I tried to hibernate Ubuntu (which fails, but thats another issue) and resumed my system.

After this, the sound doesn't get played.

What command can/should I run to restart the ubuntu sound system.


If Ubuntu is still using Alsa for its sound engine (I'm not sure as its been awhile since I've used it), you can restart by typing sudo /etc/init.d/alsa-utils restart into the terminal.

Since it doesn't seem to be working, you might need to make sure that nothing is trying to use it. (example shamelessly stolen from the Ubuntu forums)

name@comp:~$ lsof | grep pcm
sh 5079 name 70u CHR 116,6 13639 /dev/snd/pcmC0D0p

name@comp:~$ kill -9 5079
  • 2
    You may also have to restart pulse-audio. – Dana the Sane Aug 2 '09 at 19:04
  • 1
    Nice try. Good answer. But in my case, doesn't solve the problem. Yes, to my best knowledge, I use ALSA itself. – Lakshman Prasad Aug 2 '09 at 19:04
  • Any specific order to follow. Restarted both. No luck. I am confident, by restarting my system, sound will work. But I dont want to. – Lakshman Prasad Aug 2 '09 at 19:06
  • Seems like I will have to kill firefox, chrome, and gnome-panel. As good as restarting the system :| . Anyway, thanks! – Lakshman Prasad Aug 2 '09 at 19:11
  • That's what I ended up having to do @LakshmanPrasad - I had, easily, 12-18 pulse processes. Cut that down to ~6 after closing everything except gnome. It's easier, if not too windows-y to just restart. – Ned Burgher Oct 9 '20 at 19:26

As suggested by mikewhatever in his answer to this question on Ask Ubuntu:

pulseaudio -k && sudo alsa force-reload
  • 9
    This is the one that worked for me, on Ubuntu 18.04 ("bionic") – Dan Stowell Jan 21 '19 at 8:14
  • 5
    Works on 20.04 as well. – Stefan Falk Mar 15 '20 at 15:23
  • Works on KDE Neon 5.18. – Allan Apr 9 '20 at 14:15
  • this is the best solution, because after the notebook sleep and I used to listen music I had strange noises, now with this restart everything is Ok !!! Great ! Great ! – MadMad666 May 31 '20 at 0:54

PulseAudio is a user service, so run systemctl with the --user flag.

systemctl --user restart pulseaudio
  • I get Job for pulseaudio.service failed because the control process exited with error code. See "systemctl --user status pulseaudio.service" and "journalctl -xe" for details. Any advice? – xjcl Jan 24 '20 at 23:53

Ubuntu swichted to pulseaudio some time ago, so it would be:

sudo /etc/init.d/pulseaudio restart

EDIT: In case that doesn't cut it, you could also rmmod and modprobe the kernel modules used for sound. Which those are probably depends on your sound card. lsmod might give you a clue...


I reverted to a previous kernel after a reboot. Sound was restored. I found out that the newer upgraded kernel did not have the extra modules installed like the older one did. lsmod listed no sound modules.


Alsa Usage:

 /sbin/alsa {unload|reload|force-unload|force-reload|suspend|resume}

sudo alsa reload
  • Can you expand your answer a little to explain it? Thanks. – fixer1234 Apr 30 '16 at 19:47

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