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Skype, KDE4, OpenSUSE 11.3 and PulseAudio

January 25th, 2011 · 10 Comments · English, other stuff

This combination seems to be a bit hard for openSUSE. While PulseAudio solves many problems Linux users have with audio (and creates others), openSUSE seems to make it even harder for users to make use of it. That’s usually not a problem, until Skype comes into the game. As soon as it detects PulseAudio being present on the system, it uses it. For me, this lead to no sound on my headset, and the common suggestions in forums seems to be uninstall PulseAudio, reinstall your system, install Ubuntu and other useless suggestions.

But actually there is a way to get it all work together nicely and it’s not hard at all:

  1. Enable PulseAudio (#> is a root console)
    #> setup-pulseaudio --enable
  2. Install the missing PulseAudio mixer (without it it’s like sitting in a car without driving wheel)
    #> zypper install pavucontrol
  3. Reboot (just to make sure …)
  4. Start pavucontrol. You’ll see your sound devices (e.g. the sound card and your headset), the per-application volume controls as soon as an application uses an input or output and everything else you dreamed of.

Now you can start Skype and do a test call, and you’ll be able to use pavucontrol to route its output and input to the right device (e.g. to your headset).


PS: It seems that there has been some progress on KDE4 integration with PulseAudio, and I hope in openSUSE 11.4 everything will work out of the box.


10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Waldo // Mar 11, 2011 at 21:06

    Hi , nice website ! ;)

    I just installed opensuse 11.4 and skype and the problem its not yet solved …

  • 2 Valery // Mar 22, 2011 at 21:35

    Thanks a lot!
    This was the most helpful and correct article. Now I know that it works in 11.4 ;)

  • 3 Leo Plaw // May 18, 2011 at 14:51

    OMG! I don’t believe it. After following your advice, I know have music playback (Amarok), Flash and Skype all working at the same time. For the first time EVER on openSuse.

    It seens that openSuse 11.4 /KDE4 has finally got the mix right with Pulse Audio at last. But mind you, I had to manually install the pavucontrol for anything to work as you suggested.

    Thank you very much for this article.

  • 4 openSuse 11.4 Skype 2.2 Pulse Audio | Guild Media // May 18, 2011 at 16:17

    […] To cut the long story short, I tried many crazy suggestions, including uninstalling Pulse Audio. Still no joy. Then I came across this page, “Skype, KDE4, OpenSUSE 11.3 and PulseAudio“. […]

  • 5 Gorio // May 19, 2011 at 02:01

    didn’t work for me, what a kludge Opensuse is. lucky i have ubuntu on my laptop, installed skype and it worked first time

  • 6 Stuart Tanner // Oct 25, 2011 at 14:32

    I didn’t have any issues with Skype and 11.4 and PulseAudio except that I cannot here anybody else talking to me – it could be a problem with their mic settings but anyway for the moment echo is the only person i can talk to.. really strange i removed pulseaudio and its still the same.. will feedback if it was an issue with my laptop or an issue with others

  • 7 soulou // Mar 13, 2012 at 16:53

    Thank you very much for this article. This was the most helpful and correct article.

  • 8 MATHIAS // May 21, 2012 at 21:27

    Hi people, thanks alot for the link, i also had this problem on dell optiplex 380 and i hated the wjole think, i felt sad abandoning my opensuse for windows which just has no problem with the sound. I tried everything till when i landed on this page, however, yes i can see pulse audio trying to help but i still cannot get sound out of the audio ports, it switched between the inbuilt speaker which is ok and the out put ports but no sound comes out still, the ports are dead quiet! honestly they are ok but the system will not use them, what else can i do, i feel am 70% there toward getting them to work. thanks alot gurus

  • 9 Philipp Wagner // May 21, 2012 at 23:34

    @Mathias: Pulseaudio is actually only one layer on top of ALSA, so if you have sound problems for everything you play there might be an issue somewhere else as well. Or did I misunderstand you and only Skype causes problems?

    I unfortunately don’t know exactly how to help you, but please ask your question including your exact version of openSUSE and information about what you might have changed based on the initial installation of openSUSE at, I’m sure you’ll get help there to get your sound working!

  • 10 Boris Kazak // Aug 6, 2012 at 17:05

    The problem is with the USB webcams with built-in microphones. Pulse-Audio thinks that this webcam is a separate sound card, so it does not allow you to connect this microphone to the system.
    The remedy is like following: open terminal as root, start “alsamixer”, push F6 to select sound cards, choose the USB unit, push F4 to configure the inputs, choose the USB mic as default, close the “alsamixer”, the rest is as posted above. Best wishes!

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