How to fix sound problems in Ubuntu 18.04

Sound Problems with Ubuntu

Ubuntu 18.04 is the latest version of Ubuntu LTS and possibly the most compatible and powerful version of all Ubuntu versions. But despite this, there are always certain problems with certain types of hardware or with certain configurations.

Next we are going to explain a series of steps to take in case of sound problems. A common question in the Gnu/Linux world but one that is easy to solve. Although it may seem obvious, the first step we must take is to check the sound card configuration. For this we are going to System and Sound Settings We look at which device is marked as "Output" and which one is marked as "input."

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One of the most common problems is that In Output, the hdmi socket is marked and we do not want to use it. Selecting the sound card will suffice to solve this problem. There may be other problems and that through this graphic menu we cannot do it. To do this, we open a terminal and execute the following:


After that the management of the Alsa controller that emits the sound appears. Pressing F6 we can change the default graphics card, this can solve many sound problems, but even so, there are situations that are not solved like this. In this case, after all the above done and not working, the only thing left is to restart or reinstall Alsa and PulseAudio. To do this, we execute the following commands in the terminal:

sudo alsa force-reload

And this will restart the service and by executing the following commands we will reinstall Alsa and PulseAudio:

sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio
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If after performing each of these steps and even so we continue to have sound problems, we should look for a specific patch or in extreme case, change distribution or sound card. They are extreme cases that usually affect a couple of cases or with extremely specific hardware. Otherwise, any of the previous methods will help us to solve any of the sound problems that we have with Ubuntu.

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  1.   Vladi Aoky said

    I tried this command and what it did was damage my operating system in Mint, I don't recommend using it.

  2.   daniel soria said

    Hi, I'm new to this world, before I had linux mint, and I have decided to try kubuntu 18.04 due to slowness problems with the browser, although that persists the same, well the problem is that it does not reproduce any sound I have followed the steps to the letter and it doesn't work, when entering alsamixer and pressing f6, it just exits - default
    0 HDA intel
    - enter name
    I have an acer travelmate 2490, I know it's very old but I don't have anything else… .. hahahaha, I don't know if you need more information or where I have to get in touch

  3.   Luis said

    This solution did not work for me on my PC Notebook exo cloud E15 .. it is like the sound card recognizes me, it lets me raise and lower the volume but it cannot be heard through the speakers or headphones.
    The drivers in windows are Intel SST Audio Device (WDM) and ES8316AudCodec Device but I can't find a way to install and / or make them work in Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

  4.   Ignacio López said

    Hi, I installed Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS perfect and the sound worked fine. Install normal programs and everything worked fine. Turn off normal and the next day, I turned on and the speaker no longer appeared on the desk. No sound and no configuration changes. I did what you suggested but it still doesn't work. I have a built-in sound card that recognizes it as Realtek ALC887-VD. My mother is MSI H97 PCMate. I'm going to keep looking to see what I find.

  5.   Joaquin Sanchez Morejon said

    Dear Ignacio Lopez, I am similar to you. Install ubuntu 18.04 on an acer chromebook 15 CB3-532. and I can't get any sound, I've been researching and testing for days and nothing, could you please help me, write to my email, I live in Cuba and here the internet is not easy, thank you in advance for having this blog and the linux community to help everyone improve free software. without more Joaquin, Cuba.

    1.    Oscar said

      The same thing happened to me, what worked for me was to uninstall pulseaudio from my Ubuntu 18.04.2 and voila, the sound returned

  6.   george boiler said

    good tader I have a chromebook asus c200 and mount ubuntu 18.14.1 and ise everything you said and nothing please try to install chtmax98090 on the system thanks cordial

  7.   Ricardo Fernández said

    I also have sound problems, without finding a solution after hours of searching the internet and trying possible solutions.
    I come to the conclusion that it is an unsolvable problem and that I should try another distro, not based on Ubuntu.

  8.   Juan said

    Hello, the best and fastest solution is to reconnect the HDMI or another and then go to System Settings and in Sound put the device you want to play and be marked in "Output". This worked for me on Linux Mint 19

    1.    Bastian said

      Dear, your solution helped me a lot! Thank you!

      1.    OSMEL DF said

        Hello. So much fucking with this pc, and the solution was that, hahahaha, Thanks friends. solved the sound, what a tale of alsa, reload, install, uninstall, thank you.

  9.   Fran said

    Rather, the post is to create them. If you don't want to waste time, ignore this post.

  10.   Sinose Mecallo said

    "Thank you" for having me reinstall the system. If you do not want to screw it up completely, do not write anything that the post indicates in the terminal. Someone with knowledge should filter the botch that some people write on this blog, in theory, with good intentions.

  11.   Luis Manuel said

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    pulseaudio: Depends: libpulse0 (= 1: 4.0-0ubuntu11) but 1: 4.0-0ubuntu11.1 is going to be installed
    Recommend: pulseaudio-module-x11 but it won't install
    Recommend: gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio but it won't install
    Recommend: pulseaudio-utils but it won't install
    E: The problems could not be corrected, you have retained broken packages .... I get this after doing everything indicated above .. what can I do to solve the problem ??? Thanks

  12.   Luis Manuel said

    luis @ Luis-B: ~ $ sudo alsa force-reload
    [sudo] password for louis:
    Terminating processes: 4557.
    Unloading ALSA sound driver modules: snd-hda-codec-hdmi snd-hda-codec-via snd-hda-codec-generic snd-hda-intel snd-hda-controller snd-hda-codec snd-hwdep snd-pcm snd- seq-midi snd-seq-midi-event snd-rawmidi snd-seq snd-seq-device snd-timer (failed: modules still loaded: snd-hda-codec-hdmi snd-hda-codec-via snd-hda-codec -generic snd-hda-codec snd-hwdep snd-pcm snd-timer).
    Loading ALSA sound driver modules: snd-hda-codec-hdmi snd-hda-codec-via snd-hda-codec-generic snd-hda-intel snd-hda-controller snd-hda-codec snd-hwdep snd-pcm snd- seq-midi snd-seq-midi-event snd-rawmidi snd-seq snd-seq-device snd-timer.
    luis @ Luis-B: ~ $ sudo apt-get remove –purge alsa-base pulseaudio
    Reading package list ... Done
    Creating dependency tree
    Reading the status information ... Done
    Package 'pulseaudio' is not installed, so not removed
    The packages listed below were installed automatically and are no longer required.
    evolution-data-server-common libcamel-1.2-45 libebackend-1.2-7
    libebook-1.2-14 libebook-contacts-1.2-0 libedata-book-1.2-20
    libdataserver-1.2-18 libglademm-2.4-1c2a libpulsedsp libtelepathy-glib0
    libzeitgeist-1.0-1 libzeitgeist-2.0-0 nautilus-data python-zeitgeist
    zeitgeist zeitgeist core zeitgeist datahub
    Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
    The following packages WILL be REMOVED:
    alsa-base *
    0 updated, 0 will be installed, 1 to remove, and 0 not updated.
    514 kB will be released after this operation.
    do you wish to continue? [Y / n] yes
    (Reading the database… 174024 files or directories currently installed.)
    Uninstalling alsa-base (1.0.25 + dfsg-0ubuntu4)…
    Purging alsa-base configuration files (1.0.25 + dfsg-0ubuntu4) ...
    luis @ Luis-B: ~ $ sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio
    Reading package list ... Done
    Creating dependency tree
    Reading the status information ... Done
    Do not can instal some pack. This may mean that
    you asked for an impossible situation or, if you are using the distribution
    unstable, that some necessary packages have not been created or have
    been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information can help resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    pulseaudio: Depends: libpulse0 (= 1: 4.0-0ubuntu11) but 1: 4.0-0ubuntu11.1 is going to be installed
    Recommend: pulseaudio-module-x11 but it won't install
    Recommend: gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio but it won't install
    Recommend: pulseaudio-utils but it won't install
    E: Problems could not be corrected, you have retained broken packages.
    luis @ Luis-B: ~ $
    Here is the whole procedure… Thank you

  13.   Alvaro said

    Hello good, my problem is that the only thing I do not listen to is through the internet, the music through the player is heard well but neither YouTube nor anything in the browser is heard. If someone can help me I would appreciate it,
    Thank you

    1.    crypt14 said

      While you play something on the internet, go to the Audio settings and look for a section that says something like applications for you to choose the browser and tell it that the output audio must be from I don't know your headphones or your speakers ..., if not An applications section comes, looks for an option that says "use as default" and indicates the output device you want, I can't help you any more without knowing what distribution or desktop environment you are using.

  14.   yuspass32 said

    Thanks! I have been luxurious already the first!

  15.   emerson said

    You have to take it easy,
    Whatever these "find out" say if you pay attention to them as much as possible is that you have to reinstall, the sound is a disaster in Linux, but since forever, not now
    They just released the latest LTS, Bionic, and it has the same sound issues as ubuntu 8 had
    is what it is, you have to fuck yourself. or go back to windows
    I have already resigned myself, I have to reconfigure alsa every time I open the system, (you can imagine how funny it is to me,) the browser runs out of sound all the time, (restart and pray to heaven) and well, the day that I have money I will buy a Mac
    Do not worry, but get used to the idea, if you go by car, do not complain about the smell of the horse.
    What I complain about is this plethora of engineers who deceive people

  16.   emerson said

    and go ahead, that nothing would make me happier if I could do with linux what I do with windows, even if it was similar !!!!!
    in the last month I have installed mint and ubuntu,… five times !!!! And if, in the end, normalito, (after ten years, I usually get it to work, and if I don't restart, and if I don't reinstall, (what a remedy)
    but I have been trying to do something similar to what I do in windows with stereotools, voicemeeter potato, ((note that that tb is free) for now I have been a month and a half and five installs and I have not succeeded
    And that, for a change I found one, -Finally !!!! -, which explains more or less understandably, although still with some bugs, what to do and install
    An example of the disaster is this: I install Mint, and I install it because it is suggested to me by the author of the tutorials, (JoseGDF) after installing the distro, updating, the KXStudio repositories, the programs….
    Calf plugins don't work, no way
    Of course another few hours in google looking for a miracle, ... and nothing, uninstall
    and start over
    with ubunto 19, already put. and yes, the calf ones worked, that is, they opened, but ... the distro had no sound ... until uninstalling
    Reinstall ubuntum this time 188, so it will be better, more stable. and for those who are thinking about why not install Ubuntu studio directly, I already did, it did not work
    and this is a little button. so if you go to linux, you know, find yourself a comfortable chair to spend looooong hours on google, most of the time, ... not at all

  17.   Mario said

    I use Kubuntu 18.04 LTS.
    What I did was only change the output audio profile

    1.    Baphomet said

      That was the most accurate comment of all the ones he read:
      change the Advanced Output Configuration profile
      Thanks Mario.

      PS: I recommend Ricardo Fernández to switch to Windows and you will not have to touch your operating system again, the rest of us will continue to study the enormous potential of free software.

      1.    Baphomet said

        If someone lost the KDE "speaker" in the process, don't worry:
        1- sudo apt install plasma-pa
        2- sudo reboot

  18.   Aitor said

    Hi, me on hp-stream notebook, with ubuntu 18.04. My daughter's computer, first with windows 8 until my daughter got tired of it being like a little turtle. It has worked with Linux Mint correctly for a while and a few weeks ago I installed ubuntu 18.04. I didn't notice the audio but a couple of days ago we went to play a movie and the audio sounded broken. I checked with music files and the same. I have followed the steps in this post from where it says to type in the terminal:

    sudo alsa force-reload

    It has already solved the problem for me. Now the audio sounds good. So thanks!

  19.   Walter said

    The solution to the audio issue in Ubuntu 18.04 is to install:
    sudo apt-get install pavucontrol. This after having tried all the previous suggestions.
    Anyway, thank you very much.

    With this you can select the card and look for the combination in Configuration of «Volume control that will now appear in Show applications or running in Terminal« pavucontrol »without the quotes.

      1.    George said

        It worked for me !!! you're going to go to heaven !!!!

  20.   Juan said

    Hello. I have Lubuntu 18.04 LTS. The sound is good for me. Audio and video applications, internet, all good. The only thing is that it does not reproduce system sounds, such as when you lower or raise the volume, empty the trash, etc.
    If someone has the solution, it is appreciated!

  21.   Robert Alex said

    # sudo apt-get remove shyness
    # sudo shutdown now -r

    It should fix the problem permanently, if all the steps described above have failed. Greetings from Santiago de Chile.

    1.    josiel said


  22.   Jonatan said

    In my case it worked for me by uninstalling the KODI application, a multimedia player. Uninstall it, restart the audio service, restart your computer and voila!

  23.   Ferdinand Scavia said

    It worked great for Lubuntu 20.04, I upgraded from console and it removed the sound. Very good tutorial to fix.

    Thank you very much

  24.   Fernando said

    Thank you so much!
    A speaker did not work for me and your instructions, so clear, have solved the problem for me.
    I don't know programming and I switched to Ubuntu, from Windows, recently.

  25.   Miguel said

    I can't get my Asus EEE PC Seashell to emit any sound, I have Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Mate installed

  26.   deepjavero said

    Only one headphone output is heard

  27.   Jesus said

    I have tried it and indeed ... now nothing related to audio works for me.
    Would anyone know how I could get back the state before the commands posted in the post?

    Thank you

  28.   hfdhfd said

    Ubuntu has also been damaged for me, the Configuration section has disappeared.

  29.   fdsfds said

    I have had to reinstall the configuration panel:


    I got it:

    Command 'gnome-control-center' not found, but can be installed with:

    sudo apt install gnome-control-center

    So I installed it using:

    sudo apt install gnome-control-center


  30.   Alexander Espinosa said

    Hello, how's everything, I have done everything you specify but nothing happens, the microphone of the pc is not heard, and first the two speakers were heard, now only one is heard. Could you please support me on this? I love Ubuntu and I don't want to go back to Windows, which for me is horrible. But with this system like this it is a bit difficult for me to work. Give me a hand

  31.   Andre said

    Thank you so much! Reinstalling (alsa and pulseaudio) solved the problem of no sound output for me. Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS. Acer AOA150. Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Def. Audio Controller. Driver snd_hda_intel.