Howto – Troubleshooting Sound in Kubuntu…


Mentioned in an earlier post was a problem I was having with sound. I have two sound cards, both recognized well by Kubuntu 7.10. One is onboard – a VIA VT8233/A/8235/8237 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 60). The other is a PCI card from C-Media – a CM8738 (rev 10), and is the one I prefer to use.

In kmix, both cards would be visible in a drop-down list, and I would make sure the C-Media card was selected after logging into KDE. I have been having issues, however, with the default sound card switching from the C-Media card to the VIA card. When this would happen, nothing I did in the sound server or kmix would make any difference, not even logging off and logging back on. I would have to reboot and actually go into the BIOS and toggle the onboard card to either on or off – changing its state made the difference (usually).

I found some good tips in the Ubuntu forums that helped. These and the module blacklisting I did seem to have permanently fixed the problem. I also rebooted back into the BIOS and disabled the onboard sound card to ensure there were as few variables running amuck as possible.

The links I found helpful were:

The commands I found useful were:

  • cat /proc/asound/modules
  • sudo asoundconf list
  • sudo asoundconf set-default-card <desired card name from the preceding list command> – sets across the system
  • asoundconf set-default-card <desired card name from the preceding list command> – sets for the user running the command

Files that were useful in this were:

  • /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base – shows card-slots, modules and options
  • /etc/modprobe/blacklist – take out modules that keep stepping on your toes

Some caveats here – be familiar with your hardware and modules.  Use lspci and lsmod.  Take your time and go slow, making one-change-at-a-time if you are unsure or uncomfortable.  Document what you do, so in the worst case, you can reboot into rescue mode and undo what ya done did.

Or you can be like me and gun it till you throw a rod.  ^______^

(Way more fun that way, IMHO).

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