Troubleshooting audio problems

- no audio in some applications.
- pulseaudio only shows a dummy audio output channel.

$ pulseaudio -k
$ pulseaudio -D
E: [pulseaudio] main.c: Daemon startup failed.

Check if there is any application blocking the output sound card:

$ fuser -v /dev/snd/pcm*
                     USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
/dev/snd/pcmC0D0c:   overshoot   4454 F...m Application
/dev/snd/pcmC2D0c:   overshoot  12878 F...m pulseaudio

Quit or kill that application and try again.

Good quality sound card for linux

Nowadays, all computers and all motherboards come with fairly decent inbuilt sound cards. When one wants to purchase a discrete sound card, it's because one wants that extra quality. But searching for the right soundcard can be daunting, especially when considering all kinds of specifications, what constitutes quality, linux drivers, and the huge price range between the cheapest and the most expensive, professional cards.

Help us build the best, a-temporal technical guide to purchasing the best sound card for linux.


Sound server

Sound server:
- PulseAudio

How it works: Linux audio explained

Audio: make volume up to maximum by default

A few times, I was debugging a "sound problem", worrying about hardware and driver configuration, just to find out at the end that the volume was muted.

In all applications, on a new installation, the volume should be on and to the maximum by default. People know how to turn down the volume, and at least, this way, they know that the sound works!!

This is valid for Desktop Environment:
- KDE / Plasma (kmix, etc.)
- Gnome
- Enlightenment
for applications:
- mplayer, etc.
for the system:
- alsa.


Sound Server

We have:
Operating system (Linux) => Sound subsystem (ALSA) => Sound Server (JACK, Pulseaudio) => Application (mp3 and video players).


If there is a problem with the sound server (distorted sound, etc.), you may restart it;

sudo pkill -9 pulseaudio
sudo pulseaudio

See man pulseaudio.




See also

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