Sound Solutions on Ubuntu system

I had great chance to visit when I tried to finger out the sound solution of Ubuntu system because the sound is not really good enough compared to listen in Windows OS. The threat is very great, you can see here. And now they update some information for Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 here.
This post I will try to show step by step the way to make your sound to be great.

Install the needed packages

The first is to install the necessary packages with Synaptic because these packages are not installed by default when you install Ubuntu, but they are very important to make the great sound. It can be done by searching the package name in Synaptic or using command in Terminal: sudo apt-get install package_name

Name Meaning
asoundconf-gtk This is a little Default Sound Card application for Choosing the default sound card for Alsa.
gnome-alsamixer This is a gui mixer, far easier to use than the command line alsamixer.
Alsa-OSS This is the wrapper for OSS applications so they will use Alsa instead of grabbing the sound card all for themselves
These are the plugins for Alsa
padevchooser This is the Pulse Audio device chooser and will pull in the pavucontrol which is the Pulse Audio Volume Control and papref which is the Pulse Audio Preferences along with the Pulse Audio Volume meters.
gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio This is the GStreamer plugin for pulseaudio
Ubuntu-restricted-extras This is the package with all the restricted codecs and java and flashplayer so you can watch youtube and play your mp3s, etc. ..
asoundconf-gtk This is a little Default Sound Card application for Choosing the default sound card for Alsa.

If you use other applications like mplayer, vlc, amarok or audacious should install additional packages named link between the package and the application (usually the type of plugin).

Setup your system

Go to menu System/Preferences/Sound and change all to PulseAudio Sound Server except Default Mixer Tracks to be as default:


Go to  System/Preferences/Default Sound Card and choose PulseAudio


Righ click on the sound icon at the top right of your desktop named  Panel Volume Control and choose Open Volume Control and click on Preferences and choose the things you want except SPDIF or IEC958. You also make sure that all controls work well by moving the slides to avoid to leave them in mute mode.


Go to Applications/Sound & Video and choose Pulse Audio Device Chooser. Left mouse click on that icon and choose Volume control and try to play 1 song, at the tab named Playback, you can see somethings are running. In my case, I am playing 1 song in Firefox.


If you have more than one output sound devices, you can enable all of theme by left click on PulseAudio Applet, and choose Configure Local Sound Server/Simulataneous Output, then choose Add virtual output device for simutaneous output on all local sound cards:


The last step you have to do is to check in System/Administration/Users and Groups that your users and root are enabled as members of the following groups:

  • pulse
  • pulse-access
  • pulse-rt

Now you can enjoy your life with your favorite song 🙂

Note: It is all things I have done with the old Ubuntu 8.10 but it still works well with my Ubuntu 9.04 system, and now having some new information :

The sound scheme in Jaunty has some important changes that you need to be aware of. Alsa 1.0.18 and Pulseaudio 0.9.14 are implemented in Jaunty. The new ALSA provides more support and greater functionality for more sound devices than previous versions. Pulseaudio 0.9.14 does some of the same on the sound server side.

I will update this post if it have somethings new. If you have some troubles with your sound system, please make sure that you have done step by step or have a look at the mentioned threats: this one or this one.

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