TIP: Linux Mint 13 Sound Problems – Fixed

For some odd reason the sound does not always work properly on Linux Mint 13 XFCE. In my case it worked for a few weeks then stopped. It turns out this is not so much a bug but a settings issue which can be fixed quite easily. Also before going further please check that you have not muted your audio settings.

  1. Go to software manager and download “Pulse Audio Volume Control”
  2. Open it from Menu->Settings or type “pavucontol” into the command line
  3. Click on the “playback” tab and check it is at 100%; this may be higher than needed but atleast makes sure you have volume coming out.
  4. Go to the “configuration”. You should see two tabs set to profile.
  5. Set the top  “built in audio” profile to “off”
  6. Set the lower one to “Analogue Stereo Output”
  7. Close the pulse audio volume control. You should now have sound.
  8. You may need to restart the computer if you do not yet have audio.

It is always worth checking that your computer has not set your sound output to HDMI, this can happen after you have used an HDMI monitor. Therefore always check the sound settings which you can find by clicking on the sound icon. If your sound has changed back to HDMI then you may need to go through the steps above again.

Thanks to those on the various forums where I saw similar tips to this one. Also if you find this tip also works for other versions of Linux please leave a comment below so that other users can benefit.




About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He has a passing interest in economics after not being entirely convinced by the rubbish presented as fact during lectures on that particular subject while at uni.
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17 Responses to TIP: Linux Mint 13 Sound Problems – Fixed

  1. Alistair says:

    Hi Rod, thanks for the simple and concise audio fix you made available. I’m from South Africa and am new to linux distro’s, so your step-by-step guide really did the trick for me.

  2. Alistair says:

    HI Rod, I have the same problem in Backtrack 5r3 but the above fix did not work, do have any other tips?
    Thanks in advance.

  3. rodmc says:

    Hi Alistair, thanks for your posts. I have not tried backtrack so am not sure, if I get a chance to try it on pen drive in the next week or so I’ll see what I can do.

  4. Ben R says:

    I recently switched from Windows to Mint and I couldn’t get any sound, and every single fix I could find in Google pointed to a “Sound Preferences Hardware Profile” window, but not a single passing mention of the command to get there. pavucontrol is what I required to fix this issue, and I could have saved three hours of grief if this result would have turned up a lot higher in the search.

  5. rodmc says:

    Hi Ben, thanks. Sadly I spent much more than three hours on this problem before I came across the above solution. I nearly got to the point of declaring Mint useless on my Netbook.

  6. Chi says:

    Still stumbling about w/ this netbook. Got it reconditioned, w/linux linpus lite on it. Nuts!
    Reloaded it w/peppermint. Better. But sound is problem: mic and speakers worked fine before, but not now.
    Had to bumble around to get speakers working even at all [heavy static]; still unable to get onboard microphone to show up or work.
    “Solutions” so far found, only made speakers worse, and do not do ANYTHING for the microphone issue.
    Please can anyone tell me how to fix this, before i give up and dump peppermint, which otherwise seems OK…?
    I have hard enuf time using a computer.
    Please email about this problem.

    • rodmc says:

      Hi, I would drop Linpus if I were you, I had it on an old Acer some years ago and it was not so good. As for static sounds etc, what version of Mint are you using? I only now get static for Skype login/logout sounds. Also you can sometimes get problems if the microphone balance and amplification is set incorrectly. Try reducing the level on one or both channels and seeing what happens when for example making a Skype test call.

      • Chi says:

        It started with Linpus Lite, which essentially functioned, but had some limitations than wanted.
        Skype got loaded on this, hoping to do video-calling, and Google-talk as well.
        Yep–more static.
        Only managed to get speakers back to working; tonite w/ no static, after playing with pulse audio again.
        Both channels on what section?
        Anything on that w/ volume control, is set to 100 as directed…otherwise, cannot hear anything from the speakers.
        Setting for “input devices” on pulse audio shows “no input devices”, but has a tiny drop-down menu to choose one of 5 options .

        • rodmc says:


          I am sorry to hear that the tip does not work. I have not tried Peppermint Linux so I am not quite sure of it’s strange ways. I would however recommend trying Linux Mint (one of the light versions) as they do tend to work well although the sound issues do come back from time to time. One thing that I have frequently encountered on Linux are the sound setting issues relating to input/output. For Skype in the past for example it seemed to amplify two channels for the microphone input even if you only had one channel (mono) as an input, this would cause the audio to either be non existent or of terrible quality. If possible check which settings you have for the input and then play around with the balance until you are able to hear yourself.

  7. Chi says:

    That fix above described, has not fixed anything.
    Microphone still not working..
    Never used HDMI, only built in monitor in this netbook.
    OTHER than “dump stupid netbook”, or “dump the Peppermint”
    How do I get the microphone, which worked fine before installing Peppermint, to get recognized by the Peppermint program?
    IS there some add-on program that would do it?

  8. Winnie says:

    I’m not sure why but this site is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the problem
    still exists.

    • Rod McCall says:

      My provider seems to be a bit slow these days plus there were some website improvements that needed to be done. I have reduced some files e.g. images etc but some I cannot change.

  9. Joo Izzy says:

    Oh My! Thanks so much. Work Perfect.
    5. Set the top “built in audio” profile to “off” <- it's took my Mint's sound back.

  10. Jan says:

    Thanks I am new to this system I figured out from your post what the problem was with my sound I had used a HDMI and that must have changed my settings. After your instructions I went into the settings and set the output just as you said thanks

  11. io witter says:

    As of LinuxMint 18 MATE on a desktop this is still a fix.
    From my first install of MATE the audio would stutter and crackle.
    Also the audio panel that opened from the task bar ALWAYS would visually stutter – that is, the “devices installed” would pick up and drop with the audio stutter.
    I did get the audio running for a time before it returned to what it had been – and way worse.
    The above has fixed all that.
    Thanks Rob.

  12. smib says:

    thanks as this fixed my problems with skype on mint 18.3 64bit

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