I have had a hate-hate relationship with PulseAudio on Ubuntu/Kubuntu over the last few months. Today I finally got fed up with a problem I was having and out of frustration just asked Google “why is pulse audio so stupid.” Without it being a serious inquiry I eventually made my way to a debugging page at the Ubuntu wiki that helped me out.
Here is what it had me do. Enter this command in a terminal window:
sudo fuser -v /dev/dsp* /dev/snd/* /dev/seq*
Anything other than “pulseaudio” appearing in the right column is the problem. Use the killall command to kill those other items. I ended up issuing a:
After that my sound started working as expected. I will now have to figure out how to keep kmix from starting at boot each time, but I at least know how to solve the problem quickly when it does come up.
If you are an Ubuntu (or variants) user it appears that PulseAudio is here to stay. I have read why it is supposed to be better, but don’t understand it or really care. I will let smarter people than me argue the finer points of sound servers. I just want the thing to work.