Don’t forget when testing your sound to move your master, PCM and speaker settings up to 95%. When testing for sound, do NOT use the startup system sound as your criteria for stating sound does not work. Also be certain to check your mixer. Its not uncommon for a mixer setting (master, pcm or speaker) to be muted upon boot. In KDE your mixer is “kmix” (the small speaker in right hand corner). In Gnome your mixer is “alsamixer”.
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).