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New to Ubuntu with audio issues

By cliffordcooley ยท 11 replies
Jul 7, 2014
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  1. I've installed Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit, and very new to Linux. My sound worked initially. But when trying to install new drivers from Realtek, for some reason my sound has not worked since. I don't even know how that is possible, because all I did was download a package that appeared to need compiling before I could execute the installer.

    Regardless of what cause the failure, I need help in getting my sound back. I've installed Steam and one game(Portal) to see how it functions as well as streaming games. Portal ran without issues other than not having sound. I knew I had sound so checked back with online vids where I had sound. So somewhere along the way my sound drivers quit working.

    I'm also having other issues:
    • I can't get flash installed on Ubuntu 64-bit. Is there another software I should install instead of Adobe?
    • Do all downloads require compiling before they can be executed? I've never compiled a project before, so this is all new and confusing to me. But I can learn, I just need to know if it is necessary first.
    Am I wasting my time with Ubuntu? Should I consider another distribution instead?
  2. Siavash

    Siavash TS Booster Posts: 47   +21

    Linux almost detects all audio devices, and they receive updates on new Linux kernel releases, so there is no need to manually download and install them. Always install drivers (specially video drivers) from distro provided package manager and software repositories, vendor provided installers will usually break your machine. In other words, don't install anything manually.

    You will probably need to have fresh install again. It's hard to tell where is the issue and what has went wrong.

    It's probably an issue with sound backend, related issue: No sound in certain games when started from Steam.
    If it's still not working try opening a new issue in that bug tracker.

    Unlike Windows you don't need to download and install (popular) applications manually in Linux. Every Linux distribution provides a package manager which job is to automatically download, install and keep core system and all of your applications up to date. Here is a quick and easy guide for Ubuntu: How to Install Software in Ubuntu

    Not really, Ubuntu is the official distribution supported by Valve. However it (steam) works fine on other distributions too.

    Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) is popular as the most beginner friendly distribution which just works. I suggest you to get a copy, create a live USB and see if you like it or not :)
    MirekFe and cliffordcooley like this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Topic Starter Posts: 10,782   +4,591

    Thank you, I did not realize that was how it worked. I think I did use the download manager with the sound drivers from Realtek. Then I thought I needed to execute the driver myself.

    I've heard good things about Linux Mint, I will keep it in my mind as I venture though more distributions. I wanted to start with Ubuntu first, as I heard it was a good starting place.

    Once again thanks for your help.
    Siavash likes this.
  4. Siavash

    Siavash TS Booster Posts: 47   +21

    You are welcome. For the first few weeks it was confusing for me too, then I realized how much easy to use it is ;)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Topic Starter Posts: 10,782   +4,591

    I did find the issue with the sound, it was for some reason configured for SPDIF connection. I don't know why it switched to a digital port. Once I found my way to that option, I noticed it right off.

    Video's are very erratic and hard to watch, but I won't let that hamper my enthusiasm in trying Linux further.
    Siavash likes this.
  6. Siavash

    Siavash TS Booster Posts: 47   +21

    May I know about your hardware specs? (CPU, GPU and amount of RAM)
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Topic Starter Posts: 10,782   +4,591

    This machine is configured with the following:
    • MSI P67A-G45 (This was originally the motherboard in my Windows machine. I thought it was damaged and causing my system to freeze. Turns out it was the PNY memory listed below.)
    • Intel Pentium G630 (bought just to get the system functioning)
    • PNY XLR8 DDR3-1600 1x4GB (I think the other stick is now bad, but they both were causing my Windows machine to freeze. I'm using the one stick for now while I venture into Linux.)
    • EVGA GTS-450 FPB (Another items replaced while troubleshooting the freezing issue I had)
    • Corsair 600CXV2 (Believe it or not I had one go out and bought a replacement before I found out I could RMA the bad one. So the RMA ended up on the shelf not being used.)
    • Seagate 250GB
    • Rosewill RNX-EasyN1 Wireless-N
    The CPU is cheap because I wasn't wanting to spend a whole lot at the moment. And I had all the other parts sitting on a shelf just wishing to be in another machine. I also current have two Acer 20" monitor's connected. And I'm quite pleased with how easy they are to work with.

    Watching videos on Steam/Youtube is very unpleasant. But that is mainly because of buffering issues. If the videos would fully buffer they might play correctly. But as it is they don't want to play at all while buffering. They seem to stop buffering, if I pause them. And for some reason Steam doesn't display the videos in full-screen. They will only enlarge to use the full-window.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  8. Siavash

    Siavash TS Booster Posts: 47   +21

    Your current setup is more than enough to play games and HD videos smoothly. If you aren't facing same problem on Windows, I suspect there is video drivers missing (BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia) or something else isn't configured yet.

    Unfortunately I don't have a similar setup (ArchLinux on Core2 Quad Q9550 + RadeonHD 4890) so I can't help any further :( I suggest discussing your issue in gaming or multimedia section of Ubuntu support forum.

    Good luck!
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Topic Starter Posts: 10,782   +4,591

    I don't have the same problem on Windows. The freezing issue (which I no longer have) was the whole system locking and forcing a complete reboot to get it going again. The Linux issue is currently what I would call buffering problems. That and the fact that I keep getting a Flash installation popup on webpages but when I click to install, the browser doesn't find anything that will help. I also failed at manually finding a Flash installation that would work.

    You are probably correct about me needing to ask a dedicated Linux community.
  10. Siavash

    Siavash TS Booster Posts: 47   +21

    I guess Flash Player isn't installed correctly and FireFox falls back to some HTML5 video alternative.

    You need to follow these steps to install Flash player correctly: How to Install Flash Player on Ubuntu

    Also check FireFox addon/plugin section to see if Flash plugin shows up there and is enabled.

    By the way, I don't have Flash installed and new FireFox 30 is able to play h.264 videos through gst-libav and gst-plugins-good (needs to be installed separately).
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Topic Starter Posts: 10,782   +4,591

    Damn that was so easy. Flash is now installed.

    Thank you for taking me through Linux Elementary School. :)

    Now that the ice has been broken, maybe it will be easier for me to follow some of the tutorials.
    Siavash likes this.
  12. MirekFe

    MirekFe TS Booster Posts: 91   +39

    I know that this is an old topic, however, I'd like to add that I know of a very user-friendly Linux distribution for beginners.

    If you are a Windows user who wants to transition into Linux, then I recommend Zorin OS.
    holdum323 likes this.

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