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Fixing "No Sound in Ubuntu"

A few days back, I tried to play a video on my Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop running Ubuntu 13.04 and to my surprise, the audio could not be heard. I tried different Sound Settings, but could not find anything wrong there.

Such problems occur frequently in Ubuntu when you have upgraded it to a new version. Other problems could also turn your sound mute. I have provided a few possible solutions for the same.

[1] Check Sound Settings :

The first thing you need to make sure is that the sound is not muted in your System Settings.

If you find the Output Volume Muted, then you can uncheck it and the sound will work fine.

[2] Reloading Alsa :

If in case you find something like Dummy Output in Play Sound through [see image below], then it means your Sound Card is not being recognized by your system.

One solution to this can be to Reload Alsa. Alsa is an API (Application Programming Interface) for accessing audio drivers. To Reload Alsa, open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and type :

sudo alsa force-reload

Within a few minutes, it'll reload and you need to reboot the system. If on reboot you hear the login sound, then you have successfully solved your problem.

[3] Try Reinstalling Alsa and PulseAudio :

If the above solution doesn't work for you, try reinstallation of Alsa and PulseAudio by the following command. Open Terminal and type :

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

sudo apt-get install alsa-base pulseaudio

Next again force reload Alsa by typing the reload command shown in [2] and rebooting your computer.

For those who are unaware, PulseAudio is a cross-platform sound server that can be used to directly access your audio hardware and carry the audio signals to the output devices.

[4] Kill PulseAudio :

In some cases, the audio can be easily we enabled by the following command.

Open the terminal and type :

killall pulseaudio

Now check the Sound Settings and most probably it should work.

You can also try the following two commands :

pulseaudio --kill

pulseaudio --start

[5] Deleting the .pulseaudio folder :

One way is to delete the .pulseaudio folder in your home directory, log out of your system and then again log in.

This might help in getting back the sound.

[6] Checking Alsamixer :

Another solution is to check whether AlsaMixer has been somehow muted or not. 

Open the terminal and type :


You will see and output screen like this :

Disable the auto-mute mode by pressing the M key on your keyboard.

You can also press F5 to look at all the options and enable them if muted.

Another option is to change the Sound Card by pressing F6. Various options are available and looking at them one can figure out what is causing the audio to be muted. 

[6] Editing the Speed Dispatcher :

One option is to edit the Speed Dispatcher file by the following command. 

Open the terminal and type :

sudo gedit /etc/default/speed-dispatcher

Here, change RUN=yes to RUN=no

Now save the file and reboot your computer.

If you have any suggestion or any other ways to enable sound that might have helped you, please feel free to drop in by writing a comment. This might help others.  


  1. pulseaudio --kill and pulseaudio --start worked for me. It is was not mentioned anywhere else. I have even upgraded Kernels. This command brought back my all my outputs and inputs as well as my sound indicator back which was missing.


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