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Debugging Sound Problems

This page is designed to be a placeholder for future expansion with more advice on debugging sound issues.

For now, here are a few useful resources:

The "Sound troubleshooting" suggestions in MCC

The Sound troubleshooting screen in MCC - Hardware - Sound Configuration - Advanced - Troubleshooting was probably what led you this page, below is a copy from the text on that screen

General Recommendation:

Enable PulseAudio. If you have opted to not to use PulseAudio, we would strongly advise you enable it. For the vast majority of desktop use cases, PulseAudio is the recommended and best supported option.

Useful tools and commands

  1. "kmix" (KDE), "gnome-control-center sound" (GNOME) and "pavucontrol" (generic) will launch graphical applications to allow you to view your sound devices and adjust volume levels
  2. "ps aux | grep pulseaudio" will check that PulseAudio is running.
  3. "pactl stat" will check that you can connect to the PulseAudio daemon correctly.
  4. "pactl list sink-inputs" will tell you which programs are currently playing sound via PulseAudio.
  5. "systemctl status osspd.service" will tell you the current state of the OSS Proxy Daemon. This is used to enable sound from legacy applications which use the OSS sound API. You should install the "ossp" package if you need this functionality.
  6. "pacmd ls" will give you a LOT of debug information about the current state of your audio.
  7. "lspcidrake -v | grep -i audio" will tell you which low-level driver your card uses by default.
  8. "/usr/sbin/lsmod | grep snd" will enable you to check which sound related kernel modules (drivers) are loaded.
  9. "alsamixer -c 0" will give you a text-based mixer to the low level ALSA mixer controls for first sound card
  10. "/usr/sbin/fuser -v /dev/snd/pcm* /dev/dsp" will tell which programs are currently using the sound card directly (normally this should only show PulseAudio)