My sounds suddenly stopped playing on Ubuntu 13.04 64bit. I can only see Dummy output device in the Sound Settings and no sound is played during testing.

I can get the sound temporarily working by killing one of the strange processes, but I have to repeat the same after reboot

jan@jan-HP-Desktop:~$ ps -ef|grep pulseaudio
112       1405     1  0 09:38 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start --log-target=syslog
112       2132  1405  0 09:38 ?        00:00:00 /usr/lib/pulseaudio/pulse/gconf-helper
jan       2575     1  0 09:39 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start --log-target=syslog
jan       2597  2575  0 09:39 ?        00:00:00 /usr/lib/pulseaudio/pulse/gconf-helper
jan       3160  2975  0 09:40 pts/2    00:00:00 grep --color=auto pulseaudio

jan@jan-HP-Desktop:~$ sudo kill 1405

Is there a permanent solution for this problem?

  • Did you try to remove the users config with mv ~/.config/pulse ~/.config/pulse.old? Then restart pulseaudio with pulseaudio -k.
    – Takkat
    Commented May 11, 2013 at 18:21
  • I tried your suggestion and it did not help :-( I also renamed ~/.pulse in one of my previous attempts. I have this weird user 112 running pulseaudio and blocking the sound. Once I kill the process, all active sounds start playing immediately. Commented May 12, 2013 at 2:09

7 Answers 7


I had this problem after having an Xorg problem, uninstalling unity and reinstalling xfce. My probablem probably revolved around not adding gconf back and the re-install scripts not adding my user back to the various audio groups. I got sound working after:

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-x11 \
    pulseaudio-module-zeroconf \

And also adding my username to audio related groups in /etc/groups:


And of course, flushing my various pulse related settings:

pulseaudio -k
sudo alsa force-reload
rm ~/.pulse-cookie
rm -rf ~/.config/pulse
sudo shutdown -r now

When my system rebooted (and I don't know if that was necessary) I ran a check:

pacmd list-sinks

And this displayed my sound cards and not the dummy device!

  • 2
    Adding myself to groups audio,pulse,pulse-access worked. Weird. Thanks!
    – thnee
    Commented Nov 1, 2013 at 15:42
  • Just sudo alsa force-reload helped me.
    – utapyngo
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 16:19
  • Added myself to audio, pulse, and pulse-access. Installed all packages and now see that gconf-helper is running.
    – Brooks B
    Commented Apr 2, 2016 at 14:23
  • Worked for me on OpenSUSE and I didn't even have the alsa command.
    – user31389
    Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 17:55
  • You have to add yourself to those groups and then relogin so the groups update. At least some of the other steps aren't necessary. That fixes PA (broke for me after swtiching to Xfce4 on Slackware) Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 10:51

Following the instructions at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2143157&p=12650610#post12650610 , I disabled speech-dispatcher as follows:

sudo vi /etc/default/speech-dispatcher

And I changed RUN=yes to RUN=no, then rebooted.

My system now boots with sound, and much faster.

  • Thanks Geoff. This change did it! My sound now works right after reboot. Commented May 26, 2013 at 16:14
  • 10
    This did not work for me on Linux Mint Olivia x64 since the said file already has RUN=no in it. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 20:12

Here's what I did, worked for me. Ensure that pulseaudio control utility is installed:

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

run the utility


Move to the leftmost tab (configuration), there is adrop downlist of profiles. Work through this until something forks (for me it was "Analog Stereo Output", whereas the default had been "Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output")



  • I only had my webcam in the configuration. When I kill the 'user 112' process, the configuration will show my soundcard and everything is playing instantly. Commented May 14, 2013 at 5:14
  • Installing pavucontrol worked for me. In my case I didn't even have to run "pavucontrol" after installing, simply rebooted. Thanks! Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 9:36
  • I was able to get my audio to reappear when plugging in and out the audio line. For some reason it didn't perceive it as plugged in. pavucontrol looks awesome for the future.
    – Zamicol
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 21:15
  • Thank you so much for this tip, it worked with my usb-soundcard asus xonar x7 after i plugged it to another usb port. Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 14:46

I also had it - Does sound work before reboot after one update? If yes it is probably the same.
It's bug related to kernel 3.8.0-18.

  1. Run uname -r to check your version of Kernel. If it is 3.8.0-18-generic - try next steps
  2. Reboot and in GRUB select Advanced options
  3. Chose Ubuntu with Kernel ... (Any before -18)

Also you can subscribe this bug at Launchpad, I hope they will fix it soon

  • Thanks for the link, this might work out for other people. I have '3.8.0-19-generic' and rebooting into the older kernel version did not work for me (the 3.5* had no sound at all). I did not have '3.8.0-17' or any other 3.8* kernel available in GRUB, which I suppose would work since the audio was working before. I also tried to update DKMS, which helped some people in the discussion, but to no avail. Commented May 14, 2013 at 5:08
  • I just updated to 3.8.0-21-generic and the sound works again. Thanks for the help. Commented May 16, 2013 at 2:12
  • 1
    3.8.0-21 and 3.9 didn't work for me. Going to try 3.8.0-13
    – rahules
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 10:00
  • Thank you so much sir, I didn't get audio through the audio jack neither so I went from 21 to 19 and it started working again. I will open a bug since the one linked was for hdmi. Commented May 16, 2013 at 17:16
  • 3.8.8 (as well as 3.9) is known to solve this bug.
    – kubahaha
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 18:32

I've been using Ubuntu 13.04 64bit with Kernel version 3.8.0-19-generic. Got the same dummy output device problem but solved it by following the first solution provided in the following website:


Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the link, but this did not work for me. Hopefully it will help someone else. Commented May 24, 2013 at 1:57
  • None of those suggestions helped for me. I'm working on a Linux Mint Olivia x64 system. Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 20:19
  • sudo alsa force-reload does it for me. Maybe you also need to restart pulseaudio. Commented May 15, 2014 at 8:28

I had the same problem with kernel 3.8.0-19-generic installed. And updated kernel was available, but was being held back by apt-get. So I used Synaptic to install the kernel update (3.8.0-25-generic), rebooted the system, and sound was working again.

So the solution may be as simple as updating your kernel.


To me, what worked was a

sudo apt-get install linux-image-3.8.0-25-generic

rebooting, noting, to my horror, that not the video card nor the wlan card were working, issuing a panicked

sudo apt-get remove linux-image-3.8.0-25-generic

rebooting and, to my relief, finding both new (video, wlan) and old problems (audio) to be gone at once.

  • @gertvdijk It sounds like the user was rolling back a kernel upgrade, as opposed to removing and reinstalling the same one.
    – belacqua
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 23:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .