can't follow cause I cannot find 'Application > Multimedia > PulseAudio Volume Control > Configuration' on Ubuntu but I did try this 'alsamixer' on terminal and all were not set to mute if this is what you meant for volume control. – Mohd Arafat Hossain May 10 '12 at 2:57
  • You need to install pavcc – Shaneo1 Jul 14 '12 at 9:48

On ION 330 I had no sound over HDMI ... the solution was to run alsamixer and unmute S/PDIF 1.


In some cases reinstall the audio system can fix it.

sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo alsa force-reload   

In some cases it may be necessary to use this ppa

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

FYI: When running a virtual machine with Ubuntu can cause some additional problems; treat it like a stand alone computer,reboot the virtual (VM ware/virtual-box/etc.) I followed the same command line in terminal and it work for me.


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