When I upgraded the kernel to 3.9, for some reason I get no sound through the headphones, but the speaker works fine. I went through the typical troubleshooting steps, e.g. editing /etc/modprobe.d/50-sound.conf, with no luck. So I tried the earlier kernel and much to my surprise, it worked!
I did an lsmod on both kernels and they both have the same modules loaded, though as expected the 3.9 modules are of different sizes.
I suspect there is an issue with the drivers, but I really don’t know how to procede at this time. My sound card/mixer settings are OK because everything works with kernel 3.8; the ONLY difference is the kernel and some of the modules.
openSUSE enables P/A as the default sound server. The desktop Mixers (controlling volume) use P/A which interfaces to the audio hardware through ALSA drivers. If that interface is broken by the kernel upgrade. the desktop environment and it’s applications would lose sound. If you remove P/A from the audio stack, the desktop Mixers can use ALSA directly. You can disable/re-enable P/A using YaST.
Could that broken interface only break the headphones? Who knows? Which ALSA modules were affected by the break? Different hardware or a different DE > different results. Too many unknowns. In any case it’s a bug!
That’s brave, considering you asked a pretty basic question about P/A.
If you are desparate, why not try the disable/re-enable via YaST, it’s probably safer, but remember a partial break can easily get worse. Some users have had to re-install after trying to remove P/A completely, even with the standard release.
When I look at the two diagnostic scripts you point to, it makes me think this is NOT a pulse audio problem. I think removing pulse audio in your case is ‘barking up the wrong tree’ and in this case, given the evidence you provided, is not what you should be doing.
IMHO rather than remove pulse you are better off raising a bug report, likely upstream, on the 184.108.40.206 kernel. You could also try posting on the alsa mailing list, or on an openSUSE.mailing list, to try and obtain the attention of an alsa developer.
to restore the sound to the front audio jack
the following packages were deleted then re-installed after rebooting
items that were not touched due to dependencies
yast was used for the package changes
pulseaudio is sensitive to os updates,
the above procedure has been repeated before
"Alternatively an earlier kernel could be tried
with yast program manager its easy to install 2 or 3 kernels and then select
via the grub2 menu"
@Thiudans may still have the previous working kernel installed, as multi-kernel
support is default in 12.3 based Tumbleweed and selectable on Grub2 boot.
If he removed it then he would probably know about using YaST (or zypper)
for installing an additional kernel.
@Thiudans: Well done for learning how and submitting the bug report.