I was using Ubuntu 13.10 previously, and everything was working fine. Prior to upgrading to 14.04, I deleted some of the old kernels. Then, once I upgraded, the sound for .MKV was gone. I use VLC, but Totem could not play sound either. Other video files worked fined though.

I thought the issue was with codecs, so I installed all libav*, gstreamer*, ubuntu-restricted-extras packages. Still nothing. Then I deleted the rest of the old kernels but it still didn't work.

I found a solution, which is using GNOME Mplayer, but this player is terrible - when transitioning scenes, you could see the lines in the video and, on larger files (4gb+) the sound breaks once in a while.

I would really like to be able to play it in VLC. I was thinking the issue was with VLC, since they don't have an "official" version for 14.04, but since it doesn't work on Totem as well, I don't think that's the issue.

I don't think the problem is with codecs, since I installed it, but is it possible that the codecs need some old kernels to work? How could I find out which version I need and download an older version of kernel?

Thank you


Output of avconv -i problem.mkv:

avconv version 9.13-6:9.13-0ubuntu0.14.04.1, Copyright (c) 2000-2014 the Libav developers
  built on May  9 2014 13:34:03 with gcc 4.8 (Ubuntu 4.8.2-19ubuntu1)
Input #0, matroska,webm, from 'problem.mkv':
  Duration: 00:42:20.22, start: 0.000000, bitrate: N/A
    Stream #0.0(eng): Video: h264 (High), yuv420p, 1280x720, PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9, 23.98 fps, 23.98 tbr, 1k tbn, 47.95 tbc (default)
    Stream #0.1: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1, fltp, 384 kb/s (default)
At least one output file must be specified
  • I cannot reproduce this problem. please provide output from avconv -i problem.mkv and add it to your question to help us help you! – Elder Geek May 21 '14 at 19:31
  • Ran the command and posted the output. Thank you for your time – Lukas Bijaminas May 27 '14 at 0:43
  • Audio stream is ac3 (5.1 surround). Will attempt to reproduce – Elder Geek May 27 '14 at 16:58
  • I have the exact same problem.. also ac3 5.1 – xuhdev Jul 24 '14 at 23:51

I had the same problem in VLC today. I just went into:

Tools > Preferences > Audio

Then I had to change output module to

ALSA audio output

Thats fix my problem in Ubuntu 12.04, VLC 2.0.8


I had the same problem. There was no sound with mkv files and Mplayer was saying

Failed to open VDPAU backend libvdpau_i965.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I solved it by installing libvdpau-va-gl1

sudo apt-get install libvdpau-va-gl1

You can find more info on this thread http://tiny.cc/ws34lx.

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