Configuring the audio for Linux

Author(s)

Bill Giannikos

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Introduction

Modern Linux distributions will auto-detect and configure the sound drivers for you. The purpose of this guide is to describe the problems you may have with your laptop.

For more details on installing newer versions of ALSA on your computer have a look at our guides section which covers a number of different distributions.

Troubleshooting

There are a number of issues which can appear with certain laptops. Below is a description of the problem and possible solutions.

No Sound At All

  1. Ensure the volume is turned up and is not muted.
  2. Try running 'alsamixer' from the terminal and see if adjusting the volume settings from here works.
  3. Again in alsamixer, try toggling some of the switches. 'External Amplifier' sometimes works.
  4. Upgrade to the latest ALSA drivers. You can view our Guides for details on doing this on various distributions.
  5. Head to the ALSA bugs section and do a search for your laptop. There is sometimes a workaround which other users have developed.
  6. Try the Audio Tester utility.

No Sound Through Headphones

This issue is common with newer laptops which Use the snd-hda-intel module.

  1. Try running 'alsamixer' and toggle some of the switches. 'External Amplifier' sometimes works.
  2. Upgrade to the latest ALSA drivers. You can view our Guides for details on doing this on various distributions.
  3. Head to the ALSA bugs section and do a search for your laptop. There is sometimes a workaround which other users have developed.

Mic not working

  1. Ensure the volume is turned up and is not muted.
  2. Try running 'alsamixer' from the terminal and see if adjusting the volume settings from here works.
  3. Again in alsamixer, try toggling some of the switches.
  4. Upgrade to the latest ALSA drivers. You can view our Guides for details on doing this on various distributions.
  5. Head to the ALSA bugs section and do a search for your laptop. There is sometimes a workaround which other users have developed.

Discussion

Sreeny, 2008/08/28 00:57

Mic Not working in Skype or recorder

i have alsa- xxx1.0.16xxx ., i can hear from speakers when i talk in Mic , but when i use either skype or any tool to record via internal or external mic , cannot hear anything .? appreciate if some body can give work around.

PAUL, 2008/07/09 22:15

HP 8710P

My Laptop worked fine just after i installed Ubuntu 8.04. It wasn't necessary to install any drivers at all. One small problem though with sound…the quality is not that good. Any suggestions?

Michal, 2009/01/17 09:05

HP 8710P

Just opposite to Paul, the sound here (Ubuntu 8.04 i386) is fine but I can't make the microphone working.

Hema A Murthy IIT Madras, India, 2007/09/24 06:42

Dell Latitude D 630 with Fedora core 6

Fedora Core 6 installs everything with ease except the
sound and the wireless.

I got the wireless card 3945ABG working by following
the instructions at intellinuxwireless.org instructions.

The audio (hda-intel STAC9205) was a lot harder. I downloaded the latest kernel 2.6.22 and recompiled kernel with sound compiled in the kernel (ALSA). It worked partially - speakers were fine but mic was not working.

I then downloaded the “testing kernel” 2.6.23-rc7. Recompiled the kernel with sound as
a module. Sound worked partially. I downloaded the latest alsamixer 1.0.15rc2.
Compiled and installed. Now mic seems to be working but recording is rather noisy.
Mic works from both the built-in and external mic. I havenot tried this with
Skype or any other.

Anonymous, 2007/09/18 05:07

Strange thing - on resume after hibernate Headphones works, but speakers are silent. But after /sbin/service alsasound restart everything works fine

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configuring_the_audio_for_linux.txt · Last modified: 2009/02/12 03:41 by billg
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