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I'm using KDE Neon and after my last system update with pkcon update my audio has completely stopped working. Both my speakers and headphones produce no sound and Audacity fails to detect sound through my microphone, though every other test seems to indicate that my audio hardware exists and is connected properly. I've booted back into Windows 10 to confirm this isn't some weird audio hardware failure; sound works fine there.

It's also a little odd the way that it affects other behaviors on my system as well. If I try to play a test sound, such as the one in system settings, it sort of hangs a lot longer than it should, visually, which isn't what would be expected if something was just muted or deactivated. Likewise, YouTube videos refuse to play and hang, unless I kill pulseaudio.

I've been trying any and every possible solution I've come across within these last two days, including:

  • Checking alsamixer for muted channels
  • Rebooting
  • Restarting pulseaudio
  • Force reloading alsa
  • Adding options snd-hda-intel model=generic to certain files
  • Reinstalling pulseaudio and alsa
  • Killing pulseaudio
  • Attempting and failing to replace pulseaudio with pipewire, then subsequently falling back to pulseaudio
  • Deleting my config files for pulseaudio
  • And probably a few other things I can't recall at this moment.

At this point I'm at a complete loss and am helpless in terms of what to do; I'd appreciate any help.

Here's some info that similar forum posts have been asked for:

Output of pacmd list-cards:

2 card(s) available.
    index: 0
        name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_01_00.1>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        owner module: 7
        properties:
                alsa.card = "1"
                alsa.card_name = "HDA NVidia"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HDA NVidia at 0xa4000000 irq 17"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:01:00.1"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:01.0/0000:01:00.1/sound/card1"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "10de"
                device.vendor.name = "NVIDIA Corporation"
                device.product.id = "0fb9"
                device.product.name = "GP107GL High Definition Audio Controller"
                device.string = "1"
                device.description = "GP107GL High Definition Audio Controller"
                module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
        profiles:
                output:hdmi-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output (priority 5900, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 800, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 800, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra1: Digital Stereo (HDMI 2) Output (priority 5700, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra1: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra1: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra2: Digital Stereo (HDMI 3) Output (priority 5700, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra2: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra2: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                output:hdmi-stereo-extra3: Digital Stereo (HDMI 4) Output (priority 5700, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround-extra3: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 4) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                output:hdmi-surround71-extra3: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 4) Output (priority 600, available: no)
                off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
        active profile: <off>
        ports:
                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"
                hdmi-output-3: HDMI / DisplayPort 4 (priority 5600, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "video-display"
    index: 1
        name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_1f.3>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        owner module: 8
        properties:
                alsa.card = "0"
                alsa.card_name = "HDA Intel PCH"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HDA Intel PCH at 0xa4514000 irq 157"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:1f.3"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.3/sound/card0"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "8086"
                device.vendor.name = "Intel Corporation"
                device.product.id = "a348"
                device.product.name = "Cannon Lake PCH cAVS"
                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 32833, available: unknown)
                output:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Output (priority 39268, available: unknown)
                output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Duplex (priority 39333, available: unknown)
                off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
        active profile: <output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo>
        sinks:
                alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1f.3.analog-stereo/#0: Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
        sources:
                alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1f.3.analog-stereo.monitor/#0: Monitor of Built-in Audio Analog Stereo
                alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1f.3.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-headset-mic: Headset Microphone (priority 8800, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
                analog-output-speaker: Speakers (priority 10000, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-speakers"
                analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"

Output of pacmd list-sinks

1 sink(s) available.
  * index: 0
        name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1f.3.analog-stereo>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        flags: HARDWARE HW_MUTE_CTRL HW_VOLUME_CTRL DECIBEL_VOLUME LATENCY DYNAMIC_LATENCY
        state: RUNNING
        suspend cause: (none)
        priority: 9039
        volume: front-left: 52429 /  80% / -5.81 dB,   front-right: 52429 /  80% / -5.81 dB
                balance 0.00
        base volume: 65536 / 100% / 0.00 dB
        volume steps: 65537
        muted: no
        current latency: 0.00 ms
        max request: 344 KiB
        max rewind: 344 KiB
        monitor source: 0
        sample spec: s16le 2ch 44100Hz
        channel map: front-left,front-right
                     Stereo
        used by: 1
        linked by: 1
        configured latency: 2000.00 ms; range is 0.50 .. 2000.00 ms
        card: 1 <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_1f.3>
        module: 8
        properties:
                alsa.resolution_bits = "16"
                device.api = "alsa"
                device.class = "sound"
                alsa.class = "generic"
                alsa.subclass = "generic-mix"
                alsa.name = "ALC255 Analog"
                alsa.id = "ALC255 Analog"
                alsa.subdevice = "0"
                alsa.subdevice_name = "subdevice #0"
                alsa.device = "0"
                alsa.card = "0"
                alsa.card_name = "HDA Intel PCH"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HDA Intel PCH at 0xa4514000 irq 157"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:1f.3"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1f.3/sound/card0"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "8086"
                device.vendor.name = "Intel Corporation"
                device.product.id = "a348"
                device.product.name = "Cannon Lake PCH cAVS"
                device.form_factor = "internal"
                device.string = "front:0"
                device.buffering.buffer_size = "352800"
                device.buffering.fragment_size = "176400"
                device.access_mode = "mmap+timer"
                device.profile.name = "analog-stereo"
                device.profile.description = "Analog Stereo"
                device.description = "Built-in Audio Analog Stereo"
                module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
        ports:
                analog-output-speaker: Speakers (priority 10000, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-speakers"
                analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"
        active port: <analog-output-speaker>

Edit: Forgot about aplay -l:

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC255 Analog [ALC255 Analog]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 9: HDMI 3 [HDMI 3]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Update: I found one way I am able to get any audio output with Linux: loopback mixing. If I turn it on in the alsamixer, I can hear my microphone's output. The volume can be controlled via the headset microphone volume slider in alsamixer, but not the master or headset volume sliders.

5
  • Systematically debug this: First take Pulseaudio out of the equation (stop it, or use pasuspender) and test ALSA directly. I am affected by a Pulseaudio bug where newer version fail to find a proper configuration. You may or may not be affected by the same bug, but systematic testing will find what's not working on your system.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 7:53
  • I don't believe Pulseaudio is the problem here then. I ran pasuspender -- aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav and pasuspender -- speaker-test; neither had sound.
    – Leo G
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 17:46
  • You need to directly give a device with -D even after pasuspender, or aplay will still use the pulse compatibility layer device. If there's really no sound even with that, then it's the ALSA kernel drivers, which is difficult to explain if you didn't update the kernel.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 19:39
  • I used pasuspender -- aplay --device=plughw:CARD=PCH,DEV=0 /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav to play the sound. I tried some of the other devices but because the default sample rate is 44100 hz and the file sample rate is 48000, I needed to use the plughw one. I also tried the outputs for my NVidia card (plughw:CARD=NVidia,DEV=3,7,8,9). Nothing made any noise, and I also made sure to double check alsamixer to see whether anything was muted. Admittedly I don't know whether the last pkcon update also upgraded the kernel but I couldn't find anything in the dpkg logs that indicated this.
    – Leo G
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 22:22
  • Next step is to check alsamixer to make sure nothing is muted. If there is still no sound, downgrade the ALSA library and the kernel. If that doesn't fix it, then I am out of ideas. Plughw shouldn't make any difference.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 4:00

1 Answer 1

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It turns out it was in fact an issue with a recent update to the Linux kernel drivers. Downgrading from kernel 5.19.0-38 to kernel 5.15.0-69 restored audio completely; downgrading the ALSA libraries wasn't necessary. Thanks for all your help!

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