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Fixing Sound Issues in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

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Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, also known as Focal Fossa, is a robust, reliable, and highly customizable operating system. However, like any other software, it can sometimes experience technical glitches. One such issue that users often encounter is sound problems. This article will guide you through various methods to resolve sound issues in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

Remove Timidity

Timidity is a software synthesizer that can interfere with your system’s sound. To remove it, open a terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T and type the following command:

sudo apt-get remove timidity

This command uses sudo for root privileges, apt-get to handle packages, and remove to uninstall the specified software. After uninstalling Timidity, restart your system using:

sudo shutdown now -r

The shutdown command is used to halt, power-off, or reboot the machine, and the -r option tells it to reboot.

Run alsactl restore

The alsactl restore command can help restore your audio functionality. Open a terminal and type:

alsactl restore

This command restores the driver state from the configuration file. You may need to run this command every time you unplug and replug your headset.

Modify ALSA Configuration Files

The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) provides audio and MIDI functionality to the Linux operating system. You can modify its configuration files to fix sound problems. Open a terminal and type:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

This command opens the ALSA base configuration file with nano, a command-line text editor. Add options snd-hda-intel dmic_detect=0 to the end of the file. This line disables the digital microphone (dmic) detection for snd-hda-intel, which can solve some sound issues.

Next, open the blacklist configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

Add blacklist snd_soc_skl to the end of the file. This line prevents the snd_soc_skl module, which can cause sound problems, from loading at boot. After making these changes, restart your system with sudo reboot.

Check Sound Settings and Reinstall PulseAudio

If the Output Device and Input Device options in Sound Settings are empty, you can try reinstalling PulseAudio. PulseAudio is a sound server for POSIX and Win32 systems. Open a terminal and type the following commands:

sudo apt-get remove --purge pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio
mv ~/.config/pulse ~/.config/new_pulse_conf

The first command removes PulseAudio and its configuration files. The second command reinstalls PulseAudio. The third command renames the PulseAudio user configuration directory, forcing PulseAudio to create a new one at the next start.

Restart PulseAudio

If PulseAudio fails to start after a software update, you can try restarting it manually. Open a terminal and type:

pulseaudio --start

This command starts the PulseAudio sound server. Additionally, you can edit the PulseAudio client configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/pulse/client.conf

Remove the semicolon (;) from the line ; autospawn = yes. This change allows PulseAudio to start automatically. After restarting Ubuntu, the sound should be detected correctly.

Edit /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output-lineout.conf

If you upgraded from a previous version and lost sound, editing this file may help. Open a terminal and type:

sudo nano /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output-lineout.conf

Change switch = off to switch = on in the “Element” sections. This change enables the line-out switch in the ALSA mixer paths. Reboot your system after making the changes.

Install gnome-alsamixer and Adjust Settings

Gnome-alsamixer is a graphical front-end to ALSA. Install it using:

sudo apt-get install gnome-alsamixer

Then run alsamixer:


Press F6 to select your sound card and navigate to the “Auto-Mute” option. Disable it using the Up/Down arrow keys. This change can fix sound issues caused by auto-muting.

Remember that these solutions may not work for everyone, and it’s recommended to try multiple solutions until you find one that resolves your sound issue. If you’re still experiencing problems, consider reaching out to the Ubuntu community for further assistance.

How do I open a terminal in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS?

To open a terminal in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you can press Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut will open a new terminal window.

What is ALSA?

ALSA stands for Advanced Linux Sound Architecture. It is a software framework that provides audio and MIDI functionality to the Linux operating system. ALSA is responsible for managing sound devices and drivers.

How do I modify ALSA configuration files?

To modify ALSA configuration files, you can open a terminal and use a text editor such as nano. For example, to open the ALSA base configuration file, you can run the command sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf. This will open the file in the nano text editor, allowing you to make changes.

What is PulseAudio?

PulseAudio is a sound server for POSIX and Win32 systems. It allows multiple applications to share audio devices and provides advanced features such as networked audio, sound mixing, and support for Bluetooth audio devices.

How do I install gnome-alsamixer?

To install gnome-alsamixer, you can open a terminal and run the command sudo apt-get install gnome-alsamixer. This command will download and install the gnome-alsamixer package from the Ubuntu repositories.

How can I contact the Ubuntu community for further assistance?

If you need further assistance with sound issues in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, you can reach out to the Ubuntu community. They have an active community forum where you can ask questions and seek help. You can access the Ubuntu community forum at

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