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If for whatever reason I sudo stop lightdm running on mint and just use a simple xinit session with mutter, is there some way I can get sound to work? Whenever I do that, it seems there's no sound.

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Are you using alsa, pulseaudio or something else? –  Herman Torjussen Dec 30 '12 at 19:39
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Check to make sure your applications are using alsa output as opposed to pulseaudio or esd (Or start those daemons yourself). Also make sure your mixer is unmuted with alsamixer.

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When I run alsamixer, I get "cannot open mixer: No such file or directory" –  dspyz Jul 5 '12 at 18:50
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