I left Linux Mint to try elementary OS since I was having problems with sound not working. Unfortunately, it appears to be a universal Ubuntu problem.

Sometimes when I boot into elementary OS, there is sound for media, system sound etc., but most times, after I boot, there are no sounds at all.

If I use the Pulse Audio Volume meter, the VU bars move and indicate that sound is being processed but just not being passed to the speakers.

In the sound settings GUI, the volume is up and not muted and the soundcard is detected and selected as "Speakers Built-In Audio", but when I test the speakers, there is no sound, no media sound and no system sounds. Headphones work fine

I have confirmed that the speakers and soundcard work consistently well on Windows 7.

I have followed several Ubuntu guides to try and fix this now common error, but to no avail.

I am running a Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad X201.

Is there a script I can run at startup to kick the audio into life? Or maybe I need a propriety driver?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Have noticed that when the speakers stop working, there is still sound if I plug headphones in.
    – VeganPete
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 10:40

1 Answer 1


I have found a workaround (sound still drops out every so often)...

1- I installed "Pulse Audio Device Chooser" and "Pulse Audio Volume Control".

2- I ran "Pulse Audio Volume Control" and my sound started working and has worked ever since, even after several re-boots.

and then followed this guide...


Sound still drops out again if I close my laptop lid (logged out) and usually works again after reboot, so as a workaround I changed the action for when the lid is closed (from default: suspend, to ignore) by using the following...

sudo nano /etc/systemd/logind.conf

find line "#HandleLidSwitch=suspend" Replace line with "HandleLidSwitch=ignore"

finaly, restart service: sudo restart systemd-logind


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