No sound in Kubuntu 11.04

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Sun May 22 23:10:51 BST 2011

Marcelo Magno T. Sales posted on Sun, 22 May 2011 13:42:25 -0300 as

> Every time I boot my VAIO VPCF111FB, the sound starts working ok in KDE.
> After some time it is running (sometimes hours, sometimes days), audio
> stops working in KDE. KDE notifications don't produce any sound and KDE
> applications do not either.

> Also, when I go to SystemSettings -> Multimedia after the sound stops
> working, I get a messaging informing that KDE has detected that one or
> more internal sound devices were removed (?!)

"Disappearing" sound devices is a somewhat common problem with the phonon-
xine backend. I had it here, and I've seen others posting similar issues.

Check the phonon settings in kcontrol (systemsettings, it's not 
systemsettings for the most part but user-specific kde settings, so I 
continue to use the more accurate kde3 term), and if it's set to the 
phonon-xine backend, try a different one, perhaps phonon-vlc (which you 
might have to install, first).

Switching to the phonon-vlc backend here completely solved my problem, and 
at least one other person reported that it did for them too, after I 
recommended that they try it.  (OTOH, it didn't seem to help for someone 
else.  Maybe they had other problems too.)

FWIW, for some months (I'm not doing so currently as it took too much 
time) I was following the kde-planet sindicated feed, and during that 
time, probably about a year ago, one of the phonon authors posted an 
article to his blog saying that while phonon-xine was the earliest stable 
backend and thus has been the default on many distributions, xine turned 
out not to be as flexible as they needed, so that backend was deprecated 
and not getting a lot of new work done to it.  He recommended the vlc 
backend as the one then taking the lead.

FWIW, there's also phonon-gstreamer, which might be most compatible with a
gnome-based distro, and may be some others as well.  But the xine backend 
seems to be the most common, despite its issues, probably because it was 
the first usably stable backend, and the vlc backend is the one that blog 
recommended people switch to in the future, and the one that cured the 
"disappearing device" issues the xine backend was giving me.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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