Last updated March 23, 2020 By Abhishek Prakash 817 Comments
Brief: No audio in a fresh Ubuntu install? Only see dummy output? No worries. Here are a few methods that you can try to fix the no sound problem in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.
As it happens with every Ubuntu release, you install or upgrade to a newer Ubuntu version and run in to a number of problems. But then, there is always a way to overcome these big little problems.
One of the most common problems faced is no sound after installing Ubuntu. While there could be several reasons for no sound in Ubuntu, I will share the tricks that worked for me.
Let’s see in steps how I fixed and how you can fix it.
Various methods to fix no audio in Ubuntu
There could be various reasons why there is no sound in Ubuntu. The fix depends on the kind of problem you have. Before you take the steps to fix it, I suggest get some information about your system, specially about the audio related hardware.
Install inxi tool first:
Now check the system, machine and audio information with this command:
You should see some information like this:
Look closely in the audio section of the above output. It tells that it is Intel Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio and it has the Linux driver snd_hda_intel and the sound is served with Alsa. This information maybe useful in some stages of your audio troubleshooting.
Fixing dummy output in sound settings
First step, just to verify, check if the sound is not muted. Once you verify this, go to Sound Settings:
In the Sound Settings, you’ll find that you have practically nothing here except a dummy output. Quite frustrating. It means that your sound card is not even recognized. Puff!
No worries. The one shot solution which fixed the sound problem for me on my Intel powered Dell Inspiron is to force reload Alsa. To do that, use the following command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):
The output will be like this.
You may think that it is hanged or still in processing but it takes only couple of seconds. You can simply close it afterwards by using Ctrl+C.
Now, you need to reboot your computer. Either play some music/video files or check in the system settings to see if it worked for you.
First Alternate method to fix no sound in Ubuntu
If the above problem did not fix it for you, try reinstalling Alsa and Pulse audio in the following manner:
And force reload Alsa again:
Restart and check if sound is back or not.
Second alternate method to fix no sound in Ubuntu
Try starting Pulseaudio and see if it works:
Third alternate method: remove old Pulseaudio config
Go to your home directory and then go to the hidden config directory. Rename the directory named pulse here:
Now reboot your system. The pulse directory should be created afresh and you should have sound.
Third alternate method: Try alsamixer
Open a terminal and use the following command to open alsamixer:
You should see a screen like this:
Check if the speakers or your desired audio output is muted here. MM means mute and OO means unmute. If your desired audio output (mostly it’s speakers) or the Master is muted, unmute it.
You can exit the screen using Esc key.
Note that if alsamixer command returns error, it’s probably because you have more than one sound card. In that case, you need to specify the sound card number (refer to the inxi output I mentioned in the beginning) like this:
Fourth alternate method to fix no audio in Ubuntu
Speed dispatcher is the feature that allows your system to convert text to speech. Sometimes, it conflicts with other audio settings. If you do not need this feature, you may try disabling it as it may bring your audio back.
Open the terminal and edit speech-dispatcher file by using the following command:
In here, change RUN=yes to RUN=no . Reboot and enjoy the sound.
Fifth alternate method (specially for Lenovo Carbon X1)
A few of It’s FOSS readers mentioned that none of the above methods worked for their Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon X1 7th Gen laptop.
I looked into various places and found that this newer model has issues with Linux. While Linux kernel 5.5 and above versions has improved support for this model, it is still tricky for Ubuntu 18.04 and Mint 19 users because the kernel in use is still 5.3.
Check your Linux kernel version and if it is 5.4 or lower, try this possible workaround that is suggested by Arch Linux and Ubuntu developers.
Open the alsa configuration file (command might be different for Mint because Gedit text editor is not used in Mint):
Add the following line to the end of this file:
Save and close the file and reboot your system. You should have the audio back.
If it fixed your sound problem, you may want to fix brightness issue as well. Fixing the sound problem is definitely one of the must do things after installing Ubuntu.
If one of the above mentioned methods worked for you, please leave a comment below specifying the method that saved your day. Any other suggestions and feedback is also welcomed.
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An issue often faced by Ubuntu users after installing Ubuntu or upgrading to a new version is the sound problem, or more specifically, the “no-sound” problem. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is related to a misconfiguration in the speaker settings, or maybe your hardware is not well-supported.
More importantly, it’s usually a pretty easy problem to resolve. In this article we’ll go through a few simple fixes you can try. You don’t necessarily have to try them all. Just start at the top of the list and work your way down.
Install Volume Control for PulseAudio
PulseAudio is default sound driver setup for most Linux distros. It’s open-source, and it’s generally reliable, working with ALSA and OSS drivers to make sure those sound signals get relayed between your speakers and apps on your OS.
But while PulseAudio comes with its own volume control package, it’s not that granular and doesn’t let you control each playback stream individually. Pavucontrol gives you more control over each audio device on your PC, so you can play around with those sliders to make sure, say, your speaker or headphone volume is set to what it should be.
To install pavucontrol, open the Terminal and enter the following commands:
After that, run pavucontrol, go to the Output Devices tab, and make sure that your default speakers are selected.
Check your speaker settings
When experiencing sound issues on your Ubuntu machine, the first thing you need to do is check out your headphones and speakers for connection problems. It could be that some audio cable is connected to the wrong port or not connected at all.
If you’re using a Bluetooth device, check to see if it’s paired up correctly. Don’t forget to take a look at the volume controls of your devices to make sure they’re at acceptable levels. You should also verify that the output volume is not muted on your computer and that the correct output device is selected.
Check the ALSA Mixer
Under the hood PulseAudio uses the ALSA-level volume controls. If you need more fine-grained control over your ALSA-level volume, follow the steps below:
1. Open the terminal.
2. Type alsamixer and press the Enter key. You will see the following output in your terminal.
3. Select your correct sound card by pressing F6. For me, the defaults work just fine, but feel free to try other option if it doesn’t work.
4. Use the left and right arrow keys to select a volume control. The currently selected item is shown in red.
5. Use the up and down arrow keys to increase and decrease volume levels for each control.
6. When a mixer control is muted, “MM” appears below the volume bar. Note that a bar can be 100% full but still be muted, so do check for this. You can unmute a control by pressing the m key. This changes “MM” to “OO.”
7. To exit alsamixer, press the Esc key.
Note: When you mute or unmute a control, pulseaudio might pick it up and mute and unmute other controls as well. So make sure to confirm that the relevant controls as well as the master control are unmuted before exiting.
Another thing you can try if the sound issue persists is to reload ALSA. To do that, use the following command in the terminal:
The output looks like the following image.
Once it’s done, reboot your computer, and test your sound again to see if it is working.
Reinstall ALSA and PulseAudio
If the above methods did not fix your issue, try reinstalling ALSA and PulseAudio in the following manner. Open your terminal, and enter the following commands:
Reload ALSA again and reboot your computer.
Now that you’ve got the sound running on Ubuntu again, it’s time to start enjoying your operating system again. Have you tried turning a website into an app in Linux? Or you can try casting the screen of your Android phone to Linux.
sudo alsa force-reload brought back my card to life but it is not surviving a reboot. Just upgraded to 20.04 ….. Seems to be some deeper problem…
Neither my internal speakers or internal mic are working since installing updates this morning, 16.04. None of the operations in this article brought either back. I tried benjamin10’s command and that didn’t work either. Now I’ll be looking at rolling back those updates
None of these help me. My system was flawlessly working for ages. I installed steam and discord.
Now sometimes when I plug in my headphones, the prompt to choose the device (headphones, headset, or mic) never shows up and I can not get sound. Other devices work.
Rebooting fixes it, but restarting these components does not.
Ah, I found what helps me, add it this post!
alsactl restore BOOM works. Nothing else in this post helped.
It works , but when I reboot I have to do it all over again… it doesnt stick..This can’t be right
It’s the force reload that does it (as some of the previous comments also noted) But it doesn’t survive the reboot.
I have the issue with the headphones – no sound at all – nothing works.
Then I read about Discord, so I tried to uninstall it, reboot the PC and then the headphones works again (weird – but it is just like that).
Ubuntu Budgie 20.04
Thanks a lot, dear friend! God bless your heart! You are LINUX MERLIN, indeed! Great.
sudo apt-get remove timidity
sudo shutdown now -r