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I work with Linux Mint 19.1 installed on thin clients. But I had a problem with the kernel 4.15 (VoIP connected on an Ethernet port doesn't work correctly) so I changed the kernel to 4.4 to solve that. When I changed the kernel, the HDMI audio fails. I tried many things to fix this, but I could not.

I installed pavucontrol on the PC, then noticed something weird. With the 4.15 kernel, the status port is plugged in, but with kernel 4.4, the status port is unplugged. Details follow below:

Kernel 4.15

Kernel 4.4

pacmd list-sinks with Kernel 4.4:

pacmd list-sinks
1 sink(s) available.
  * index: 0
        name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_00_0e.0.hdmi-stereo>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        flags: HARDWARE DECIBEL_VOLUME LATENCY DYNAMIC_LATENCY
        state: SUSPENDED
        suspend cause: IDLE
        priority: 9030
        volume: front-left: 65536 / 100% / 0,00 dB,   front-right: 65536 / 100% / 0,00 dB
                balance 0,00
        base volume: 65536 / 100% / 0,00 dB
        volume steps: 65537
        muted: no
        current latency: 0,00 ms
        max request: 0 KiB
        max rewind: 0 KiB
        monitor source: 0
        sample spec: s16le 2ch 44100Hz
        channel map: front-left,front-right
                     Stereo
        used by: 0
        linked by: 0
        configured latency: 0,00 ms; range is 0,50 .. 371,52 ms
        card: 0 <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_0e.0>
        module: 7
        properties:
                alsa.resolution_bits = "16"
                device.api = "alsa"
                device.class = "sound"
                alsa.class = "generic"
                alsa.subclass = "generic-mix"
                alsa.name = "HDMI 0"
                alsa.id = "HDMI 0"
                alsa.subdevice = "0"
                alsa.subdevice_name = "subdevice #0"
                alsa.device = "3"
                alsa.card = "0"
                alsa.card_name = "HDA Intel PCH"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HDA Intel PCH at 0x91410000 irq 129"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:0e.0"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0e.0/sound/card0"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "8086"
                device.vendor.name = "Intel Corporation"
                device.product.id = "5a98"
                device.product.name = "Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Audio Cluster"
                device.form_factor = "internal"
                device.string = "hdmi:0"
                device.buffering.buffer_size = "65536"
                device.buffering.fragment_size = "32768"
                device.access_mode = "mmap+timer"
                device.profile.name = "hdmi-stereo"
                device.profile.description = "Digital Stereo (HDMI)"
                device.description = "Built-in Audio Digital Stereo (HDMI)"
                alsa.mixer_name = "Realtek ALC283"
                alsa.components = "HDA:10ec0283,1019983e,00100003 HDA:8086280a,80860101,00100000"
                module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
        ports:
                hdmi-output-0: HDMI / DisplayPort (priority 5900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "video-display"
        active port: <hdmi-output-0>

Pacmd List-cards

pacmd list-cards
1 card(s) available.
    index: 0
        name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_0e.0>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        owner module: 7
        properties:
                alsa.card = "0"
                alsa.card_name = "HDA Intel PCH"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HDA Intel PCH at 0x91410000 irq 129"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:0e.0"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0e.0/sound/card0"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "8086"
                device.vendor.name = "Intel Corporation"
                device.product.id = "5a98"
                device.product.name = "Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Audio Cluster"
                device.form_factor = "internal"
                device.string = "0"
                device.description = "Built-in Audio"
                module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
        profiles:
                input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Input (priority 60, available: unknown)
                output:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Output (priority 6000, available: no)
                output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Duplex (priority 6060, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output (priority 5400, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5460, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 300, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 360, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround71: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 300, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 360, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra1: Digital Stereo (HDMI 2) Output (priority 5200, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra1+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI 2) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5260, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra1: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 100, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra1+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 2) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 160, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra1: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 100, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra1+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 2) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 160, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra2: Digital Stereo (HDMI 3) Output (priority 5200, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra2+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI 3) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5260, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra2: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 100, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra2+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 3) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 160, available: unknown)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra2: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 100, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra2+input:analog-stereo: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 3) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 160, available: unknown)
                off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
        active profile: <output:hdmi-stereo+input:analog-stereo>
        sinks:
                alsa_output.pci-0000_00_0e.0.hdmi-stereo/#0: Built-in Audio Digital Stereo (HDMI)
        sources:
                alsa_output.pci-0000_00_0e.0.hdmi-stereo.monitor/#0: Monitor of Built-in Audio Digital Stereo (HDMI)
                alsa_input.pci-0000_00_0e.0.analog-stereo/#1: Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
        ports:
                analog-input-internal-mic: Internal Microphone (priority 8900, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
                analog-input-mic: Microphone (priority 8700, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
                analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9000, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"
                hdmi-output-0: HDMI / DisplayPort (priority 5900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "video-display"
                hdmi-output-1: HDMI / DisplayPort 2 (priority 5800, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "video-display"
                hdmi-output-2: HDMI / DisplayPort 3 (priority 5700, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "video-display"

My hardware config:

lspci -v

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Host Bridge (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Host Bridge
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0


00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 5a85 (rev 0b) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Device 9cc7
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 255
    Memory at 90000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
    Memory at 80000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
    I/O ports at f000 [size=64]
    Expansion ROM at <unassigned> [disabled]
    Capabilities: [40] Vendor Specific Information: Len=0c <?>
    Capabilities: [70] Express Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [ac] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
    Capabilities: [d0] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [100] Process Address Space ID (PASID)
    Capabilities: [200] Address Translation Service (ATS)
    Capabilities: [300] Page Request Interface (PRI)
    Kernel modules: i915


00:0e.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Audio Cluster (rev 0b) (prog-if 80)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Audio Cluster
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 129
    Memory at 91410000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Memory at 91000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [80] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
    Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
    Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel


00:0f.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Trusted Execution Engine (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Trusted Execution Engine
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 127
    Memory at 9141f000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [8c] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [a4] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
    Kernel driver in use: mei_me
    Kernel modules: mei_me


00:12.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series SATA AHCI Controller (rev 0b) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series SATA AHCI Controller
    Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 124
    Memory at 91414000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
    Memory at 9141c000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    I/O ports at f090 [size=8]
    I/O ports at f080 [size=4]
    I/O ports at f060 [size=32]
    Memory at 9141b000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
    Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
    Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [a8] SATA HBA v1.0
    Kernel driver in use: ahci
    Kernel modules: ahci


00:13.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A #1 (rev fb) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 120
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=01, subordinate=01, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 0000e000-0000efff
    Memory behind bridge: 91300000-913fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [100] #00
    Capabilities: [140] Access Control Services
    Capabilities: [150] #00
    Capabilities: [200] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport
    Kernel modules: shpchp


00:13.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A #2 (rev fb) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 121
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=02, subordinate=02, sec-latency=0
    Memory behind bridge: 91200000-912fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [100] #00
    Capabilities: [140] Access Control Services
    Capabilities: [150] #00
    Capabilities: [200] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport
    Kernel modules: shpchp


00:13.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A #3 (rev fb) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 122
    Bus: primary=00, secondary=03, subordinate=03, sec-latency=0
    I/O behind bridge: 0000d000-0000dfff
    Memory behind bridge: 91100000-911fffff
    Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
    Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
    Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PCI Express Port A
    Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [100] #00
    Capabilities: [140] Access Control Services
    Capabilities: [150] #00
    Capabilities: [200] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport
    Kernel modules: shpchp


00:15.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series USB xHCI (rev 0b) (prog-if 30 [XHCI])
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series USB xHCI
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 123
    Memory at 91400000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 2
    Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/8 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [90] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
    Kernel driver in use: xhci_hcd


00:1a.0 Serial bus controller [0c80]: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PWM Pin Controller (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series PWM Pin Controller
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 255
    Memory at 9141a000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Memory at 91419000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [90] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
    Kernel driver in use: pwm-lpss
    Kernel modules: pwm_lpss_pci


00:1c.0 SD Host controller: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series eMMC Controller (rev 0b) (prog-if 01)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series eMMC Controller
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 39
    Memory at 91418000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Memory at 91417000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [90] Vendor Specific Information: Len=14 <?>
    Kernel driver in use: sdhci-pci
    Kernel modules: sdhci_pci


00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Low Pin Count Interface (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series Low Pin Count Interface
    Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0


00:1f.1 SMBus: Intel Corporation Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series SMBus Controller (rev 0b)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems Celeron N3350/Pentium N4200/Atom E3900 Series SMBus Controller
    Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 255
    Memory at 91416000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
    I/O ports at f040 [size=32]
    Kernel driver in use: i801_smbus
    Kernel modules: i2c_i801


01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 15)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 125
    I/O ports at e000 [size=256]
    Memory at 91304000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Memory at 91300000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [70] Express Endpoint, MSI 01
    Capabilities: [b0] MSI-X: Enable- Count=4 Masked-
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel
    Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number 01-00-00-00-68-4c-e0-00
    Capabilities: [170] Latency Tolerance Reporting
    Capabilities: [178] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: r8169
    Kernel modules: r8169


02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 3165 (rev 81)
    Subsystem: Intel Corporation Dual Band Wireless AC 3165
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 128
    Memory at 91200000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=8K]
    Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [d0] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [40] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
    Capabilities: [140] Device Serial Number ac-ed-5c-ff-ff-fc-b9-df
    Capabilities: [14c] Latency Tolerance Reporting
    Capabilities: [154] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: iwlwifi
    Kernel modules: iwlwifi


03:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 15)
    Subsystem: Elitegroup Computer Systems RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 126
    I/O ports at d000 [size=256]
    Memory at 91104000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
    Memory at 91100000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [70] Express Endpoint, MSI 01
    Capabilities: [b0] MSI-X: Enable- Count=4 Masked-
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
    Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel
    Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number 01-00-00-00-68-4c-e0-00
    Capabilities: [170] Latency Tolerance Reporting
    Capabilities: [178] L1 PM Substates
    Kernel driver in use: r8169
    Kernel modules: r8169 

Is it possible to use the HDMI Audio without an update to the kernel?

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