[Nottingham] Intermittent sound on Ubuntu 16.04

stripes theotoky stripes.theotoky at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 19 12:24:18 UTC 2018

Hi Jason,

Step 1 is refreshing the Pulse install. Seems sensible.

That is what I thought.

> Step 2 is....what now? WTF does Terminal scrolling history got to do with
> sound?

Nothing directly but having run the script on a box I DON'T care about to
see what happens it seems to generate thousands of lines of information
about the ALSA settings, modules, hardware, mixer settings etc. Hence a lot
of space to scroll I guess.

> Step 3 is downloading a random script off the Internet. Nope, I'm out.

Tested on scrap box doesn't seem to do any harm but impossible to tell.

> I guess the question is: hardware or software?
> When there is no sound coming out, does anything show sound still being
> generated? e.g. monitoring volume levels?

 Box is now 10,000 miles away last time I saw it you could see the changing
volume levels of both the speakers and the microphone.

> If they're bouncing around, I would suspect a hardware problem. With it
> being a laptop, it could be a wire or something has worked loose and then
> intermittently breaks connection. e.g. as the laptop warms up or gets
> flexed.
> And in that scenario, I think it would be between the speakers and the
> sound unit/MoBo jack.

Don't think so as you always get the tones when it boots, makes no
difference if you boot it from cold or reboot it through out the day when
it is hot you still get the tones but intermittent sound when logged in.

> Oh, with it being a laptop; is it incorrectly switching to headphones?
> Next time it fails, plug a pair in and see if you hear anything.
> That could mean an accidental key-combo or a speaker fault as described
> above.

Only the electrical crackle as contact is made or broken

> Does the loss of sound seem to correlate with a particular action (e.g.
> application start-up, system event)

Tones on start up, log in maybe you have sound maybe you don't.

> Have you checked the log files for any error messages or other info? Is PA
> reporting "FATAL: Where the heck did '/dev/audio0' go???"

Which logs files to look for?

> In the past (circa Ubuntu 10/12) Pulseaudio/Gnome would get into a
> punch-up and the only way I could resolve it was via "pavucontrol".
> Although those issues were permanent rather than intermittent.

Might be worth looking at.

> The other article (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SoundTroubleshooting)
> contains some steps that might help isolate the issue (esp. when sound
> appears to have failed)

Ok will read that in detail. It also shows downloading downloading files
from the same address as the script we were concerned about in step 3
above. ie

http://www.alsa-project.org/ so maybe it is safe.

All the best


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Stripes Theotoky

-37 .713869
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