Yesterday I experimented a really strange behavior in my Thinkpad.

After working with LMMS (a music production program) with my headphones, I turned off my laptop and unplugged them.

The next time I turned it on, I realised there was no sound at all: neither in LMMS, nor in the laptop in general. I was only able to have sound output through my headphones.

ALSA mixer sound levels are at max power, that's all I could test.

Has anybody experienced the same?

  • Yes, I have had similar issues. Do you have PulseAudio installed? – maulinglawns Dec 6 '16 at 10:09
  • the pavucontrol gui might show some useful state info. – meuh Dec 6 '16 at 16:53

I've had this kind of issue with the automatic configuration of PulseAudio on boot.

Whether you are using PulseAudio or any other sound server, I would try looking into this one's configuration. It often mutes various inputs and outputs for some reason on plug/unplug, and the UI isn't very clear (keeps showing the sound variations when muted...).

It was as simple as that last time I've had a problem.


ALSA mixer sound levels are at max power, that's all I could test.

Are they not muted? The alsamixer application shows "MM" for muted devices and "oo" for unmuted ones (at the base of the levels bars). Run alsamixer from the terminal as there may be a false reading via any applets, etc.

Side-note: I don't use PulseAudio for this very reason that it does odd things. Pure ALSA gives me no hassle.


The line "no sound at all" makes me think that it could be a hardware problem.

The headphone jack has a switch in it that will switch between “speaker” and headphones. If you plug the headphones back in and they work, “jiggle it” and unplug them again.

Of course if you can programmatically switch between "speakers" and headphones without unplugging the headphones then it is NOT a hardware problem.

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