Last edited: May 11, 2019
No Sound Fix Tips
When testing your sound, use the following in the terminal: aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav
If you use your browser to test, it may need to be restarted after each "fix" before the fix takes effect.
- Is sound muted or too low? Check with alsamixer:
Reset PulseAudio's configuration files to default then restart the sound daemon:
- Type the following into the terminal: alsamixer
- You may need to press F6 to select the approprite sound card upon opening alsamixer
- Use left and right arrow keys to select columns
- Use up and down arrow keys to change levels
- Use the m key to toggle between mute and unmute. Muted columns have MM at the bottom
- Also, use the down arrow to disable Auto-Mute Mode
- You can exit alsamixer by pressing the Esc key
- Here's a screenshot of the alsamixer window with the Speaker column muted and zero volume:
Sometimes Windows will leave a sound card in an unclean state when dual booting:
- Delete the files in /home/yourusername/.config/pulse
- Type the following in the terminal: pulseaudio -k
- Wait a few seconds, then test your sound
Is sound playing to the appropriate device?
- Ensure Windows fast startup is off: Instructions
- Try a complete shutdown and wait a few minutes before powering back up
- In some circumstances an additional reboot may be necessary
Is something blocking pulseaudio from accessing your sound device?
- Install PulseAudio Volume Control either via Software Manager or in the terminal with apt install pavucontrol
- On the Configuration tab most users will want Analog Stereo Duplex as the Profile of the main card. Change other Profile choices you may have to Off (HDMI for example)
- On the Output Devices tab make sure the proper Port is selected (Headphones, Speakers, etc.)
- On the Playback tab you can change the device sound is currently playing to if there's more than one device available
Is the sound card not detected or you only see Dummy Output
- Run sudo fuser -v /dev/snd/* in the terminal.
- Any lines that don't end with pulseaudio probably indicate something that is getting in pulseaudio's way
- You'll need to stop the other process(es) so pulseaudio can get control back
- You might simply close a window, or you may need to use kill, pkill or killall on the offending process in the terminal
- My first suggestion is to run sudo alsa force-reload in the terminal
- Try apt remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio followed by apt install alsa-base pulseaudio followed by sudo alsa force-reload in the terminal * See note below
- If your sound card is Intel or Realtek, try running sudo modprobe snd-hda-intel in the terminal
- In a dual boot with Windows, try booting into Windows then back to Mint
- If those don't work, try upgrading ALSA with these instructions
- Note: Cinnamon users should not purge pulseaudio. Use apt install --reinstall pulseaudio instead
More drastic measures needed?
This page could turn into a book trying to cover all possible fixes. Instead, please join the forum and ask for assistance. Include the following in your post:
- The terminal output of inxi -Fxz
- The terminal output of aplay -l
- The terminal output of pacmd list-sinks while a song or video is playing on your computer
- Please also indicate how you're trying to hear sound such as through speakers, headphones, optical out to an amp, HDMI connected monitor/TV, etc.
- Explanations of what I'm looking at in those outputs are below under the header Extras.
Bad Sound Fix Tips
- If you're experiencing glitches, skips, pops or crackling in your audio playback, it's quite possibly caused by the timer-based scheduling pulseaudio now uses. Disable timer-based scheduling this way:
- Users of 18.3 and earlier versions of Mint type this in the terminal: gksudo xed /etc/pulse/default.pa
- Users of 19 and later versions of Mint type this in the terminal: xed admin:///etc/pulse/default.pa
- Find the line that says load-module module-udev-detect and change it to load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
- Save the file, then run pulseaudio -k in the terminal and test your sound
Static in headphones only
- In addition to the above, also try disabling Loopback Mixing in alsamixer
- Use the right arrow key until Loopback Mixing is selected, then the down arrow key to disable it
Choppy or distorted sound
- This could be caused by an incorrectly set sample rate which can be change with the following
- Users of 18.3 and earlier versions of Mint type this in the terminal: gksudo xed /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
- Users of 19 and later versions of Mint type this in the terminal: xed admin:///etc/pulse/daemon.conf
- Find the line that probably says ; default-sample-rate = 44100 and change it to default-sample-rate = 48000
- Save the file, then run pulseaudio -k in the terminal and test your sound
In some cases, speech-dispatcher can cause audio issues when enabled. Here's how to disable that:
- Users of 18.3 and earlier versions of Mint type this in the terminal: gksudo xed /etc/default/speech-dispatcher
- Users of 19 and later versions of Mint type this in the terminal: xed admin:///etc/default/speech-dispatcher
- Change the line that says RUN=yes to RUN=no
- You might need to reboot for this fix to take effect, I'm not sure
Some Specific Hardware Fixes
You will see the necessary info like cx2072x and bytcr-rt5640 in the results of running aplay -l in the terminal.
- Asus E200HA and other cx2072x devices
- Type the following into the terminal: wget -qO- https://gist.github.com/heikomat/3fe272431b44b580c933bfb901a92257/raw | bash
- In most cases you are done. If you can't hear anything check for mutes in alsamixer.
bytcr-rt5640 and similar including chtmax98090
- Some tablets and Chromebooks will fall into this category.
- Clone or download from here: https://github.com/plbossart/UCM
- Copy the appropriate folder to /usr/share/alsa/ucm
- If your codec folder has an asound.state file, copy it to /var/lib/alsa
- You may need to blacklist the HDMI with something like echo "blacklist snd_hdmi_lpe_audio" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist_snd_hdmi_lpe_audio.conf
Mintbox Mini 2
- For some, just setting the OS Selection in BIOS to Windows fixes sound issues
- Sometimes that causes other issues. If you want to have working sound and the OS Selection set to Linux follow these steps:
You should be done. Mute should be your only enemy now.
- Download this script to your home directory: fitlet2_alc1150_hda_patch.sh
- In the terminal, type cd
- In the terminal, type sudo ./fitlet2_alc1150_hda_patch.sh
- In the terminal, type sudo reboot
Here's what I'm looking at when I ask you to post the outputs of certain terminal commands:
- inxi -Fxz:
- Is the kernel outdated, or not new enough for the hardware used
- What version of Mint is being used (this matters if/when it comes time to alter PulseAudio or ALSA files)
- Is the BIOS very old (there may have been BIOS updates that fix sound issues)
- The graphics card used and associated driver matter when it comes to HDMI sound
- The audio cards and drivers are obvious
- Rarely needed, but full drives can cause weird issues
- Is the system running hot (the CX20585 chip has a nasty issue with this)
- Is memory use normal (having to use swap can cause issues)
- aplay -l:
- The ALC number (or whatever else shows there such as cx2072x or bytcr-rt5640) may lead to quirks available for the chip
Here's an example of all the quirks available: models.rst
This is to fix known issues with specific devices, like getting a headset microphone to be recognized, or subwoofer mapped correctly.
Once I know what codec is in use, and on what device, I can see if there is a quirk for the stated issue.
If so, we just add a new line to one file (alsa-base.conf,) then reboot and test to see if the issue is still present.
- pacmd list-sinks:
The output of this command is quite large, so I'll just mention a few things I look at in this output:
- The index number that has the asterisk next to it is the default sink, which is not necessarily the active output sink
- Does name: reflect the appropriate device
- Does state: say RUNNING
- Are volumes at decent levels and muted: says no
- Does channel map: make sense for the conditions such as for 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound
- Most important, does ports: list the ports as available: yes, especially the active port:
- available: no is fine for unwanted ports such as Headphones when listening with Speakers, but we usually don't want to see available: unknown