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I have a queer issue with my Arch-Linux System.

I am unable to get any Sound Output when playing audio, AFTER starting X Server.

The issue is not with Volume Controls or Sound Card Drivers because, if I start any kind of Audio playback BEFORE starting X Server, I have absolutely no issues. The Audio keeps playing even after X Server starts. But if I pause / stop the audio, on restarting playback, I get no audio output.

Even terminating X Server does not resolve this issue. Rebooting the system though, helps.

I tried with different DE's. Checked with GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, KDE. Same issue everytime. So It's not due to a particular environment, but rather an issue with X.

I am not sure what files I should be checking for this. Could any please guide me through?

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Maybe it's your desktop environment rather than the X server itself? How are you starting X? –  donothingsuccessfully Oct 19 '12 at 9:20
    
No, I tried with various other Desktop Environments also. I am currently using XFCE. But the same issue persists in LXDE and GNOME3. I start X using: startxfce4 --with-ck-launch –  darnir Oct 19 '12 at 9:32
    
The recommended way to start is now without --with-ck-launch. Just plain startxfce4 will do. –  Salil Oct 20 '12 at 11:13
    
@Salil: Without using --with-ck-launch I cannot use the power options on my DE. Even after making the switch to systemd. In any case, I tried both ways, doesn't resolve my audio issue –  darnir Oct 20 '12 at 12:17
    
funny thing is I started having the same problem a few days ago on my arch install. Maybe this is some regression or new bug? –  Silverrocker Oct 21 '12 at 16:23
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3 Answers

I do not think its related to Xorg anyhow. See if you have proper kernel modules loaded (lsmod). If it works after reboot that probably shouldn't be a problem though.

eg.

$ cat /etc/modules-load.d/snd_mixer_oss.conf 
snd_mixer_oss

Try running alsamixer or aumix as by default the audio is muted (strangely) or set very low (or not set by your X environment).

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Does sound work if you start X with "startx" (not via gdm/kdm etc) and start a minimal windowmanager (like pekwm, not gnome or xfce)?

If it does, the problem is narrowed down somewhat.

Also, check if pulseaudio is started automatically or not.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Finally solved this problem thanks to help rendered on the #archlinux IRC Channel.

The issue was that for some odd reason, starting X would change the default Audio Output Device to my HDMI Card which was not being used to output audio.

On Arch Linux, I installed the package pavucontrol for PulseAudio and used it to reset the default device for audio playback to my on-board sound card.

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