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The basic symptom I was having is that sound was not working in Ubuntu 14.04.

However, I had recently used the front headphone jack, and after unplugging the headphones, I noticed in the sound settings control panel that the headphones output device briefly disappears, then immediately re-appears. This leaves the computer in a state where it doesn't play any audio.

In other words, it's stuck in headphone mode. This may be a hardware problem, but given the solution I found (below), I kind of doubt it.

  • This is a bug I can deliberately reproduce. I have linked to an existing bug I've filed about this in my answer. I've both flagged it and downvoted it for this reason. – Isiah Meadows Sep 22 '14 at 21:55
  • I don't understand, why was this question downvoted so much? The answer looks awful, but the question seems fine to me. – Limited Atonement Oct 14 '14 at 21:06
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To fix this problem, I did the following:

  • Plug in headphones
  • Click the speaker icon in the top-right and open the sound settings control panel. On the output tab, notice that it list the "Headphones Output" and the "Analog Output" (for you, you may be using Digital Output).
  • Select your "Analog Output" and click "Test Sound" to open the test sound menu
  • Click "Test" (either front left or front right), and quickly while the test sound is still playing, unplug the headphones.

This caused the headphone output to properly disappear, leaving the "Analog Output" in a working state.

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  • 3
    Hi. Thanks for the answer but I haven't got any Analog Output there, only Headphones Output is listed. Is there any solution for that? – Baskaya Aug 6 '14 at 23:38
  • Feel free to click "Does this bug affect you?" in the upper left of this bug and post a comment as well! – Isiah Meadows Aug 7 '14 at 7:30
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If you dual boot with Windows 8, see this answer. If headphones work, and the speaker doesn't work or works intermittently, please click "Does this bug affect you?" in the upper left of this bug.

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  • Interesting. FWIW, I dual boot with Windows 7 on a desktop machine. I don't use sound all that often, so I don't have any more data on this. – Jeff Ward Aug 7 '14 at 14:48
  • @JeffWard I've done some of my own research on this bug, and I'm trying to raise awareness to its existence. It isn't the kind of bug developers are used to, but I already have found some patterns. – Isiah Meadows Aug 7 '14 at 20:32

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