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

Boot Error: Gave up waiting for root device

So today my computer threw this really strange error when I was booting it up.  Still don’t know what caused it but you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m backing up that hard disk now that I recovered it.  While I was booting up I was confronted with the following error:

Gave up waiting for root device

I’d never seen this before and the screen looked like this (though this isn’t my image):


I booted to a live cd and found that my root file system (sda2) wouldn’t mount, nor could it be repaired by gparted.  After a lot of trial and error with other solutions, I gave fsck a try (with a little help from here) and it worked like a charm.  Below is what I did:

  1. entered sudo fsck /dev/sda2/
  2. This scanned my disk and immediately reported that there were problems.  It asked if I wanted to fix them.
  3. I entered y to signify that it should do so
  4. fsck came up with well over 100 block count errors, asking me each time if I wanted to fix it.  I kept entering y and finally threw caution to the wind and held the key down until it finished.
  5. I restarted and it worked.

Of course this isn’t guaranteed to fix everyone’s issue but if you’re out of ideas, give it a try.  I’m sure glad that I did!

Boot Error: Gave up waiting for root device

How to check the health of one’s Hard Disk On Ubuntu

So if your hard disk health is of concern, here’s a quick way to figure out if there’s an issue.  I will assume (in this case) that the computer has no operating system, but the utility can be used even if it does.  Below is a step-by-step tutorial on how to test the health of your hard disk using an ubuntu live cd.

Here are the steps:

  1. Boot from your live cd.
  2. Now when you’re at your desktop you’ll want to bring up the terminal (see figure below).  Disk help
  3. Now with your terminal open you’ll need to install the disk utility we’ll be using.  So in the terminal, type:

    sudo apt-get install smartmontools


  4. It’ll throw up a whole bunch of crazy computer stuff.  It’ll likely ask you if you want to install it (and a whole bunch of other packages) type y and hit enter.  See below:install smartmontools
  5. Very good, now let’s check to make sure your hard drive is coherent and uses S.M.A.R.T..  SMART stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology and basically stores info about your hard drive’s performance.  To make sure your hard drive is using it (it almost certainly is) go ahead and type:

    sudo smartctl -i /dev/sda

    Smart/dev/sda is the path to what is likely your primary hard disk.  This isn’t always the case, especially if you have multiple drives which could be sdb sdc or something else.  For those in that situation, I feel safe assuming that you know which one you’re after.

    1. If it’s available and enabled, you’re good to go.
    2. If it’s available but not enabled type

      sudo smartctl -s on /dev/sda

      and carry on.

    3. If it’s not available and therefore not enabled, this tutorial won’t be of much help to you.
  6. Now, time to test do a long test.  Place the computer somewhere where it won’t be disturbed and type:

    sudo smartctl -t long /dev/sda 

    The result will look something like below, wherein it will give you the amount of time it will take to make it happen.long test

  7. After waiting for the recommended amount of time, come back and type:

    sudo smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

    and it wil give you the stats on its latest tests.  If those stats are blank, it just needs some more time.

That should give you all the info you need to determine if your drive is toast.

Good luck!

How to check the health of one’s Hard Disk On Ubuntu

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!

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

Fixing blue tint in youtube videos

Ever since some time in late March, my Youtube videos have been blue.  I put up with it, figuring that once I upgraded to Kubuntu 12.04 (which I did this evening), everything would be fixed.  …nope.  So then I decided to use the Googler and figure out what to do.

Apparently it’s caused by a bug in the latest update for flash and Adobe is not being quick to correct it (we all know how long it took for them to acknowledge 64 bit computers).  But anyway, I did the following:

1)  I created a new adobe directory under etc

sudo mkdir /etc/adobe

2)  I then modified the Flash configuration by the following line of code that I blindly pasted into my terminal because the internetz told me to.  (I figured if it turned out we don’t want nOverrideGPUValidation, whetever the hell that is, to be true we could just delete the directory and hope everything goes back to normal)

echo -e "EnableLinuxHWVideoDecode=1\nOverrideGPUValidation=true" | sudo tee /etc/adobe/mms.cfg > /dev/null

Anyway, much to my delight, it worked.  Here’s the source of the info: http://askubuntu.com/questions/117127/flash-video-appears-blue

Fixing blue tint in youtube videos

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