weird issue with no sound

Today, I started encountering a weird sound issue with Netrunner 17 across 3 seperate physical systems. 2 desktops, and 1 one laptop. When I login, I get no sound and KDE indicates that it’s using the dummy device. I’ve found a workaround, however.

When I login, I find that I get no sound. Looking at the mixer, it says it’s using the dummy device. After messing around with things for a while, I found that if I login to another account, sound works for that account. Then if I log out of that account and back into my own account, sound works again. If I reboot the system, sound goes back to not working.

I eventually found that if I run “touch /var/tmp/kdecache-username*” on the console before logging in through SDDM then sound will work. Even if you boot up, you login, and find sound doesn’t work, you can log out of the desktop, run that command on the console, and log back in and it will work. It also seems to work if you touch your kdecache directory from a terminal on the desktop and then re-login too.

Once I get sound working, sound continues to work even when I log out and then back in.

Removing /var/tmp/kdecache-username* entirely also does the trick.

I also discovered that if I run “alsamixer -c 0”, I get “invalid card index: 0” when sound isn’t working, and once I’ve touched /var/tmp/kdecache-username*, that alsamixer command works once I relogin to the desktop (I get an ncurses based mixer UI). So it seems this isn’t a pulse audio problem. Even when I tell apps to use alsa and not pulse, I get no sound.

1 desktop has a creative x-fi titanium card, the other uses the nvidia sound via hdmi, and the laptop uses onboard sound. So all pretty different, only thing in common is Netrunner 17, and all systems use the kubuntu backports ppa. Looking through /var/log/dpkg.log, I don’t see any recent updates that could have caused this, however.

I tried some hacks where I’d touch or even delete all kdecache directories under /var/tmp at boot via /etc/rc.local, but neither worked.

I tried logging into gnome after a fresh boot, I didn’t get sound there either. Then I immediately tried logging out of gnome and into KDE, and sound worked. This may very well be an Ubuntu problem than anything Netrunner specific, but that wouldn’t explain why touching /var/tmp/kdecache-username* is one of the fixes of this issue.

Is anyone else encountering this issue? I hope this helps someone…

I see the same problem after latest libpam (or systemd) upgrade. To check, run “loginctl” from konsole to see sessions and then “loginctl show-session <session_id>”. Normally you should get “Active=yes” and “State=active”. But in my case I get “Active=no”, “State=online” – as if I was running remote login session. As a result, remote user is not able to play sound locally, and, it’s not able to shutdown/reboot computer.

As resolution, try to downgrade sddm to 0.11.0-0ubuntu11 version. To do this, run “sudo apt-get install sddm=0.11.0-0ubuntu11”

or create /etc/apt/preferences.d/sddm.pref file with the following content

Package: sddm
Pin: version 0.11.0-0ubuntu11
Pin-Priority: 1001

and run “sudo apt-get update” and “sudo apt-get upgrade”

Ran into same problem. The sddm fix has sorted it.
It has also sorted the problem with Language packs-responding to the prompt to install updates resulted in a rejection due to lack of authorization.

I had this issue in multiple installations of Netrunner and what finally seems to have done the trick is -

sudo alsa force-reload

followed by a reboot.

I found it on a Ubuntu blog, but I’m afraid I can’t recall the page to give proper credit.

Had the same issue with two systems. On one the issue resolved itself after a reboot without any further interaction from my side. On the other system I’ve just solved the issue by adding the user to the group “audio”! Don’t know why they behave different - but no need to downgrade sddm.

I noticed this on my system last night I will see what happens with the suggestions.

+1 . I have a USB sound device and downgrading sddm worked. Force reload alsa didn’t do anything. Nor did a reboot. Eager to see a fix.

Anyone else with that issue? It was working after using the audio group. But some reboots later (card is still shown as real and not dummy) the sound only works for system sounds. No sound for music and videos! In pavucontrol the volume meter is showing that something’s playing, just no sound from the speakers, as if they are turned off or not plugged in (but they are).

Did you check again all mixers? Maybe it turns the volume of one down everytime

All mixers? How? Pavucontrol and the sound widget don’t offer any mixers/channels? Alsamixer? Or is there another mixer that shows all channels?

Yeah alsamixer -c 0 to avoid showing pulseaudios one mixer but show all real alsa mixers for your first card.

Which channels apart from Master and PCM might be relevant for music/video? And how do I save the settings I make in alsamixer? Or is it persistent?

I cannot check right now, I see the system and its owner maybe in the evening or tomorrow and want to be prepared as I never get granted much time to solve a PC problem ;).

I also know of speaker or front as mixer names. But in general you have to check them all.
Changes are applied dynamically so not necessary to save anything.

Finally solved for me, sddm here also is the culprit: sudo apt-get install sddm=0.11.0-0ubuntu11 and pinned.

I had to re-install Netrunner for another reason. And when I had done all of the updates the sound was working right away

We uploaded a sddm fix which basically works around 3 bugs(plasma,systemd,sddm) by downgrading sddm to version 0.11

I had no idea anyone responded to my original post until just now. I’ll need to correct my settings…

Anyway, this problem went away months ago for me. It was probably solved by an update.