Sound Problems… Config?

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The www has failed me with this, so I’m trying you guys. Sound worked great out of the box when I installed 7.2… Yay! I could watch all kinds of videos, like on facebook and youtube. And I could listen to most podcasts too. But then something happened. It was either a kernel upgrade or that I installed vlc (for watching videos on DVD) and the whole stack of codecs for it… I don’t know exactly when, but at some point I no longer had sound with youtube and other web videos. The videos played fine, just no sound. Note that using vlc, both video and the audio with it play just fine. I need to select the audio driver
(from a list in a vlc menu), however, else the sound won’t work in vlc either.

If I go into the Applications menu, then System Tools -> Settings ->
Sound, under “Choose a device for sound output:” there are no devices listed. There used to be.

If I run “aplayer file.wav”, nothing plays (no sound at all) and I get the error “main:786: audio open error: No such file or directory”. If, on the other hand, I run “aplay file.wav -D plughw:0” (i.e., specify the/a device), I do get sound, the file does play.

I ran and it posted tons of info from it on my setup at Yet it still doesn’t tell me what’s missing.

Anyone here have an idea…? or thoughts about where to look next?

tia, ken

6 thoughts on - Sound Problems… Config?

  • I have similar issue with USB headphones. Worked fine in 7.2 but in 7.3
    I frequently have to unplug and plug them back in before it finally is able to be selected from the menus as my output.

    Once it is selected, it stays selected until next reboot.

  • I notice that you have an HDA-Intel. I do as well. By any chance is the last kernel that worked reliably with sound is kernel-3.10.0-229.20.1.el7.x86_64. I find that with kernels newer than kernel-3.10.0-229.20.1.el7.x86_64 the sound card works, but the internal speaker is disabled, but I can plug in headphones and get sound that way. If I boot into kernel-3.10.0-229.20.1.el7.x86_64 with no other modifications to my system, my sound works fine.


  • Alice,

    Thanks for your reply. I believe you and I are looking at two separate problems. My system is capable of switching between the onboard speakers and the headphones with no problem at all (when the sound is working at all). That is, when there’s sound out of the onboards, I can plug in the headphones and sound instantly comes out of them, and vice versa… even in the middle of one and the same video.

    In your case the problem may have more to do with USB. USB is notoriously slow… at least it used to be. This is due to timing, i.e., after loading the USB sub-system, the system has to query the USB
    device to find out what it is (e.g., mouse, joystick, headphones, touchpad, etc.) and there are a bazillion different kinds of USB
    devices… a long list of things to query. Not only that, but a single query takes time: the system has to give the device time to respond– it used to be a second or two. And there are ever more USB devices.
    Maybe too your headphones are near the bottom of the long list of USB

    I don’t know that this is your situation. It could be something else (a half dozen other hang-ups). But you might want to test by plugging in your USB headphones and then leaving the plug in, waiting a couple minutes to see if they start to work.

    Alice, could you please post the output of these three commands (for comparison purposes):

    uname -r ps -ef|grep -i alsa aplayer -L


  • Hey, Barry,

    Thanks for the reply. Frankly I have no idea at all the last kernel version in which audio from non-DVD sources worked properly. But the sound for me, where it has worked, has always worked both from the onboard speakers and from the headphones… and I could easily switch back and forth, playing from the speakers, then plug in headphones and play from them… and back again. So your situation and mine are different… which isn’t necessarily to say that a problem can’t manifest itself in slightly different ways. I’m just saying that I’m not convinced the problem I have is/was caused by a kernel change. In any event, I wouldn’t want to go back to an old kernel version. There were some major security patches in the more recent kernels and I
    wouldn’t want to introduce those vulnerabilities back into my system. I
    think I’d rather go without the system’s sound.

    Thanks++, ken

  • [alice@localhost ~]$ uname -r
    [alice@localhost ~]$ ps -ef |grep -i alsa root 858 1 0 Feb27 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/alsactl -s -n
    19 -c -E ALSA_CONFIG_PATH=/etc/alsa/alsactl.conf
    –initfile=/lib/alsa/init/00main rdaemon alice 29238 29155 0 09:03 pts/19 00:00:00 grep –color=auto -i alsa
    [alice@localhost ~]$ aplayer -L
    bash: aplayer: command not found…
    [alice@localhost ~]$


    Intel xeon on supermicro board

    No onboard sound but unfortunately the video card has Intel HD audio associated with the HDMI out that for some reason the system always defaults to after boot even though there is no audio out on the video card (nvidia card) other than the HDMI which I only use for video.

    I had blacklisted the Intel HD and that worked under CentOS 7.2 but I
    couldn’t USB audio to work in 7.3 until I removed the blacklisted Intel HD driver, but I’m not sure if that was cause and effect or coincidence.

    I really wish USB sound would “just work” and that the sound preferences would remember I prefer USB after a reboot. Linux use to be better about that sort of thing.

  • It looks like either you need to do a kernel upgrade or you haven’t rebooted since the most recent. I have 3.10.0-514.10.2.el7.x86_64.

    This is the same as what I have. So the same command is fired up to run alsa. I looked at the two files (both text files) and they’re both, to me, inscrutable. The second one, is actually a program, code which programmatically configures alsactl. The programming language it uses is fairly normal and simple, but even with that, with all the variables and other files it uses and various operations it invokes, and then all the knowledge of internals of audio and the sound card it entails, it would take quite a bit of study to get a grip on it. Getting some human help there or a good doc or two (in addition to its man page) might even make it possible to fathom… :) then possibly happen onto the fix.

    Sorry, Alice. I shouldn’t have trusted memory. The actual command is
    “aplay -L”.


    Your system doesn’t have a plug (typically a three- or four-connector
    (sub)mini-D) for analog sound?

    Well, it can’t remember what it can’t do properly in the first place.
    Have you compared lsmod output prior to plugging into USB to lsmod output when plugged in and functioning properly?