I sometimes have the problem that I can't hear any sound on my Dell XPS13 with Ubuntu 16.04. I have a Logitech G930 connected to it. When I open pavucontrol it is stuck at "Establishing connection to PulseAudio. Please wait..." I have been following the Ubuntu Audio Problems Guide (german version is here: https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Sound_Problembehebung/#Soundsystem ) and found the following:

$ cat /proc/asound/cards
0 [PCH            ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                     HDA Intel PCH at 0xdc428000 irq 295
1 [H              ]: USB-Audio - Logitech G933 Gaming Wireless H
                     Logitech Logitech G933 Gaming Wireless H at usb->0000:00:14.0-1, full speed

So the sound cards are recognized. However, audio is not played:

$ aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav 
ALSA lib pulse.c:243:(pulse_connect) PulseAudio: Unable to connect: Access denied
aplay: main:722: audio open error: Connection refused

Same with sudo:

$ sudo aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav
Home directory not accessible: Permission denied
Home directory not accessible: Permission denied
Playing WAVE '/usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav' : Signed 16 bit >Little Endian, Rate 48000 Hz, Mono

The "groups" command does NOT show the audio group, but what I think is strange that it works most of the time (and often so after restarting, if there are problems) so I'd guess it's not the problem.

Where else could I look?


$ lspci -nnk | grep -A2 Audio
00:1f.3 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation Device [8086:9d71]     (rev 
Subsystem: Dell Device [1028:075b]
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel

$ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC3246 Analog [ALC3246 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: H [Logitech G933 Gaming Wireless H], device 0: USB Audio     [USB >Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

$ pactl list short sinks
Connection failure: Access denied
  • We should not be in the audio group, and we should not run audio apps as root. Sometimes deleting poor settings in our HOME need to be deleted. See askubuntu.com/questions/201780/… – Takkat Feb 2 '17 at 13:47
  • Could you please edit your question to include the output of the terminal commands lspci -nnk | grep -A2 Audio, aplay -l, and pactl list short sinks? If PulseAudio (via pactl) doesn't respond, please (back up and) remove ~/.pulse, start PulseAudio (pulseaudio --start) and try again. Thanks. – David Foerster Feb 2 '17 at 14:00
  • Sorry, took me a while to reproduce the error and have the time to write everything down. I have edited the question. I have not found a file at ~/.pulse – Bernie Feb 7 '17 at 11:10
  • Hey @Bernie, did you ever got to fix this? Facing the exact same issue.. – Alex Timmer Jul 4 '18 at 14:27
  • Maybe the files are in ~/.config/pulse instead of ~/.pulse. At least on OpenSuSE they are... – rwst Dec 12 '18 at 7:52

I've had this issue since upgrading to 18.04 and read almost all there is about to read about it. I fiddled with the settings, the packages, and eventually it would work sometimes, after installing PulseEffects for getting the right channel throughput for the audio. But then when I would change the audio-output channel to say headphones instead of speakers, the gnome shell crashed. This crash gave me insight to some "obsolete packages" that were still installed and needed removing or upgrading.

So in summary, running these commands solved all my audio problems after a few weeks of debugging (so stupid if you see it now, but whatever works right?)

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio pavucontrol
sudo alsa force-reload


sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
sudo apt-get install pulseeffects

After a final resetting of the audio output channel, it worked like a charm again.

  • 2
    I followed everything mentioned above except the last command which gave me an error saying -- unable to locate package pulseeffects.. Then i did 'pulseaudio --start' and audio started working again. – Aseem Dec 13 '18 at 12:06
  • Also got that error and the penultimate command essentially said "nothing to be done" i.e. pavucontrol is already the newest version (3.0-4) and it removed alsamixer – 42- Dec 28 '18 at 18:48
  • Thank you! This worked for 18.10 as well. – Don P Jan 23 at 4:00
  • Thank you so much for this answer, I have been trying to solve this issue for a month on 18.10 (new install, not upgrade) after my sound randomly crashed when I was trying to record on audacity. The pulseeffects step wasn't necessary, but like Aseem I needed to do 'pulseaudio --start' – rjb-dev Apr 28 at 6:31

This solve the same problem with my:

pulseaudio --check
pulseaudio -D

Taken from: [Solved] Establishing connection to PulseAudio. Please wait ... https://classicforum.manjaro.org/index.php?topic=27044.0

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