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I just installed Ubuntu 16.04 on a new computer. The sound worked fine for all users right after the installation but suddenly, the sound indicator was set to mute and I was unable to adjust the sound (the sound still plays though!!).

If I login as a different user (or even to guest session), the sound and sound indicator both work flawlessly. I tried to reinstall ALSA and pulseaudio but nothing changed. The weirdest part is that sound comes out of the speakers.

I don't think its a hardware detection failure because sound is coming out of the speakers, I have no idea what to try next - thanks in advance for the advice!

  • is the sound coming from the speakers related to those actions the current user takes? what I am aiming at: if you switch users without signing the first user off, any audio application that still runs may keep the audio controls and output to himself/herself. the second user after being logged in might still hear for example the musik of user one. Though I must admit, I never tried this myself, I would not be surprised if the audio controls were locked as well. – Phillip -Zyan K Lee- Stockmann Aug 19 '16 at 7:03
  • Please note that messed up permissions in our HOME is entirely unrelated to pulseaudio or sound setup. See askubuntu.com/questions/201780/… for a different approach. – Takkat Aug 19 '16 at 7:29
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Thanks. The problem was already answered by this question:

I had to change permission for my home directory:

sudo chown -R <username> /home/<username>

  • You are changed the ownership of your home directory by command 'chown'. – pa4080 Aug 19 '16 at 7:52
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I had similar problem. Fixed it by killing pulseaudio and deleting its config folder:

killall pulseaudio && mv ~/.config/pulse/ /tmp/deleted_pulse_config

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