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Posts Tagged ‘device’

If you’ve upgraded your Ubuntu system to 13.10 and found that you no longer have any sound, you may have noticed in your sound preferences you now only have an audio device called “Dummy Output“. And you can’t change the device to your actual sound card, as it is no longer there (in KDE’s sound preferences, it will probably be listed as a device, yet will be greyed out, meaning you can’t select it). The problem isn’t your sound card, or needing new drivers for it, but a problem with ALSA – and hopefully will be easily fixed with the info in this article.

First, you need to check that your sound card is recognised by running this command in a terminal:

sudo aplay -l

It will then list the devices it finds (in the case of the following output, it finds the built-in audio [which is disabled in the BIOS] as well as the actual sound card I use):

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC883 Analog [ALC883 Analog]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 1: ALC883 Digital [ALC883 Digital]
Subdevices: 1/1
Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: Audigy2 [SB Audigy 2 ZS [SB0360]], device 0: emu10k1 [ADC Capture/Standard PCM Playback]
card 1: Audigy2 [SB Audigy 2 ZS [SB0360]], device 2: emu10k1 efx [Multichannel Capture/PT Playback]
card 1: Audigy2 [SB Audigy 2 ZS [SB0360]], device 3: emu10k1 [Multichannel Playback]
card 1: Audigy2 [SB Audigy 2 ZS [SB0360]], device 4: p16v [p16v]

If you see something like that, then all should be well, but if you want to make sure, copy and paste this rather lengthy command into the terminal:

echo "Sound cards recognized by the system:"; lspci -nn | grep --color=none '\[04[80][13]\]'; echo "Sound cards recognized by ALSA:"; lspci -nn | grep '\[04[80][13]\]' | while read line; do lspci -nnk | grep -A 3 '\[04[80][13]\]' | grep -e 'Kernel modules: ..*' -e '\[04[80][13]\]' | grep --color=none -F "$line"; done; echo "Sound cards recognized by ALSA, and activated:"; lspci -nn | grep '\[04[80][13]\]' | while read line; do lspci -nnk | grep -A 3 '\[04[80][13]\]' | grep -e 'Kernel drivers in use: ..*' -e '\[04[80][13]\]' | grep --color=none -F "$line"; done

The output should be something like:

Sound cards recognized by the system:
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller [8086:293e] (rev 02)
05:01.0 Multimedia audio controller [0401]: Creative Labs SB Audigy [1102:0004] (rev 04)
Sound cards recognized by ALSA:
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller [8086:293e] (rev 02)
05:01.0 Multimedia audio controller [0401]: Creative Labs SB Audigy [1102:0004] (rev 04)
Sound cards recognized by ALSA, and activated:
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller [8086:293e] (rev 02)
05:01.0 Multimedia audio controller [0401]: Creative Labs SB Audigy [1102:0004] (rev 04)

Once again, everything seems fine, other than the fact you can’t enable your sound card as an audio device. Hopefully, the following command will rectify the situation:

sudo alsa force-reload

You will probably see no change until you reboot, so do so and when you login again, your sound should be back. If it isn’t, you may need to go back into the sound preferences and make the sound card the default audio device, after which all should be well.

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If the problem still persists, you can try the following command which has worked for some (replace “yourusername” with your actual username):

sudo usermod -aG audio,video,pulse,pulse-access yourusername

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A couple of years or so ago, Ubuntu‘s file manager, Nautilus, gave you the ability to “Safely Remove Drive” when right-clicking an attached USB hard drive (or flash drive), rather than just simply “Unmount” it. The difference between the two is that when you simply unmount a drive, it is still listed as attached (but not mounted) in Nautilus‘s left-pane. For many, seeing the drive completely removed was reassuring, since it could then be unplugged safe in the knowledge there would be no data loss, or physical damage to the device.

However, in the Ubuntu 12.10 upgrade, we lost this option, and now only have “Unmount” and “Eject” (which is exactly the same as “Unmount“, except in the case of CD/DVD drives where it will eject the disc tray).

Device Context-Menu

While “Safely Remove Drive” may yet make a return (it has caused a flood of complaints about this backward move), for now you can do it via the command-line if you really prefer this to simply unmounting.

First, if you’re unsure what the drive’s address is, run the following in the terminal:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

If you only have one internal hard drive, and no other storage devices attached, it should be something like /dev/sdb. To safely unmount and totally remove the drive, enter the following command, replacing /dev/sdb with your own drive’s designation if need be:

udisks --unmount /dev/sdb1 && udisks --detach /dev/sdb

You should now see your drive disappear from the file manager’s left-pane.

Note that in the unlikely event you have a partition other than the first partition on the drive mounting, you will need to change the “1” (ie: sdb1) in the command to reflect that.

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If you’ve come across some commands that require the actual device name of your CD/DVD drive (eg: /dev/dvd), rather than the mount point (eg: /media/cdrom0), it pays to know what it is, as commands won’t work if they’re looking in the wrong place. There are a couple of ways of doing this, and you’ll probably find they give conflicting outputs, but where one is not useful to you, the other will be; for example, if your drive is both /dev/scd0 and /dev/sr0, you might find /dev/sr0 works for most commands, and where it fails /dev/scd0 won’t.

Method 1:

To find out the name of the block device file representing your optical disc drive, enter the following into a terminal, without a disc in the drive:

wodim --devices

The information will be displayed as follows:

wodim: Overview of accessible drives (1 found) :
————————————————————————-
0 dev=’/dev/scd0‘ rwrw-- : ‘ASUS’ ‘DRW-24B1ST’
————————————————————————-

If there is a disc in the tray, you will see the following error, so just eject the disc and run the command again:

wodim: No such file or directory.
Cannot open SCSI driver!
For possible targets try ‘wodim --devices’
or ‘wodim -scanbus’.
For possible transport specifiers try ‘wodim
dev=help’.
For IDE/ATAPI devices configuration,
see the file README.ATAPI.setup from
the wodim documentation.

Method 2:

To find out the name of the block device file representing your optical disc drive, as well as its mount point, enter the following into a terminal:

mount|grep ^'/dev'

The output will look as follows:

/dev/sda3 on / type ext4 (rw)
/dev/sda1 on /media/Windows XP type fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,allow_other,blksize=4096)
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro,noexec,nosuid,nodev,unhide,user=ozzman)


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Every now and then, you’re going to need some technical info about your optical disc (CD or DVD) drive. For example, if you’re using a command like that outlined in Fix “Cannot find input plugin for MRL [dvd:/]” Error in Kaffeine, MPlayer & Other Media Players in Ubuntu, being sudo ln -s /media/cdrom0 /dev/dvd, it will be useless if /media/cdrom0 is not the actual mount point. Often I see in forums people complaining a command couldn’t find the disc drive, but the command would work if the correct mount point was specified (they’re not universal, which I think many people expect them to be).

But finding out the mount point of your CD or DVD drive is actually quite easy: insert a disc, wait for it to be mounted, and when a folder window opens to the drive automatically (if it doesn’t, open it manually), simply note the path/address in the Location bar! Yes, it’s that easy, since the location won’t be the disc’s label, but the mount point on your system.

Another way to do it is simply browse through the subfolders in /media (or could even be /mnt on older systems) until you find the one that shows your disc (you’ll need to have one in the drive, of course).

Or if you want to do it via the terminal, you can use mount|grep ^'/dev' which will display info as follows:

/dev/sda2 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
/dev/sda1 on /media/Windows-XP-x64 type fuseblk (rw,nosuid,nodev,allow_other,blksize=4096)
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev,user=ozzman)

In this case, /dev/sr0 is the device path, and /media/cdrom0 is the mount point, so if you ever come across a command for your disc drive where the mount point is specified as (for example) /media/disk1, you can pretty much expect it not to work, but at least you know that you can replace the incorrect value with /media/cdrom0 (or whatever your mount point actually is).

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Did this information make your day? Did it rescue you from hours of headache? Then please consider making a donation via PayPal, to buy me a donut, beer, or some fish’n’chips for my time and effort! Many thanks!

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