Kubuntu 16.04 GUI Audio Controls not working


I just upgraded to Kubuntu 16.04 beta and ran into a frustrating situation. My audio controls weren’t working; I tried my volume buttons, mute button and the little icon at the bottom (which happened to be highlighted in red).


When I went into Audio Volume Settings, all tabs had their own little version of “No _____ Detected”


So what to do?

After some troubleshooting with the fantastic help of “clivejo” in the #kubuntu freenode channel, it was finally determined that the settings that I carried over from my previous version of Kubuntu were causing the problem.  Here’s how I solved it:

  1. Remove directory ~/.config/.pulse/
  2. Remove directory ~/.configh/.kmixrc
  3. Do this for all user accounts that have been carried over (these configurations are user-specific)
  4. If the issue persists, reinstall pulseaudio: sudo apt-get install --reinstall pulseaudio

With these four steps, you should regain control over your life again (or at least your audio).


You may find that the above temporarily solves the problem but upon the next bootup, it’s the same issue all over again.  (That was the case with me.)  Apparently there was another file somewhere in ~/.config/ left over from 14.04 that was screwing everything up.  (Seemed it clashed with Plasma’s autologin and pulse audio got pinched in the middle.)  Anyway, I just removed ~/.config/ entirely and started fresh.  If that’s not an option for you, remove each file one by one and see which one’s the culprit.  I just didn’t have the patience for that.

Update part 2:

The files that were causing trouble in my ~/.config/ were:

  1. ~/.config/akonadi/agentsrc
  2. ~/.config/akonadi/akonadiconnectionrc
  3. ~/.config/akonadi/akonadiserverrc


Kubuntu 16.04 GUI Audio Controls not working

Editing KDE Desktop Themes

Today, I was looking to rebrand the KDE desktop with my own flair.  I read this very good tutorial at techbase.kde.org.  However, there were a few subtleties that I found it lacking with regard to editing the brand.svg file, as well as any other icon in a theme’s library.

A little background:

Theme data can be found in one of two key directories:

  1. /usr/share/kde4/apps/desktoptheme/
  2. ~/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme/

There are a couple other files that can be found here and there (for example, Ubuntu declares their own default branding for the Air theme in /usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde4-profile/default/share/apps/desktoptheme/) but most themes reside in one of those two directories above.

To create one’s own theme, I recommend finding something close to what you want to create in KDE’s theme library, then access its files in one of the directories above.  Virtually all of the theme’s graphics are contained in some sort of .svg file.

The tricky stuff:

The particular element that I wanted to edit is the little bit of branding in the upper right-hand corner of the application launcher menu as depicted below.  However this procedure applies to just about all aesthetic edits in the theme. androbit

Now the particular theme that I happened to be editing was called “Androbit.”  But this principle should work for all themes (maybe with some minor variation).

  1. To edit the icon, I navigated to the file /home/sam/.local/share/Trash/files/Androbit/widgets/branding.svg.  The file for this in pretty much all themes seems to be branding.svg or branding.svgz.
  2. An svg is a vector image.  The go-to open source tool to edit one of these is Inkscape.  Don’t open it in Gimp or alike because, while gimp can open vector graphics it will save them as bitmaps which is no good for what we’re doing.  So, open it in Inkscape.
  3. Once you’re in inkscape, you’ll need to grab some key info from the existing icon that’s necessary to properly insert your brand object into the theme.
    1. Select the item and right click on it and select “Object Properties”.ObjectProperties
    2. Within the “Object Properties” window, you will find two text strings: “Id” and “Label”.  Write down both strings; you’ll need them in a couple steps.ObjectPropertiesWindow
  4. Now, go ahead and delete the original bit of branding and put your own in its place.YourBranding
  5. Now, to make this text show up, we have to convert it to a path.  This step is a bit odd and I can’t tell if it’s a glitch with Inkscape or if it’s meant to be that way but in either case, here we go.  Note: if it’s just an image that you put in, you won’t need to do this step.
    1. Select the text object you just wrote in.Test
    2. Next, go up to path and select “Object to Path.” ToPath
    3. There, now the text will show up in the theme (only took me a couple hours to figure that out).
  6. Now, remember that text string from step 2?  Good, you’ll need them.  Right click on your new object and select “Object Properties.”  (Just like before)
  7. Then write in the two text strings for “Id” and “Label.”new object properties
  8. Now save the file and that’s it.  Your new branding should be in your application launcher menu.
Editing KDE Desktop Themes

Saving Package Markings TERMINAL STYLE!

Alright, so as a KDE user I don’t use synaptic.  Not that I wouldn’t want to it’s just… you know I use KDE so I guess I use…Muon?  Anyway Muon’s much better than the previous KDE software manager yet I still can’t get it to save my markings.  It’s always grayed out on the file menu and I can’t be bothered to figure out why.  SO what to do when I want  a fresh install?

I go command line on it:

dpkg --get-selections > ~/Desktop/packages

It’s consistent, fool proof and works with any distro.  …plus it’s command line and that always makes me feel smart…until I break something…hence the need for reinstalling the operating system.

Saving Package Markings TERMINAL STYLE!

File Dialogue crashes LibreOffice on saving

In my Kubuntu 12.04, every time I tried to save a libre office document for the first time or did a save-as (basically it seemed to be whenever the file dialogue would pop up.  The program would eat it without saving a damn thing after I either pressed “Save” or “Cancel.”  It did not however do so when I would save to an already created document (no file dialogue there).

Skip down to update to see an even better way.
Anyway, I didn’t exactly fix it but I did find a work-around.  I uninstalled the package “libreoffice-kde” and everything was all better.  Sure, the program doesn’t look quite as pretty but all the functionality is there, it’s stable and it works well.  Don’t know why it works but it did.  If it doesn’t cure your problems, it’s easy enough to reinstall with no hassle.
Update:  Some folks below brought it to my attention that there’s a more sophisticated (less neanderslobish) way to fix the issue.  Go to Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice -> General.  Then, look for the box next to “Use LibreOffice dialogues;” it’s most likely unchecked.  By checking it, I was able to keep libreoffice-kde and have the program work like a charm.  This was much better than running the software without the kde embelleshemnts…it just looked so…grey.  Thanks so much Alefa and “m.”
File Dialogue crashes LibreOffice on saving

Kubuntu 12.04 Sound issues

It always seems like when a new version of Ubuntu is released, one can shortly find a host of Google results “Ubuntu [x.xx] NO SOUND PLEASE HELP!!!!”  Indeed this seems to be one of the small costs of open source software.  Still, it’s annoying.

Upon reinstalling my copy of 12.04 this morning, I learned that I was to fall victim to “NO SOUND”  Vaguely remembering that I fixed this somehow back in May (but being absolutely clueless of how I managed to do it), I set to work doing the standard hap-hazard solutions.  I checked the phonon settings, did some sort of uninstall/reinstall of pulse audio; you know, going through the motions that often stumble upon the fix without any decent understanding or appreciation of the underlying situation.

As usual the “System Settings” was of no use in this (rarely is).  But then I stumbled upon “Select Master Channel” by right clicking on my sound icon in the system tray.  (Remember, haphazard without any deep understanding.)

Anyway, when I clicked on it, I got the following window:

In my case, the high def audio controller was checked but I needed the Built in Analog Sterio.

Solved everything.

Now I don’t like to critisize free, but Kubuntu’s treatment of audio (particularly) has always confused me.  On the one hand they have this great “System Settings” pannel but when I go into the multimedia settings and tell it to prefer my analog system, nothing happens.  When I right click on the speaker in the system tray and bring up a window that claims to be for the same purpose, it’s apparently a completely different system.  What circumstances in development could have lead to this situation?  Blah, either way, can’t argue with free and open though.

Kubuntu 12.04 Sound issues

Manual nvidia drivers install

So I ran into this problem after re-installing Kubuntu 10.04 (for reasons that I shall not go into ::rolls eyes::).  Anyway, having an Nvidia GeForce 8400GS, I figured I could use the standard autodetection that Ubuntu provides for proprietary graphics drivers (described here) but for some reason that was not the case, so I needed to go in manually.

  • First, using the terminal, I installed the latest nvidia drivers

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

  • Then, I restarted my computer and realized that my resolution was all wonky.  When I went into my “nvidia x server settings,” it told me that no such drivers were enabled.
  • so I followed the directions in the error message and ran the following command:

sudo nvidia-xconfig

  • Then I restarted my x server with the command 

sudo restart kdm

NOTE: the “kdm” is only because I’m running KDE.  If you’re running gnome it’s “gdm” and after 11.10 it’s “lightdm”

  • then everything worked fine!
Manual nvidia drivers install