Acer Aspire one Ubuntu 9.04 sound hell

I had my AA0 150 working like a charm with 8.10 but something must have been wrong, otherwise I wouldn’t have moved to 9.04. I think it might have been networking.

Anyway ever since that fateful day when I moved to 9.04 sound has not worked at all. I kind of assumed there was some blunder somewhere and a fix would drop in one day in one of frequent Ubuntu updates. Not so, or at least not yet.

Basically all my sounds stuff has just had some pulse audio null output bollocks, and done nothing at all. All tests were silent. Skype has long since given up.

Screenshot-Volume Control: Playback: Null Output (PulseAudio Mixer)

Today I resolved to find out the problem, having come to terms with the fact those nice Ubuntu people weren’t going to fix it as it was my blunder.

it was a –

Yep a -, or with quotes for clarity ‘-‘. That’s it, (obviously I had to get it in the right place!).

In a previous incarnation I had compiled my own ALSA drivers and at some point added

options snd-hda-intel model=acer aspire

at the bottom of


Turns out in 9.04 that needs to be ‘acer-aspire’ (and a quick reboot)

who da thunk it?

Screenshot-Volume Control: HDA Intel (Alsa mixer)

In celebration of the joyous, momentus occasion I went straight to youtube for a dose of class:


have a good weekend (I will, listening to stuff on my pc, I might even skype the Mrs in the lounge (would have been more dramatic and relevant had I still been in sunny Geneva of course))

(I have been buggering around for a couple of hours and I am sure that is the only change I have made – just checked, this is deffo the fix. Dunno if the missing dash was a prior typo of mine? maybe)



btw my acer aspire with ubuntu post is the 2nd most popular post on this blog – not bad for a mainly Excel on windows related blog.

6 Responses to “Acer Aspire one Ubuntu 9.04 sound hell”

  1. Timon Says:

    Glad to see that the new generation user-friendly linuxes are not depriving new adopters the joy of patching and compiling and fixing hardware problems! Compiling ALSA is a perennial favorite, right up there with getting Broadcom wireless adapters to work. There is no feeling like having a speaker or wireless adapter suddenly come on after hours of desperation, it feels like acing a test or making a long birdie or eagle. I am a few years into a bad habit now, Ubuntu is a real pleasure.

    Actually the perception that sound is moving in the wrong direction is not unique to you — sound is a big mess in Linux lately. Too many frameworks, subsystems, supersystems, etc.

  2. Bob Phillips Says:

    I can only say one thing about this post … wow, another Clash fan, who would have thought it young Simon. The greatest band ever, no ifs, no buts.

  3. aivars Says:

    Hi, Simon,

    I am running Xubuntu 9.04 box (do not like default huge Open Office but much prefer Gnumeric) and I found that sound problem is fixed with (in terminal): alsamixer -Dhw, then max up all sounds and toggle all MM to 00. That made it to work for me. I think that should work on Ubuntu too.


  4. Simon Says:

    Not that young Bob – I saw them live in their heyday, Madchester Apollo, 3 encores – minted.

    Aivars getting Gnumeric was one of the reasons I binned the bagpuss Linux the Acer came with and moved to Ubuntu. If the sound goes again I’ll try your suggestion, thanks.



  5. Bob Phillips Says:

    I used to watch them in London in the late 70s, the gigs were a bit intense but great fun.

    I was looking at the Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest 100 Artists of all time (unsurprisingly the boring Beatles were #1 – I just don’t get that, most popular maybe, greatest, never), and U2 were higher thean the Clash Unbelievable! So were Nirvana. Nirvana are great, but there would never have been a Nirvana without the Clash.

  6. steve rankin Says:

    Way to go man! Finally got the internal mic to work on my 11.6 inch acer one with your solution after weeks of frustration. Now, if I could only get Skype to work without deteriorating into a series of clicks!…..

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