I recently installed GNOME onto my Debian web server (other PC died so I wanted a desktop).

I'm a total Linux Desktop beginner, I managed to get Skype installed - but Linux appears to not like my Mic.

The Mic / Speakers are on-board, speakers work fine, but the mic just makes a high-pitched squealing noise.

My question is: How should a GNOME beginner go about fixing this?

  • Is the mic actually built into the computer? Or are you referring to an onboard sound card? – Joshua Nurczyk Jul 15 '09 at 16:41
  • Onboard sound card. On the front it's got headphone/mic, on the back it's got headphone/mic/line. When I get home I'll find out the make/model of Motherboard... – Dean Rather Jul 19 '09 at 23:52
  • Does the mic not work only in Skype, or in any app? Which version of Skype are you using? Can you describe the error you get? Do you see any sound input devices in the Skype dropdown list? – user4358 Aug 17 '09 at 22:25

If you're lucky, it's just feedback from the mic setting being so sensitive that it's picking up the output of the speakers. To make sure it's not this, plug in some headphones and listen to them when you turn the mic on.

If it's not that - I remember having a similar problem a while back and it turned out the driver for my soundcard needed upgrading (otherwise they locked up when accessing the mic). Without knowing your sound card, it's hard to say where to find such an upgrade, but what version of Debian are you running?

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  • It's Etch. I should probably try upgrading to Lenny... The mic I'm using is a headset/mic combo. – Dean Rather Jul 19 '09 at 23:54

You can consider using a USB headset, which the system sees as a separate sound card. This works much better for me.

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