Music audio etc (@ oldcpu mainly)

I suspect I have somehow COMPLETELY fubarred any audio capablility I might have had.
Is there any way completely to strip out and uninstall ALL audio and start again?
Or is it the jolly old Colonel/Kernel who takes care of audio, and I have to reinstall upgrade?

Re-installation should not be necessary. Linux is quirky sometimes with audio, as my wife reminds me all the time. … I broke the audio on our Dell Studio1537 laptop on the weekend (via a kernel update), … forgot to fix it, and when the wife went to use the laptop, the audio was not working. She was already mad at me for kmix settings not being the way she liked (that was NOT my fault) and so this just added more dirt on top of my grave. :’( rotfl! (Edit - the fact I could fix it in a few minutes just infuriated her more ! lol! )

You could try working your way through the openSUSE audio troubleshooting guide:
SDB:AudioTroubleshooting - openSUSE

Note, when testing if you have sound, please copy and paste the following speaker-test into a Gnome terminal or a kde konsole:

speaker-test -Dplug:front -c2 -l5 -twav
Note Linux is case sensitive, and “D” is not the same as “d”. To stop the above test, while the konsole/xterm has the mouse focus, press <CTRL><C> on the keyboard. Note you should check your mixer settings (kmix if using KDE, and alsamixer if using Gnome) to ensure that PCM and Master Volume are set around 95%. Once you have basic sound established you can back off to lower volume levels. Note the test for surround sound is different.

If that test yields errors (and its not uncommon to get errors there), try instead this more simple test: speaker-test -c2 -l5 -twavYou should hear a female voice saying ‘FRONT LEFT’, ‘FRONT RIGHT’ five times. Its quite common that one of those speaker tests will work and one will NOT work, so don’t be distressed if that is the case. IF that test gives sound, stop now, post that the sound test gives sound, and we will look at other possible causes for your applications not giving you the sound you want (such as missing codecs, using the wrong packaged version … etc … ).

Or alternatively, for testing the simple playback, use aplay program. Prepare a WAV file and simply run like:

aplay -vv somefile.wav

With the option -vv, aplay shows the verbose information of the PCM device, and a VU-peak meter during playing the file.

Try those speaker-tests as both a regular user, and also with root permissions. If you have a headset, try with your headset plugged in, and also with your headset not plugged in (for speakers).

Assuming no sound, can you provide more very detailed information so a good recommendation can be given? For openSUSE-11.1, you can do that, with your laptop connected to the internet, by opening a gnome-terminal or a kde konsole and twice copy and paste the following into that terminal/konsole


Run it the 1st time with root permissions. It will ask if you wish to do an update of the script. Select YES.

Then run it again (as either a regular user or as root). This time it will diagnose your PC’s hardware and software configuration for audio, and it will post its output on the Internet/web. It will give you the URL of the web site. Please post that URL here. JUST the URL.

Also, please copy and paste the following commands one line at a time into a gnome-terminal or a konsole and post here the output: rpm -qa | grep alsa
rpm -qa | grep pulse
rpm -q libasound2
uname -a
cat /etc/modprobe.d/sound… with that information I may be able to make a recommendation.

Also, do NOT waste too much time on this. Simply post on our forum if you get stumped, and continue to look for help that way.

I’m assuming openSUSE-11.1. If its not 11.1 tell me, and I’ll change the above script command.

Before I even begin working on this, I would like to offer to OldCPU a big hug and TY for the reply he has given… as one of the old reggae songs that I can’t listen to ATM has it:

Give tanks and praises to da man

and also, just in case he is so bored and has nothing better to do, here is the output from the alsa script thingy


Just did this with my headphones on; and volume set to 100%.

speaker-test -c2 -l5 -twav

It is quite incredibly pornographic, I must go and lie down in a dark room for a little while…


When it comes to computers, I should know by now that there is invariably a simpler solution…


  1. Wife has secretly “tidied up” the computer area and has dislodged a cable whilst hoovering.
  2. One of her pesky (but much loved) teenage sons has tried to “adjust” things
  3. Or both of the above.

Still, I hope that OLDCPU’s advice has not been in vain and that it has genuinely helped other people suffering from similar symptoms.

(wakou is off now to listen to that delightful lady saying “front left, front right” for a couple of hours.)

(I bet SHE would not hoover behind my computer and dislodge my cables, and I bet she has no pesky teenage boys either…)

Double D’oh…

Mrs Wakou has spotted this before I pressed “SEND” and insists that:

  1. She has not secretly dislodged any cables, nor even gone anywhere near the bloody computer.
  2. Her boys are delightful and not “pesky”
  3. The lady on the speaker test reminds her of her instructions to me on how to get home from the pub

lol lol!

Does that mean you get sound out of headphones but not out of speakers?

I note this setting
Simple mixer control ‘Master’,0
Capabilities: pvolume pvolume-joined pswitch pswitch-joined
Playback channels: Mono
Limits: Playback 0 - 31
Mono: Playback 25 [81%] -9.00dB] [off]

Master volume is muted. That WILL block your sound.

A recent pulse audio update (a month or two ago) has caused, I believe, a problem where often when one boots, their audio is mistakenly muted. It forces one each boot to go into their mixer and undo the muting.

Got that one my friend, I was composing my masterpiece whilst you were replying… I had noticed that recently my little speaker icon has been crossed out on booting, but as I was getting no sound at all (due to the non-existant hoovering incident), I did not give it much attention…

I am certain that’s right, and my regular 11.1 never fails to boot with audio muted. That P/A update coincided with a kernel update. However since that update and before the recent kernel update, in another partition, I installed a minimal 11.1 + KDE 3.5 sytem and completely blocked P/A from installing. That system never fails to boot with audio unmuted, so it must have been the P/A update, and BTW the recent kernel update was fine.