Lost sound and display not right after ubuntu update

After update lost sound and hdmi display distorted. Sound output showing dummy. Spent all day trying fixes posted on web. No luck. Any way to set back to earlier state like in windows or reinstall without losing programs and data?

Not sure what Distro you are using, but sometimes Linux Mint will switch my audio output to Headphones without telling me.

Try going into your System Setting > Hardware - Sound > then check that the audio output didn’t change.

Good luck.

What Distro are you running? Did you set up a program like TimeShift during OS installation?


Since the audio is distorted and the device is showing as dummy, there is probably a driver issue with related to his audo hardware.


Hello @Padum, welcome to this forum.

You might consider following the highlighted advice:

First of all: Don’t panick! If the update was somehow buggy or faulty, there’s a good chance that there will be a new update as a fix in the matter of hours or days.

Using Linux means “taking charge”. You’re the boss. With great power comes great responsibility. This includes, as @Akito mentioned, making sure that your data is backupped safely before you make any changes. There are a lot of tools to make this an easy thing, like timeshift as mentioned by @edgrin2.

Some distributions take this a step further. E.g. Garuda always automatically creates a snapshot whenever you update your system and offers to restore it to a previous state right from the boot manager which is useful if you messed things up in a way that you can no longer boot into your operating system1.

However, as you asked how to restore or secure your data, I assume, you didn’t prepare for any failures. So, if I were you, I’d take the following steps:

  1. Store my /home/mina folder on an external drive and I’d do the same with any other data I don’t want to lose.
  2. Wait a day and try to update again.
  3. Do a fresh install, make sure, I have a backup strategy for the future and restore my personal files from the external drive.

1Is there any other distribution with this feature enabled by default? I don’t want to feel like I am constantly advertising.


Can you give us a hardware summary too (e.g. output of “inxi -Fxz”)…

I know of one chipset where sound is broken (driver issues) : this is on my Gigabyte Brix (GB-BXCE-3205 , Intel Celeron 3205U) :

Snippet of output my “inxi -Fxz” output :

Audio:     Device-1: Intel Broadwell-U Audio vendor: Gigabyte driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:03.0 
           Device-2: Intel Wildcat Point-LP High Definition Audio vendor: Gigabyte driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.0-66-generic

Note : it’s currently hooked up via HDMI right now - and my only sound Output Device is “HDMI / DIsplayPort-Built-in Audio”. If I hook it up with e.g. DisplayPort to DVI adaptor, the only sound device I see is “dummy”.

I’ve never found a fix for this issue… Sound device is always “dummy” in Ubuntu 18.04 and 20.04… I know for a fact that it DID work in Ubuntu 16.04 - as I used to run Kodi on there and watch movies on it… IT doesn’t bother me particularly - got working sound on my main desktop machine and Dell laptops…

When I first encountered this issue, I did a bunch of google-fu and yeah it’s a known issue with this chipset - some people got it working… Not me - I gave up…

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In order to reset audio settings, try this:

mv ~/.config/pulse ~/.config/pulse.bak
systemctl --user restart pulseaudio

And see if audio is fixed or not.

If not fixed, revert your original audio settings with below commands:

mv ~/.config/pulse.bak ~/.config/pulse
systemctl --user restart pulseaudio

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