Fix for sound stop working randomly on Ubuntu 11.04

Recently, after a few days of uptime, my sound would completely go out on my laptop with the only thing fixing it being a complete restart of the machine. I originally tried:

sudo /etc/init.d/pulseaudio restart

This did not work at all, so I resigned myself to just restart the machine when it happened. With a solid state disk, rebooting takes 30 seconds, so it was not a major pain. But the sound went out again today after only about 2 days, so I decided to see if I could fix things. I decided to run VLC on an audio file from the terminal to induce some error messages. After playing the song for a few seconds, the terminal began to be flooded with messages like:

[0xdf11a0] pulse audio output error: overflow

Aha, it was in fact a pulseaudio problem. So, the following steps fixed my problem.

In a terminal:

sudo killall pulseaudio

Then, Alt+F2, enter pulseaudio in the box, click Run, and boom sound was back in action.

Hope this helps someone.

    • Inti
    • January 1st, 2012

    This helped me, thank you!

    • Kris G
    • February 28th, 2012

    Thanks so much! This is quicker than rebooting. Who ever thought I would need to constantly reboot with Ubuntu? I thought that was a windows thing. . . Now I can just do this instead. Wonder why pulseaudio stops in the first place?

    • Jose Antonio
    • July 24th, 2015

    If you experience sound goes off after 10 minutes in linux Mint or Ubuntu, here you’ve got the solution in the following link:

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