Fix No Sound (Dummy Output) Issue In Ubuntu With SND HDA Intel

Ubuntu Sound Settings

After setting up a new computer with Ubuntu 18.04, I noticed there's no sound coming out (from speakers, headphones or HDMI). Looking in the Sound settings (from Gnome Settings), I noticed there's only a Dummy Output as a sound output device.

The first thing I did was to look for solutions online, like this one, but none worked (though that solution may work for you so give it a try). Then I remembered that a while back I managed to fix the sound for my old desktop (which was upgraded to newer Ubuntu versions instead of a clean install), so I tried that solution and... it worked!

Here is what I did to get the sound to work in Ubuntu 18.04 - hopefully this will work for some of you as well.

I should also mention that my computer uses the snd_hda_intel kernel module (Realtek ALC892 codec). I'll explain how to check if you're running this as well, below (step 0).

I only had to use this fix in Ubuntu, but I assume it works in other Linux distributions too. At least, it should also solve similar issues in Linux Mint, elementary OS and probably Debian as well (but it should apply to many other Linux distributions though I can't test that).

Fixing the no sound issue in Ubuntu 18.04 (Dummy Output)

0. This no sound in Ubuntu fix works if your computer is using the snd_hda_intel kernel module. So before attempting to apply this fix, check out to see if the snd_hda_intel kernel module is in use. For this you can run:

lsmod | grep snd_hda_intel

Which should display at least one snd_hda_intel entry. Here's the output from my computer:

$ lsmod | grep snd_hda_intel
snd_hda_intel          40960  8
snd_hda_codec         126976  4 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_hda_core           81920  5 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_hda_codec_realtek
snd_pcm                98304  4 snd_hda_intel,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_core,snd_hda_codec_hdmi
snd                    81920  27 snd_hda_intel,snd_hwdep,snd_seq,snd_hda_codec,snd_timer,snd_rawmidi,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec_generic,snd_seq_device,snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_pcm

You can also run:

lspci -nnk | grep -A2 Audio

Which should display the audio devices along with the kernel module / driver in use. This is the output from my system:

$ lspci -nnk | grep -A2 Audio
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller [8086:1c20] (rev 05)
Subsystem: Dell 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller [1028:04a7]
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel

1. If you do get snd_hda_intel in the output of the above commands, and you get no sound (and only a Dummy Output) in Ubuntu, here's what you can try to fix it. You need to add options snd-hda-intel model=generic at the end of the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file. Do not modify anything else in this file!

You can add options snd-hda-intel model=generic at the end of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf by running this command:

echo "options snd-hda-intel model=generic" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

Only run this command once because it adds this line each time you run it! If you want to modify it, open /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf as root with a text editor.

2. After this, reboot your system. Hopefully your sound now works in Ubuntu and you no longer get only a Dummy Output device in System Settings > Sound.

If you continue to get no sound output and still only see the Dummy Output in System Settings, you can try to set the model to auto instead of generic, so edit the /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf file with a text editor (as root) and change that. You can find a list of other models you can try depending on your computer hardware here.


  1. Now I know why people use legit OS systems like Mac & Windows, because they don't want to waste their time fixing a driver issue just because a new library update will break it or simply the mainboard doesn't support such.

    I just installed a whole fresh copy of Ubuntu 18.04 and still facing this issue. I miss my old Mac already.

    1. This complaint is nonsense, especially statement about "legit" systems. Mac, they simply drop support for anything older than a few years old. Windows also has newer versions of Windows dropping support for older hardware, recent but non-current Windows versions never receiving drivers for newer hardware and so on. The view of Windows having support for all hardware is a straight-up fantasy, kind of combining the driver support of every version from Windows 98 to present and ignoring the problems people have.

      That said, I'm having the same audio problem on upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04, and I must admit it's pretty dumb to have a driver (in my case snd-hda-intel) on the system, the driver ID's itself for my hardware (by matching PCI ID), but it doesn't autoload. No idea what broke, but I set it to load manually by putting "/sbin/modprobe snd-hda-intel" into my /etc/rc.local

    2. Linux does take sometime to get used to, but after gaining some competency, it works great !( I deal with Windows, Mac, Linux at the same time ) anyway Linux is not for the average user .
      btw, the fix works for me ! ubuntu 18.04 running dell optiplex 7040

    3. I agree. My time is more expensive than a licence of Windows. I will switch back with a new notebook. BTW this fix doesn't work for me.

  2. Mine does not show any drivers at all.
    From the second command "lspci ...", I get this
    lspci: Unable to load libkmod resources: error -12
    00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller [8086:1e20] (rev 04)
    Subsystem: Lenovo 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller [17aa:21f6]
    00:1c.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 [8086:1e10] (rev c4)
    Kernel driver in use: pcieport

  3. This resolved the issue for my Debian 9 laptop!

  4. Hi, I tried this and now it went from Dummy output only to HDMI/DisplayPort Built-in Audio.
    Needless to say there is no hdmi attached but it did stop working after I used the hdmi 2 days ago.

    1. Hi, any luck? this is exactly what happened to me too, I used the HDMI a few days ago and it stopped working, I reinstalled ubuntu and just the dummy shows up, I changed the alsa-base.conf and it only shows hdmi, even though there is no hdmi attached.

  5. You need not restart the system. We can just restart audio using
    pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload

  6. I've been following this thread since updating to Ubuntu 18.04 in July 2018. No luck with the above interventions. Missing the sound on my Lenovo desktop.

  7. You are life saver. I did not notice I did not have sound on my NUC after upgrading to Ubuntu 18.04. Very, very nicely done.

    For whomever still has issues, the solution is to add the driver in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf. Just try to see if the kernel detects any sound device and if there are any kernel drivers loaded. Then you can apply a similar fix to the one described here for the Intel HDA Audio device.

  8. hi!Thank you for solving this problem, but for me, the problem is half solved because if I plug in my headphones doesn't work...any solution for that?

  9. Seemed to work for me but only after I tried it for the second time. Went through just about every article I could find on Google to solve the dummy output issue on ubuntu 18.04. My issues seemed to come from installing the most recent Nvidia GPU drivers. I have a GTX 960 and when I tried to use something other than nouveau it completely shut my audio out and no solutions would work what so ever... Was about to give up on Linux but then I looked at windows again... Naaaaahhhhhh... Just wanted to leave this on here for anyone who might have just installed GPU drivers and are encountering this. I purged them and rebooted then followed this article, solved. Thank god... 6 hours later I can listen to music again xD

  10. This worked for me on a dell inspiron 15 5100
    Thank you very much
    Webale nyo (in Luganda)

  11. In my case timidity was grabbing the audio interface.
    After killing timidity the interface appeared.

    This can be checked by

    lsof | grep snd/pcm

  12. Having the same issue with a Motherboard Biostar N3050NH
    Both lsmod and and lspci detect the Intel High Defition Audio Controller, applying the fix here described does not solve the issue
    Let me know if you know how can I troubleshoot... what logs to check?

  13. Thank you for this solution. I upgraded from 16.04 to 18.04 and had this issue. Very helpful!