Ubuntu – No audio output devices detected in new computer build with Skylake (Z170) motherboard in 14.04


No output devices

I'm guessing the problem is that my motherboard is very recent; it's a Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 using the new Z170 (Skylake) chipset.

The output of lspci -v shows two "Audio device" blocks, but I was thinking one of them might be for my integrated graphics HDMI, and the other for my graphics card (Nvidia GTX 980 Ti) HDMI:

00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Device a170 (rev 31)
    Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd Device a036
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 32, IRQ 16
    Memory at da140000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Memory at da120000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel

01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation Device 0fb0 (rev a1)
    Subsystem: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd Device 36b7
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
    Memory at dc080000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel

This similar questioner on 15.04 resolved their issue by installing an ALSA daily build. I tried that but nothing changed. Wondering if it's because I'm on 14.04 which probably has an older kernel. Should my next step be updating the kernel?

Best Answer

Apparently it is a kernel bug popping up from the combination of the Intel Skylake architecture, the 3.19 linux kernel (ubuntu 14.04) and (possibly) the Realtek ALC887 audio chipset (snd-hda-intel linux driver) which screws somehow the alsa drivers up.

The following procedure is listed at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Audio/UpgradingAlsa/DKMS but it's not up-to-date with ubuntu 14.04 (although it is totally equivalent):

Make sure the dkms package is installed:

sudo apt-get install dkms

Then download and install (e.g. with ubuntu software center) the .deb file from the latest vivid alsa build at https://code.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-audio-dev/+archive/ubuntu/alsa-daily/+packages

When I did it, it was the following build:

oem-audio-hda-daily-lts-vivid-dkms - 0.201509251531~ubuntu14.04.1

where the 2 keywords are 'lts-vivid' and 'ubuntu14.04'. That is what you are looking for.

My system is the following: Asrock MB with b150 chipset (ALC887 sound card) and Intel i5-6500K (Skylake) with 8GB RAM and an NVidia GTX960. I also did not see any audio device, except for the video card hdmi outputs. Very nasty bug, as there is so much confusion around the sound system (alsa and pulseaudio) in ubuntu apparently, so that to find the same bug report is quite difficult.

I know this is exactly what Abe commented last, but I would like to see it as an answer, clearer to see immediately without having to browse through the comments.

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