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…