When using various Linux Distributions, you may (or may not) run into some issues with audio devices. See some of the configs, logs, and commands below for helpful output in troubleshooting these issues.
GUI Tools / Applications
If looking for a GUI Tool to select or view output / input audio devices, check out
sudo pacman -Syu pavucontrol pavucontrol
will install and open the application, which provides a simple interface for selecting audio devices, and even provides application-level audio control, which enables you to easily specify the devices for individual applications instead of forcing a system-wide audio setting for all running apps.
Sound Card / Devices
Search for all connected audio cards, and output the result.
aplay -L | grep :CARD
List all connected PCI devices (Sound cards are a PCI device)
Audible Sound Test
The command below will send static to each speaker connected to the device, sequentially, one at a time. Running this will continually test all speakers on a loop, until the user exits with
speaker-test -D default:PCH -c 8
The output from the above test will look similar to the below, depending on your system and devices.
-D argument specifies the audio device you want to test. This is useful when not entirely sure which device is valid, you can test quickly with this cmd and make changes later in
alsamixer or another config tool with the results of your findings.
-c argument specifies the number of audio channels you want to test, for my setup I only have a front left and right speaker, so 2 will suffice. If I had a surround sound with Left / Right speakers in the back and an additional center speaker, we would test over 5 channels.
[kapper@kapper-pc ~]$ speaker-test -D default:PCH -c 2 speaker-test 1.1.9 Playback device is default:PCH Stream parameters are 48000Hz, S16_LE, 2 channels Using 16 octaves of pink noise Rate set to 48000Hz (requested 48000Hz) Buffer size range from 2048 to 16384 Period size range from 1024 to 1024 Using max buffer size 16384 Periods = 4 was set period_size = 1024 was set buffer_size = 16384 0 - Front Left 1 - Front Right Time per period = 5.648263 0 - Front Left 1 - Front Right Time per period = 5.973649 0 - Front Left ^CWrite error: -4,Interrupted system call xrun_recovery failed: -4,Interrupted system call Transfer failed: Interrupted system call
Sound Mixer / Settings
To open alsa mixer, run the below and use the
F6 key to ensure the proper device is selected. This tool can also be used to change volume levels, be careful messing with settings you are unfamiliar with, you could easily blow a speaker. At the least, connect a cheaper pair.
To check device audio settings / levels via CMD -
amixer to list devices and settings
amixer sset Master unmute to mute the Master device. Master can be changed to any valid device name given from the output of
Also, see Advanced Linux Sound Architecture for more information on various documented issues encountered.