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[Linux] No sound at all - Printable Version

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No sound at all - neocleous - 2012-05-07 20:11

Hi all

I am a Linux newbie but I have used ubuntu with some success in the past.

I have installed XBMCBuntu and fixed my over scan issue but I can't get any sound out if the system at all. It is installed on a Sony VAIO XL202 which is an old PC however I have upgraded it quite allot and it has a nVidia 520 video card and 4Gb of RAM. Everything worked fine under windows so I know the hardware is fine.

It is probably something simple like the sound card is muted but I can't find a 'control panel' to alter any hardware settings like you would find in a vanilla Ubuntu release.

The system has a digital coax audio output and the HDMI pass through from the graphics card I would like both to work however the HDMI is more important if both is a problem.

Please help!


RE: No sound at all - EvilMordor - 2012-05-07 21:09

Type in the command line Alsamixer to unmute sound Welcome to the club with sound problems


RE: No sound at all - neocleous - 2012-05-07 22:33

(2012-05-07 21:09)EvilMordor Wrote:  Type in the command line Alsamixer to unmute sound Welcome to the club with sound problems

I did that and I am now getting the sound in the skin but when I try and play music, it says unable to initialise audio device Angry and none of the settings I change in the system tab seem to make any difference.


RE: No sound at all - drivesoslow - 2012-05-08 19:32

If your computer has a sound card built onto the motherboard too disabling in the BIOS it often makes life easier since the HDMI will become the default (and only) sound card


RE: No sound at all - neocleous - 2012-05-08 20:16

(2012-05-08 19:32)drivesoslow Wrote:  If your computer has a sound card built onto the motherboard too disabling in the BIOS it often makes life easier since the HDMI will become the default (and only) sound card

Well that sort of worked, I disabled the sound card in the bios and then I wasn't getting any sound what so ever Linux didn't detect any sound card at all do I re enabled the sound card and now everything works.

This is a very strange quirk but it seems to have solved my problem.

Thanks for the help guys


RE: No sound at all - duncang92 - 2012-05-08 20:53

I had the same issue on my MSI E350IA-E45 with an AMD APU.

I had navigation sounds yet when I set the Audio output to use HDMI and set the passthrough device to be plughw:0,3 then I would get the "unable to initialise audio device" error.

I turned on debugging and went through the xbmc.log located in .xbmc/temp to find that XBMC was finding that something else had already "locked" the audio output and so couldn't "seize" the HDMI output.

When I removed the package "pulseaudio" then the error went away although I did lose navigation sounds ..... that wasn't important to me and so all is good. It also means that Ubuntu will not make any startup or other sounds but that wasn't important to me as this PC is for use as an HTPC only (with some very limited web browsing for research when something doesn't work as expected).

Good luck.

Cheers, Duncan


RE: No sound at all - drivesoslow - 2012-05-08 22:07

(2012-05-08 20:53)duncang92 Wrote:  I had the same issue on my MSI E350IA-E45 with an AMD APU.

I had navigation sounds yet when I set the Audio output to use HDMI and set the passthrough device to be plughw:0,3 then I would get the "unable to initialise audio device" error.

I turned on debugging and went through the xbmc.log located in .xbmc/temp to find that XBMC was finding that something else had already "locked" the audio output and so couldn't "seize" the HDMI output.

When I removed the package "pulseaudio" then the error went away although I did lose navigation sounds ..... that wasn't important to me and so all is good. It also means that Ubuntu will not make any startup or other sounds but that wasn't important to me as this PC is for use as an HTPC only (with some very limited web browsing for research when something doesn't work as expected).

Good luck.

Cheers, Duncan

To get back navigation sounds I created an .asound[rc/b] in my home folder with [b]defaults.pcm.device 0 inside


RE: No sound at all - neocleous - 2012-05-08 23:08

Ok so I've tested the system to find that the pass through from the on board sound card is working into the amp but the HDMI isn't so there is no sound coming out of the TV only the amp.

I really can't understand why this release of linux has audio issues, I've used ubuntu in the past with no problems, maybe it's a little too striped down


RE: No sound at all - drivesoslow - 2012-05-08 23:20

Getting both sound cards to work at the same time is difficult. I personally setup my system to output to HDMI and an analog simultaneously using ALSA.

If you are using ALSA this can be done by creating a virtual sound device that includes both devices
http://www.6by9.net/b/2011/12/07/output-to-multiple-audio-cards-with-alsa
http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Asoundrc#Virtual_multi_channel_devices

PulseAudio supports this too but I have not set it up before
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=843012


RE: No sound at all - neocleous - 2012-05-08 23:26

Thanks I'll check those out but how do I know if I am using ALSA or PulseAudio, because as far as I am aware I haven't chosen one.


RE: No sound at all - drivesoslow - 2012-05-08 23:27

(2012-05-08 23:26)neocleous Wrote:  Thanks I'll check those out but how do I know if I am using ALSA or PulseAudio, because as far as I am aware I haven't chosen one.

Post the output of asound -l and asound -L here if you can