Losing sound in KDE but ALSA works

Something screwy has been going on with my sound in the last week or so which I cannot figure out.

For some reason my sound stops working in KDE4. I can’t trace it to any particular event, it seems to happen randomly. I think the problem started when I tried installing ktts (the text to speech engine) but I cannot be sure. I’ve now removed ktts but my problem persists.

The strange thing is that if I go to the sound configuration in yast and play the test sound it works fine. But if I try play the test sound in multimedia settings from within systemsettings then I get an error saying “The audio playback device HDA Intel (AD198x Analog) does not work.” Also that error message window is titled phonon.
I didn’t install phonon but notice that it’s installed. I assume it was installed with the default install because trying to remove it brings up over a 100 dependencies.

The left speaker / right speak test from the konsole works but only as su and not as me. I get permission errors. Is that normal?

speaker-test -c2 -l5 -twav

speaker-test 1.0.21

Playback device is default
Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 2 channels
WAV file(s)
ALSA lib confmisc.c:768:(parse_card) cannot find card '0'
ALSA lib conf.c:4154:(_snd_config_evaluate) function snd_func_card_driver returned error: Permission denied
ALSA lib confmisc.c:392:(snd_func_concat) error evaluating strings
ALSA lib conf.c:4154:(_snd_config_evaluate) function snd_func_concat returned error: Permission denied
ALSA lib confmisc.c:1251:(snd_func_refer) error evaluating name
ALSA lib conf.c:4154:(_snd_config_evaluate) function snd_func_refer returned error: Permission denied
ALSA lib conf.c:4633:(snd_config_expand) Evaluate error: Permission denied
ALSA lib pcm.c:2211:(snd_pcm_open_noupdate) Unknown PCM default
Playback open error: -13,Permission denied.....etc...etc

The only way for me to get sound working is to reset the sound card in yast.

I also notice that sometimes when I boot up, after I login at the graphic login screen it kicks me out to the command prompt asking me to log in again. When I log in and “startx” KDE starts up but without sound and no kmix. Trying to start kmix manually doesn’t start it. I just get an empty window.
Again the sound works from the yast sound test.

I’ve tried removing the kmix config files from /.kde4/config/ but that doesn’t help. The logs don’t show anything obvious to me and the problem appears to occur randomly in so much I haven’t been able to figure out what triggers it yet.

I also noticed during a session that I have this sound problem and after I’ve fixed it by resetting the sound card in yast that kde doesn’t shutdown when trying to shut the laptop down. I get the kde logging off chime but the desktop remains and is fully functional. After that any attempt to log-off or shutdowm is ignored. I’m forced to run the shutdown command from the konsole to shut the laptop down. I’m not sure how it’s related but it only happens after the sound problem occurs.

I’m using KDE4.4.1 but this started in KDE4.4.0 so the update didn’t help any. When I upgraded to KDE4.4.0 I started with a fresh .kde4 directory.

I’d appreciate any suggestions. I want to avoid removing the .kde4 directory if possible. That would have to be a last resort.

KD4.4 - thats a problem for any support from me … In truth, until KDE4 came along, I never updated my KDE unless it was an official update. The reason being back in the old KDE2 and KDE3 days, unofficial KDE updates used to be notorious for breaking sound, where the fixes where incredibly painful to find. So as policy, I stopped doing such updates on my PCs, and hence would not support others who do such updates.

For a brief time in openSUSE-11.1 and 11.2, I did update KDE4 (from 4.1.3 in 11.1 and from 4.3.1 on 11.2) to KDE-4.3.2 and later KDE-4.3.4. But I drew the line there at KDE4.3, as research indicated to me those two KDE versions were reasonably stable. KDE-4.4 is too cutting edge for me, and I do not want to get involved in providing support there.

Perhaps someone else can chime in here who is familiar with KDE4.4.

I assume you know that Novell / SuSE-GmbH in an unprecedented step have updated openSUSE-11.2’s official KDE from 4.3.1 to 4.3.5, where 4.3.5 is pretty stable ?

Thanks for responding. I found that others seem to have a the same problem.

I knew of the risk of running KDE4.4 and I only run it on my laptop. My desktop is still at 4.3.5. The reason I wanted 4.4 on my laptop is that it uses QT4.6 which unlocks the function of a lot of my special Fn keys on my laptop. It also improved other functional aspects of the laptop.

KDE4.4 was working fine for me until about 7-10 days ago so I assume it must be a bad update somewhere.

I am having the same problem, exactly except that I’ve only updated to 4.3.5 and am Pissed that openSuSE has moved the repository folders so that my apps in YaST are no longer updating. The versions show that my ‘installed’ versions are Newer than what is available.
openSuSE moved the KDE: directories and removed 4.3.5 packages… Why?
I’ve also noticed that in Mozilla> WikiLook (an add-on that when you shift+right click or Ctrl+right click a word you get a pop-up definition from wiki) I no longer get a ‘speaker’ icon for hearing the pronunciation of the word.
And I do not get nor can I make happen, the ‘speaker’ applet in the ‘system tray’…
KDE in general, is Fncking up more and more… I have 2 systems running ubuntu with gnome and though they are not as ‘business like’ they are much easier, lighter and cleaner to use.
I love my SuSE (old Novell CNE), but…

Landis Reed.

Can you provide more information?

Please, what is the precise output of:

zypper lr -d

More info, No Sound.
If I start (launcher (menu)> mixer app> I get the bouncing cursor, but mixer Never actually starts. hummmm.


I’m thinking you missed my last post …

Yes, oldcpu i can:

the output was too ugly and large to just past here.

thank you in advance,

I’ve taken some of the repositories out already…
KDE/beta (I think is where I get my 4.3.5)…
The directories I’ve been updateing from for months, are Gone.


Not the only flaw, I am afraid. Mixing stable-KDE4 with unstable-KDE4 sounds exciting, but it doesn’t make sense. Having multiple oss and Packman doesn’t either - and how to you use four different Mozilla-sources? Who is responsible for this mess? You should fire him.

That would be me…
All was Well until the repository /KDE/ was removed.
Not /KDE:/


Indeed, I can see problems with having repos # (now disabled), repos #2 (could break sound in KDE), repos #7 (could break your printing) , repos#8 (could break sound in KDE) and repos#9 (I have no idea as to the damage this could cause wrt sound). IMHO you have cutting edge mozilla repos that will also cause problems.

I recommend users stick with only OSS, Non-OSS, Update and Packman and no other repositories. Adding others can cause problems of the sort you are experiencing.

If it were me, and someone gave me your PC, I would either do a clean re-install of openSUSE, or if that could not be done, I would roll back every rpm to only official Novell/SuSE-GmbH OSS, Non-OSS, or Update and also to Packman, … consistent with the philosophy that I follow.

Thanks for your time.
I am Downgrading everything possible.
It looks like it will take some time.
IF, openSuSE had not messed with the directories or repositories, this may never have become an issue, but with the folders gone and … well my installing form multiple locations and, and…
I guess I have to admit, not to bright on my part, eh.

I’ll let you (all) know if I’m able to rescue myself. I hate starting over. I have several other openSuSE pc’s to work with.


Well here goes Nothing…
Rollback (downgrade) complete, now for the big unveiling…
shutdown -r now


Thank You! Спасибо!

I have sound…
Everything seems ok with one exception: Amarok db created with new version, and can’t be used… Big Deal… I can live with that, it’s changed significantly as I’ve not been able to use the sound…

Thanks again,

p.s., SMPlayer does not play, still mp3’s, but MPlayer does.

Congratulations on sorting the sound.

What you could try now, is to see if it is possible to update Amarok BACK to the newer version, but don’t update anything else (or the bare minimal) if possible. That means adding the necessary repos back, installing the Amarok version you need, and then removing the repos when done.

Lucky dog! :slight_smile: Glad it works now.

I might not should have done the ‘temp repo’…
It’s installing 500 MB of dependencies… Ouch.
KDE base4 and xine.
We shall see…
fyi… I tried to just click on amarok.rpm in repo, but obviously that failed because of dependencies.
Screenshot of the ‘additional packages’ that where to be installed… Not, there seemed to be many more.


Ouch indeed. Is it not possible to check what is about to be installed BEFORE you do this ?

I can do this with my YaST.

I have Sound!!
Amarok is Rocking! Thanks
(Amarok: Version 2.2.90 Using KDE 4.4.1 (KDE 4.4.1) “release 227”)

… 4.4.1??? how, what? I was somewhere between 4.3.4 and 4.3.5 before rollback???

OldCPU, I did what you suggested and add repo and then I disabled it before I rebooted… Now in YaST search KDE, Amarok and only a couple of kde4 dependencies show ‘red’ (new version installed than seems to be available in the ‘stock’ repos) … Not Bad! 48 and finally rock’n.
Thanks again.
It Works!!

One very strange thing, I had to ‘logon’.
First time I get the login screen.
Although I added a new nVidia card recently and edited the inittab so that I would get the console screen and I hadn’t restarted since I changed the runlevel back to 5 from 3… maybe that’s it.