Been running Ubuntu 17.10 since beta 2. Suddenly today, every time firefox closes an audio stream, the application volume in Pulse is set to zero. This happens, for example, when switching from one youtube video to another.

I've tried many things. Here's what I remember:

  • checked no such problem in chrome or other audio applications
  • setting firefox's media:default_volume
  • verified pulse's flat_volumes is no
  • rm -rf .config/pulse; pulseaudio -k
  • firefox "safe mode"
  • firefox reset

After living with it for several days, I deleted my Firefox profile: ~/.mozilla and started over. Problem solved, the Microsoft™ way!


  • I have the same problem and tried most of the solutions you listed in your first post without success. What profile did you delete to make it work ? – Olivier Boudry Dec 30 '17 at 17:02
  • support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/… – Autumn Dec 31 '17 at 17:08
  • Worked for me too. Deleted the whole ~/.mozilla folder. It's a bit radical but with firefox sync recovering all settings it's not too painful. Thanks. – Olivier Boudry Jan 3 '18 at 15:27

I ran into the same problem the other day. It was only affecting YouTube and not other websites. I found there is a volume icon on the window tab on top that suggested that somehow the YouTube tab is muted. Clicking on the muted volume icon, I was able to get sound to work properly after reload. Hope this help others to solve this problem.

  • +1 because this seemingly obvious answer is actually not obvious at all - given that the audio volume keeps going to zero in pulse, from where it can be turned up again, it is not at all obvious that it's Youtube that's doing this. The fact that a website can affect a slider bar in pulse was news to me. Less obvious still if you haven't recently used any other websites that have sound. – Rodney Nov 5 '20 at 21:13

In case someone comes across this question, below is the solution I provided in another post (based on the solution given in Inconsistent Sound Volume Ubuntu 20.04, which deserves credit).

Basically, you need to change flat-volumes = no to flat-volumes = yes. The values "true", "1" and "on" are equivalent to "yes", according to the manpage (https://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/focal/man5/pulse-daemon.conf.5.html):

For the settings that take a boolean argument the values true, yes, on and 1 are equivalent, resp. false, no, off, 0.

Don't forged to uncomment the respective line by removing the ";" or "#":

The configuration file is a simple collection of variable declarations. If the configuration file parser encounters either ; or # > it ignores the rest of the line until its end.

The configuration file is: /etc/pulse/daemon.conf

Other possible locations are: ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf, ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf.d/.conf and /etc/pulse/daemon.conf.d/.conf:

The PulseAudio sound server reads configuration directives from a configuration file on startup. If the per-user file ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf exists, it is used, otherwise the system configuration file /etc/pulse/daemon.conf is used. In addition to those main files, configuration directives can also be put in files under directories ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf.d/ and /etc/pulse/daemon.conf.d/.

According to the aforementioned post, rebooting is necessary for the change to take effect.

About the configuration option:

flat-volumes= Enable 'flat' volumes, i.e. where possible let the sink volume equal the maximum of the volumes of the inputs connected to it. Takes a boolean argument, defaults to no.


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