Getting Sound Working Properly on Ubuntu 8.10

Ever since I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.10 on my laptop (Dell Precision M90) I’ve been having problems with getting the sound to work properly. I could get some applications working if I would change the sound default from ALSA to OSS, but it wouldn’t work in Firefox (e.g. youtube etc.)

Seems this is not an uncommon problem, but the solution was not easy to find – there are lots of proposed solutions on different forums and I’ve tried several until I finally found the one that worked. It turned out that the culprit in my setup was pulse audio. The solution that worked for me was simply to remove that:

killall pulseaudio
sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install esound esound-clients libao2
sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio

After the above I just changed back to ALSA in sound settings, restarted Firefox and everything worked like a charm. Note that executing the apt-get remove statement above will display a prompt to stating that it will remove Ubuntu desktop. This is just a meta-package so it will NOT remove the ubuntu desktop for real.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. thankful

    thank you o mighty one you have saved my live i am forever in your debt

  2. ubuntu-man

    Great! Now the sound works perfectly on my Dell Precision M6300.

  3. worked!

    Sound was being flakey for me too since I upgraded my desktop to 8.10. I tried your procedure just now and it worked. Thanks!

  4. tony

    Yet another satisfied customer. Thanks for the quick ‘n’ easy fix!

  5. sara

    what is all this stuff:
    killall pulseaudio
    sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio
    sudo apt-get install esound esound-clients libao2
    sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio

    idk what to do with that…….what the heck is it!?????????

  6. Rob

    Thanks for the fix. I was having the problem as well and it’s now fixed. I am not sure why the pulseaudio wasn’t configured better for the Intrepid Ibex release. Hopefully they will iron out that issue in Jaunty Jackalope (9.04). But as for now, my sound is working awesome on all my apps. Thanks again!

  7. Tundro Walker

    Sara, the “killall pulseaudio”, etc stuff has to be run from a command-line terminal.

    If you go to “Apps/Start > Accessories >Terminal”, it’ll open up a command line terminal. To get it to work as he typed it, you’d have to copy/paste each line separately into your command-line and execute them one-by one.

    However, in Unix/Linux command-line, you can “batch” commands together using ; or &&.

    sudo killall pulseaudio && sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio && sudo apt-get install esound esound-clients libao2 && sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio

    If you copy/paste the above (all the commands batched using &&) as a single-line into your command-line prompt, you should be able to do it all in one felled swoop. When pasting things into a command-line terminal, though, you have to right-click on the terminal and select “paste”. It’s the 21st century, but the still haven’t implemented CTRL+V shortcut to paste in command-line terminals for some reason.

  8. Chris Cpnn

    Thank you very much for this fix. I have tried several and
    this is the first that worked!

  9. Saravana

    Awesome!!! I dint try anything else as all other posts seemed to be beating around the bush and I dint want to mess things up. Thanks for these easy-tofollow steps.

  10. rituka

    after the the above command it is saying
    pulseaudio: no process killed
    help me my ubuntu sound is not coming ,
    it started when a few days ago my system was running short of battery and i opened it ,it said it cannot recognize the battery .then some system check occured,i was afraid and swiched off the main button.
    i think alsa is corrupted .
    can u solve the problem please.thanks

  11. harish

    killall pulseaudio
    sudo apt-get remove pulseaudio
    sudo apt-get install esound esound-clients libao2
    sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/70pulseaudio

    .. for them who stil cannot hear the sound after run this steps in terminal , jus go to the small volume control icon , on right top conner of the screen ,click it and select “open volume control”… then select switches and uncheck the headphone… this should make it work

  12. Carlos Aguillon

    Congratulation Mattias Hellborg Arthursson, Thanks for help to the community, sorry for my english, but to tell you the true Im salvadorean and I had problems to find this beautifull solution in Spanish over the google, almost. Thanks for all. !!It worked!!, I will redirect people to your blog. Gracias Mattias, Gracias Google.
    Saludos from El Salvador

  13. Frank Sandor

    I am running Ubuntu 9.04 and the sound works fine; however, when I use Terminal Services it was not pulling the sound from the remote server. This solution worked great. I just applied the solution, logged out of the terminal server, then back in & the sound worked. Thanks.

  14. Rick

    it works fine!


  15. Nishant

    For me just killing the pulseaudio process did the wonder. Sound was fine on firefox but it was not working on any media player. After killing pulseaudio everything was sane again :) . Thanks a lot for this wonderful tip.

  16. Rasmus

    Thanks a lot for this. I have been trying repeatedly for months and this is the only post who solved to problem instead of making it worse. Perfect!

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