Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Fix HDMI Sound Not Working in Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 6

In this article, we will explore a few solutions to help you resolve the issue of HDMI sound not working in Ubuntu 20.04. This is a common problem that users encounter when they upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. But don’t worry, with a few tweaks and commands, we can get your sound back up and running.

Solution 1: Reinitialize PulseAudio

PulseAudio is a sound server for POSIX and Win32 systems. It is a key component in managing the audio on your Ubuntu system. Sometimes, reinitializing PulseAudio can solve the HDMI sound issue. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open a terminal. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Run the following command:
killall pulseaudio; rm -rf ~/.config/pulse/* ; rm -rf ~/.pulse*

This command does three things:

  • killall pulseaudio – This kills all instances of PulseAudio.
  • rm -rf ~/.config/pulse/* – This removes all PulseAudio configuration files located in the ~/.config/pulse/ directory.
  • rm -rf ~/.pulse* – This removes all files in the home directory that start with .pulse.

After running this command, PulseAudio should reinitialize and hopefully fix the HDMI sound issue.

Solution 2: Remove PulseAudio Configuration

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try removing the PulseAudio configuration files. Here’s how:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Run the following command:
rm -r ~/.config/pulse/

This command removes the PulseAudio configuration directory. After running this command, reboot your system. After rebooting, Ubuntu should recreate the PulseAudio configuration files and the HDMI sound should start working again.

Solution 3: Reboot with HDMI Connected

Sometimes, the HDMI sound only works when the HDMI is connected during the system boot. If this is the case, you can try the following workaround:

  1. Reboot your system with the HDMI cable connected.
  2. Ubuntu should detect the sound through HDMI.
  3. If you connect the HDMI after the system has started, the sound may not work.

Solution 4: Restart PulseAudio

If HDMI output is not listed in the sound settings after plugging or turning on the TV, you can try restarting PulseAudio. Here’s how:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Run the following command:
pulseaudio -k

This command kills the running PulseAudio daemon. PulseAudio will automatically restart after being killed.

After running this command, re-open the sound settings. HDMI output should now be listed and you can select it as the audio output.

Solution 5: Ensure HDMI Connection

In Ubuntu 20.04, the option to push audio through HDMI is only shown when it is actually connected. Make sure your HDMI cable is properly connected to your device. If the cable is loose or not connected properly, it can cause the HDMI sound not to work.


If none of these solutions work for your specific setup, it may be helpful to provide more information about your sound hardware. You can use the command sudo lspci -v && lsmod | grep snd to identify your sound hardware. Additionally, mentioning the make and model part number of your PC can also assist in troubleshooting the issue.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to backup your important data before making any changes to your system. We hope this guide helps you to fix the HDMI sound issue in Ubuntu 20.04. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

What should I do if the HDMI sound issue persists after trying all the solutions mentioned?

If the HDMI sound issue persists after trying all the solutions mentioned, it is recommended to seek further assistance from the Ubuntu community forums or support channels. They can provide more specific guidance based on your hardware and system configuration.

Can I use these solutions for other versions of Ubuntu?

While these solutions are specifically targeted for Ubuntu 20.04, they may also work for other versions of Ubuntu. However, it is always recommended to check for version-specific solutions or consult the respective Ubuntu documentation or community forums for the best results.

Will reinitializing PulseAudio affect other audio settings or applications?

Reinitializing PulseAudio should not affect other audio settings or applications. However, it may temporarily interrupt any audio playback or recording that is currently in progress. After reinitialization, you may need to adjust your audio settings or restart any applications that rely on PulseAudio for audio output or input.

Can I undo the changes made to PulseAudio configuration?

If you want to undo the changes made to PulseAudio configuration, you can simply delete the newly created configuration files and restart your system. Running the command rm -r ~/.config/pulse/ will remove the configuration directory, and upon reboot, Ubuntu will recreate the default PulseAudio configuration files.

Why is it important to ensure the HDMI connection is properly established?

Ensuring that the HDMI connection is properly established is important because without a secure and stable connection, the audio signal may not be transmitted correctly. A loose or improperly connected HDMI cable can result in intermittent or no sound output through HDMI. Therefore, it is crucial to check the physical connection between your device and the HDMI cable to ensure proper audio transmission.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *