Making headphone jack work on elementaryOS

Or any other Ubuntu — I think.

A visual representation of my state of mind.

I can’t even begin on how stupid this fucking sounds. I mean, “fix audio on an OS that’s stable and well taken care of”? Fuck…

Though I wish to rant more about this, I found some solutions.

Yeah, some. If the first doesn’t work, you move on to the next one, and so on.

Let’s get to it.

Solution 1: Using PulseAudio

Step one: Install it, if you haven’t.

You can get it via Terminal:

sudo apt install pavucontrol

Or, if you’re really using elementaryOS, you can go via GUI, on the AppCenter. Look for “PulseAudio” and download it.

Step two: Config it.

Go to the tab “Output Devices” and change the Port to “Headphones”.

When it says “unplugged”, it means it’s working. Read below.

This should do it.

Now, here’s the trick: on my ASUS X555UB running elementaryOS Loki stable, it won’t output audio if it shows “Headphones (plugged in)”. Go figure.

If that’s your case, move on the the Solution 3.

Solution 2: Edit alsa-base.conf file.

It’s possible that your computer does not have the right configurations set on your alsa conf file.

So, I found this thread which might be very helpful for you.

You basically force alsa to use a especific model — you can find your specific kernel here: Kernel Docs — following instructions on the thread.

I strongly recommend you go talk to someone who knows its shit before messing up with your system.

Solution 3: Do the unexpected.

This one’s very simple pretty straight forward.

You can do it after Solution 1 or not — either way, it should work.

Follow along:

  1. Log in your user
  2. Close your laptop (so it’s put to sleep)
  3. Open your laptop
  4. Listen to drake!
Repeat, if necessary.

As dumb as it fucking sounds, it actually works.

If it doesn’t, go to Solution 2 and try getting help. I wish I could help you more, but I can’t.

So, why exactly am I sharing this stupid tutorial?

Well, every fucking time my audio doesn’t work, I have to spend at least an hour searching for the thing that’ll help me for all eternity, and I never find it.

This is me preventing myself from losing yet another hour.


Sorry about the rant.

I love Linux and elementaryOS. It’s just so unpleasant when you need something to work and it doesn’t. Especially when the solutions you find won’t fit your case.

I’d be glad to hear if any of it helped you overcome this issue on your PC.

If you have another solution, please let me know. I’m new to Linux and I’m up for learning new things.