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Sound does not work or volume too low on laptop system

This document (7002959) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11  (sled11)

One problem specifically associated with newer laptop systems using the Intel ICH9 chipset.


After the installation of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 the sound volume is very low or does not work at all.


Following are several steps you can take to try and get sound working correctly.  Test the sound after each step.

1.  Open a terminal window (right-click the desktop and select Open in Terminal) and run the following command:

amixer -Dhw set PCM 100%

This verifies that the PCM channel volume is up at 100%.  Test your sound again after running.

2.  Run YaST and under the Hardware group, select Sound.  At the bottom right of the resulting Sound Configuration screen there is a pull down selection labeled "Other".  Click on it and select Volume.

Verify that volume levels are up for all channels.  Use the"Test" button to see if it is working.  Click OK when done.

3.  For the default GNOME desktop, right-click the Volume icon in the Notification Area and select "Open Volume Control".  Verify that all volume levels are up for all channels for Playback and Output Devices (tabs at the top).  Also while in those tabs be sure to display All Streams and All Output Devices using the pull-down selection at the bottom right.  Test sound when done.

4.  Sometimes the configuration for the sound card can become damaged.  To reset the configuration open YaST and under the Hardware group select Sound.

In the resulting Sound Configuration screen, highlight the current card listed and click the "Delete" button near the bottom and OK the warning.  The card will change to a "Not Configured" state.

With the unconfigured card highlighted select the "Edit" button near the bottom and select "Quick Automatic Setup" from the following screen then click Next and then OK on the final screen.

Test sound again after processing is complete.

5.  For systems with the ICH9 chipset there is a program problem that may be causing your trouble.  To verify and work around the problem take the following steps (If you're not sure about the chipset your system is using you can try this fix anyway, it will not hurt your system):

Open a terminal window and become the root user by entering the"su" command (if you are not already root).

Edit the file "/etc/modprobe.d/sound" with whatever editor you are familiar with.  With the default installation you can use the gedit graphic text editor.  Just enter the command:

gedit /etc/modprobe.d/sound

The contents (only a few lines) of the sound file should be displayed in the editor.  Add the following line to the bottom:

options snd-hda-intel model=laptop

Save the file and then reboot the system.  Test the sound again after boot up.

***Note***  This code problem has been identified and corrected.  It is scheduled to be included in a kernel update provided through the update service.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7002959
  • Creation Date: 10-Apr-2009
  • Modified Date:18-Oct-2022
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

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