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? – user13742 Dec 30 '12 at 19:39

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

I was able to fix this issue on Lubuntu 16.04 by installing pulseaudio:

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio

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