Getting Sound in Hardy Heron

Posted on December 17, 2008

So, after I upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) on my laptop, any sound file I would try to play would just hang. What was strange was that sound would work in some cases — Flash audio in browsers worked, and so did xmms2, which apparently doesn’t use the OS sound system. (I guess because xmms2 is its own sound system?)

It turns out that for this new version of Ubuntu, they replaced the existing sound system with a version that is completely broken. After some searching I found the forum post above and tried the fix (kill PulseAudio) and everything suddenly works! Just like it did before the upgrade.

Luckily, there is a way to disable the PulseAudio daemon, since it seems to also be completely useless for now. I’ll try that and some other things and let you know what works.

I thought the problem would be some obscure hardware or software bug, but nope — turns out it’s just another bad decision of shipping code before it’s ready. Where have we seen that before?

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3 Responses to Getting Sound in Hardy Heron



  2. It looks like the latest incremental upgrade to Ubuntu completely changes the OS settings dialogs once again. Since there is no “Sound Preferences” dialog anymore, you can’t uncheck the option when Ubuntu inevitably turns Pulseaudio back on. I found the new placement under Preferences->Sessions where you can uncheck the “PulseAudio Session Manager” item. Another day, another interface.

  3. So the relatively new PulseAudio is not well tested across many of the hardware sound chip setups for PCs? I am glad the daemon can be disabled to make the laptop produce sound.

    I have had my share of odd ball issues with running Ubuntu in a virtual environment. Video is more the issue in that case, but I guess audio might be problematic too.

    Good post on the issue.

  4. I just tried the permanent fix offered by the Deciphering Glyph blog post from above — turning off “Enable software sound mixing (ESD)” from Sound Preferences — and rebooted.

    Everything seems to be working, and PulseAudio no longer shows up in the System Monitor (processes).