How to Resolve no sound problem on Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 13.04 and Older versions

How to Resolve no sound problem on Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 13.04 and Older versions

Updated 19/04/2014 : One of the common issues facing Ubuntu users after installing or upgrading Ubuntu is the no sound problem, there are many reason for this issue, sometime is related to a volume setting configuration, misconfiguration or can be that you have a new hardware that is not supported. In this post will try to list some solutions to no-sound issue on Ubuntu.

The following solution should work on Ubuntu 14.04, 13.10, 13.04 Raring Ringtail, 12.10 and any older release of Ubuntu.

1. Check the volume

First thing you need to check is the volume settings,  Go to top menu and click sound settings (see screenshot bellow):


Check  output volume if muted or not, if not muted then go further with the steps bellow, if is muted then is your problem should be resolved just you have to uncheck mute.


2. Check Alsa Mixer

PulseAudio controls underlying ALSA-level volume controls. To change the ALSA-level volume controls directly, you can do the following:

Open a terminal. (The quickest way is the Ctrl-Alt-T shortcut)

Enter “alsamixer” and press the Enter key.

You will now see a user interface like below.

no sound

In this user interface, you can do the following:

  1. Select your correct sound card using F6 and select F5 to see recording controls as well
  2. Move around with left and right arrow keys.
  3. Increase and decrease volume with up and down arrow keys.
  4. Mute/Unmute with the “M” key. An “MM” means muted, and “OO” means unmuted.
  5. Exit from alsamixer with the Esc key.

A caveat here: When you mute or unmute something, pulseaudio might pick it up and mute and unmute other controls, as well as PulseAudio’s main mute.

3. Reinstall Alsa and Pulse Audio

Try to reinstall pulse audio and Alsa, open terminal and enter the following commands:

Purge Alsa and Pulse audio using the command:

sudo apt-get remove --purge alsa-base pulseaudio

Now install again Alsa and Pulse Audio:

sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio

Then, reload Alsa:

sudo alsa force-reload

Done. Check now the sound if it is working, if not, try step 4.

4. Install Ubuntu Audio Development Team Driver

Note: This PPA is not updated to 14.04 yet.

Upgrading your sound drivers may fix the nosound issue, you will need to make sure to uninstall the previous override before trying a new one.

Open terminal and enter the following PPA:

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev
 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

All done. Cheers!

Via Ubuntu Wiki

  • Anurag Salhotra

    Thanks a lot Sir…you post helped me resolve my no sound problem

  • Pratyush Nalam

    Sound plays well but I don’t hear the login sound. What to do?

  • John

    Hello – unixmen,
     Since I’ve  d/l ubuntu 12.04 ; I have NO sound!  I’ve done all the suggestions here, NOW WHAT?? 
     Worked just fine on 11.10. I upgraded instead of fresh install and running virtural box.
    Mind 11 and 12 run perfectly,,just NOT ubuntu 12.04.
    System: windows 7-64bit.
    Thanks John in Dallas

  • Dreamer

    Howdy. My sound is working, but the sound control has disappeared from the top menu. I’ve tried to get it back with dconf viewer, but the top menu does not react to any changes there for volume control or date item. I was able to put bluetooth control on and off, but not the sound. Also the menu colors are gray-on-darker-gray, almost invisible in Ambiance layout. BTW, I am using gnome-style desktop.

  • Lonestar17

     Just to add…I did a fresh install…Still NO sound..I’m reluctant to use your  suggestion in updating drivers? Will that affect my windows system or just within virtual box? How do I find the old drivers in ubuntu 12.04?
     Thanks / John in Dallas

  • markus
    this helped me with noisy sound probs in 12.04…

  • daniel hayes

    Strange – its fixed – i think alsamixer might have achieved this but it was guess work and luck. I had a similar problem after 11.04 and I fixed that – again not sure how.

  • Acardozo

    If I reload alsamixer I get the HDMI Option in the sound manager and it works but after a while it reverts to its original settings and the HDMI option disappears and I have no sound again. 

  • Acardozo

    After a little more investigation I realised that I do not have to reload alsamixer I just have to re-boot my computer to get the HDMI option in sound manager. but everytime my screensaver comes on or I log out I loose that option and sound till I reboot.

  • millie

    hello! I seem to have sound. what is not working, it’s the mic! so, no skype, etc… any suggestions?!? tried almost everything that I found online up to now, besides throwing the laptop out of the window… thank you!

  • Alphasil


    I made all this but still no sound at all, the strange is master is 00 and i can’t change it.


  • john

    Hello – All,
    Finally found the answer…..For sound to work you must change from intel hd driver to ich ac97 in virtual box!!!  NOW, I have full sound in all areas and sites I use….Compliments of Ask Ubuntu check out my post there and you’ll find the answer….enjoy.

  • Asdad

    Thank You, it worked ;)

  • Gerald Fletcher

    thank u for help im anewbie lol trying linux out

  • guest

    I only had sound in the headphones, but, after doing that last step, not even that is working now…

  • raja krishnan

    getting the following error at my terminal. help me.

    W: Failed to fetch  404  Not FoundW: Failed to fetch  404  Not FoundE: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

  • Ashk1981

     tnx. It worked for me.

  • Luis

     I fix it: run “alsamixer” AUTO-MUTE MOD is ENABLE just turn it DISABLE. That it.

  • Jer

    My sound problem had me pulling my hair as well.  It worked in all previous versions. I could see the meters moving, but no output.  It turned out to be a change in the way Ubuntu deals with multi-selection on CPU mini-jacks.  I have always had an external mixer plugged into the line-out jack on the front of my box, and used the one on the back for my speakers.

    Starting with 12.04, it suddenly assumed I had headphones plugged into the front, and muted the speakers.  When I pulled that mini out of the front line-out, shazam!  Sound.  (It almost deafened me. ;)

  • millie

    you all seems very lucky or, better, very good at it. my internal mic still doesn’t work. and I’ve tried all your suggestions! *sic* :(

  • Aneurin1evans

    still not working tried everything

  • Ales

    Thanks very much i resolve my problem

  • Joacim

    alsamixer did it, thanks for that.

  • Frank

    Thanks a lot for help.
    Totally non intuitive program this alsamixer, looks as an program for Commodore 64, help isn’t working from terminal, F1 is calling help for terminal.
    How the hell could I know that M is command for mute/unmute. Terrible.
    Anyway, people from Ubuntu could make this microphone settings more easy and friendly, I mean, 12.04 looks as a spaceship, and only this old program is helpful.
    This issue is old one, I’m using Ubuntu from 6.10, and almost every time had problems with microphone…
    Thanks to this post, I solved microphone settings.
    Best regards,

  • akathepig

    thankyou very much ,a great help,i was at my wits end.

  • JakeD

    thx unixman(m. zinoune) you fixed my sound problem, appreciate it

  • Juan F. González

    I found there was no volume in the speakers under the ALSA mixer, thanks!

  • bac

    testing-testing-testing-is this thing on?
    Thanks Unixmen, downloading the new drivers did it for me!!!

  • Kumar Vishal

    I tried everything given above but no luck Please help me out sir …

  • gibran

    thanks a lot worked for me

  • Dave Mello

    Thank You !

  • mc

    I’ve done everything here and am having no success with getting any sound. I’ve tried everything I’ve found from other sites as well.
    I have an HDMI cable that sound should be coming through and have also been plugging in headphones. Only after removing alas and pulseaudio and then reinstalling and reloading them did I have sound momentarily coming through my headphones… but then nothing.


  • Jayakuma

    This one worked me too! “run “alsamixer” AUTO-MUTE MOD is ENABLE just turn it DISABLE. That it.” Thanks, Luis! :-)

  • em wai zee

    I’ve tried all the suggestions above … But, with one more added step … I need to force this code to bring my alsa to life … “sudo alsa force-reload” without the parenthesis.

  • Scriptkid

    Cool! Thanks a lot!

  • xurxoham

    Help in the terminal is usually called using the following:
    $ command –help

    $ man command

  • CVR

    hi.. I just installed 12.10 . After plugging in the jack of headphone sound is not coming through it but continues to come form speaker only. and i tried with alsamixer the bar for HEADPHONE is not showing. what could be the possible solution to resolve the problem

  • Ervin Cenmurati

    Thanks thais saved my day on the ubuntu studio 12.10 :) I think I had to play a little bit on teh configuration of output sound in the sound settings. Great and easy tutorial

  • TonyB

    Thank you! This article helped me determine that the built-in volume and mute keys on my Lenovo T60 was the culpret! I was able to identify the channels and unmute the output and raise the volume to a normal level. I know NOT to touch THOSE buttons again! :-)

  • xen

    I had a problem with front microphone not working right.

    Turning up the left input channel and turning down to zero the right in pavucontrol helped me to solve this problem (acer tm8172t / ubuntu 12.10)
    Solution taken from here:

  • Patrick O’Brien

    Plugging in the headphones worked best for me. You should add that to your steps.

  • Rajib Chisim

    As a new user i cant figure out the solution. alsa mixer solved my problem. thanks.

  • Sam Ward

    i always have to unmute s/pdif in alsamixer every time i log in. it worked in 12.04. i’ve tried many of the suggestions here and many many others in forums. still i have to unmute.

  • Tim Rumblefish

    Thank you! I was able to get my issue sorted quickly. For some reason due to the recent upgrade to 13.04 which has gone failry smoothly. And the addition of some new multi-track sound editing software I use. The system was using the wrong driver. I simply had to choose the correct one using alsamixer. Cheers Tim

  • nullradix

    this is all I had to do.

  • salman faridi

    it worked like a charm for me after two days of trying command line here and there … thx

  • Vishal

    HI I just upgraded my ubuntu machine from 12.10 to 13.04 but when I try to play some songs I found that

    1) It is not showing any sound cards in Sound Settings. But when I open ALSA Mixer it is showing there sound card. I am using USB speakers.

    I also face s strange problem, when I tried to open a Software Updater program it is also not opening.

    Please help me to solve these problems and suggest me some workarounds for the same.

  • Dark Unamed

    still nothing here = (i have sound but not through hdmi)

  • Ryan

    I have used various Linux’s distributions since 1996. What I have noticed in Ubuntu is that every time there is a new version something is broken. They fix one thing and break another.

  • Rodrigo

    Awesome, this fix it ! Thanks

  • Pogi


  • Red Adaya

    Thank you! This worked for me!!!

  • James Taylor

    awesome, I found that my speaker volume was MM not OO, Thank-You

  • James Field

    Thanks. The ALSAMIXER has fixed my issue. Oddly, it was a muted headphone socket preventing the sound coming out of my laptop’s internal speakers!

  • Shawncindigabriel

    This wasn’t helpful… I tried all of this and still I have no sound in youtube (in firefox and chrome)…
    My media (audio and video) on the computer plays fine with audio…

    I just had an update install on my system (ubuntu 13.04)…

  • Francisco Javier Mesa

    thanks thanks friend!

  • Skeen

    Worked like a charm for me, fresh install to 13.04 here. Thanks!

  • Miguel

    Thanks Much!! step 4 was what did it!!