I have a Logitech 590 USB headset that I cannot get to work with Ubuntu 12.04. In my computer sound settings everything is absolutely blank. No options for inputs or outputs. I do have some regular speakers that work, and I can actually hear through the headset when I use Skype. But I can't use the microphone at all, or hear through the headset in anything but Skype.

I believe it is becuase the PulseAudio server is not running. When I try to start it I see:

$ pulseaudio --start
E: [autospawn] core-util.c: Home directory /home/user not ours.
W: [autospawn] lock-autospawn.c: Cannot access autospawn lock.
E: [pulseaudio] main.c: Failed to acquire autospawn lock


sudo start-pulseaudio-x11 
Failed to create secure directory: Permission denied
Connection failure: Connection refused
pa_context_connect() failed: Connection refused

Trying to run pavucontrol gives me:

Connection to PulseAudio failed

The AlsaMixer seems to be working. I don't know much about it, but if I open up the GUI and mess around it does seem to control my regular speakers.

I have reinstalled pulseaudio and pavucontrol and this doesn't seem to help.

I either need to figure out how to get pulse audio started, or bypass it (in order to use this headset).

  • "Home directory /home/user not ours": are you not user user? – CL. Sep 25 '13 at 7:13
  • I am this user. This is part of the confusion. – DJElbow Sep 25 '13 at 15:57
  • ls -ld /home/user? – CL. Sep 25 '13 at 15:59
  • drwxrwxrwx 1 root root 20480 Sep 25 00:07 /home/user – DJElbow Sep 26 '13 at 0:07
  • This directory should be owned by user. As far as I can see, all errors are a consequence of that. – CL. Sep 26 '13 at 7:58

The issue, as mentioned in the comments, was the fact that the home directory was owned by root. I was unable change the owner of the home directory using sudo chown -R user /home/user because the home directory was mounted on a different hard drive with an NTFS filesystem.

I backed up my home directory with Deja Dup to an external drive. Then used gparted to format the internal NTFS drive and change the filesystem to EXT4.

Next I changed /etc/fstab to match the new UUID of the drive and changed "ntfs" to "ext4".

After restart, I had to press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to login in a terminal. I was there able to use sudo chown -R user:user /home/user.

I was then able to login to the GUI, and restore my home directory using Deja Dup and the backup on my external drive.

PulseAudio is working perfectly now.

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