I just installed Hardy, the brand new version of Ubuntu Linux, on the household’s two Dell PCs. They’re a Dimension 4550 mini-tower and an Inspiron 6000 laptop, and I’m happy to say that everything’s running fine so far. (Almost.) The release is so new that Google hasn’t even had time to update their toolbar for the new version of Firefox.
The irritating wake-up bug in Gutsy has been taken care of. Used to be, every time my laptop went into suspension or hibernation mode, it would have to wake up, immediately and spontaneously go back to sleep and wake up a second time before I could resume working.
The one problem that remains was introduced with the previous version, Gutsy: sound issues. When I installed it, sound died on the laptop after having worked under version Feisty. The only sound I can get out of the laptop now is when I plug in a USB headset: I’m treated to Ubuntu’s mock-ethno login sound on both machines, but then I can’t get any other sound out of the headset. The analog sound output on the mini-tower, meanwhile, works just fine.
Any ideas how to make the laptop sing under Ubuntu Hardy?
(Oh, and let me promote this thing: if you’re running e.g. Windows and you’re curious about Linux, you can download a CD image of Ubuntu, burn a disc and boot the whole operating system from it, no strings attached.)
Update 27 April: I’m lucky enough to have a number of very computer-literate friends. And David Kvarnberg is not just any computer professional: he works for an audio software firm. So, after a series of gruelling software tests conducted over ICQ, he managed to find the source of my audio problem. And it was remarkably easy to solve.
Ubuntu Linux has a master volume control in the screen-top control bar. Left-click on it to control your volume. Right-click on it, and a menu appears, including the option to “open” the volume control. This gives you a larger volume control panel with ten slider bars and six mute-buttons. When Ubuntu Gutsy and Hardy were configured for shipping, someone correctly decided that the master volume should be on and the PC speaker too. But the “PCM”, line-in, CD and microphone were apparently best muted by default in this person’s opinion.
PCM means “pulse-code modulation”, which really leaves me no wiser. And apparently, it’s important stuff. So, Dear Reader, if your Ubuntu machine is inexplicably silent, try unmuting the PCM. It worked for me!