Fixing skype audio problem on Ubuntu 9.04

When running Skype on Ubuntu 9.04, I get the following error message when making a test call:

“Problem with Audio Playback”

The problem is that Ubuntu uses pulse audio and Skype does not play nicely with it. To fix it, do the following:

  1. Open Skype options and select Sound Devices
  2. Change Sound In, Sound Out and Ringing to use “pulse”
  3. Clear the check mark next to “Allow Skype to automatically adjust my mixer levels” (This step may not be required)
  4. Press the Apply button and then the Close button.

You should now be able to place a test call.

Update: Microphone issue.

Several people have posted comments saying that they have had problems with their microphone not working in Skype. I did not run into this problem so I don’t know how to fix it. However, Chris did post the following comment on this blog entry:

To fix the microphone problem!
Change the sound in (in the Skype sound options) to your motherboard instead of Pulse. Now it should work for ya!

Thanks Chris for this suggestion. Hopefully it will work for you too.


45 Responses to “Fixing skype audio problem on Ubuntu 9.04”

  1. Open SUNY » Skype and Ubuntu 9.04 Says:

    […] 9.04 uses pulse audio, and you need to let Skype know that you want it to use these settings. Here’s a link that explains what to do. The steps are quick and […]

  2. Giacomo Says:

    Thank you for the help. Best regards

  3. wycito Says:

    Dude, I have been playing with the sound devices for a while now and somehow I did not make it work since 8.04, now we are rocking…
    Thanks a bunch

  4. Sonia Says:

    Gracias por la ayuda. Saludos.

  5. Hugo Says:

    Hey dude!!! thx a lot!! its working now

  6. Joe Keever Says:


    thanks for the update..I am very new to Linux and your solution brought resolution

  7. Vlad Says:

    Thanks a lot!!!
    Много благодаря!!!

  8. Ronald Says:

    Hello Mate

    Thanks for your help, now my sound is working. But still having problems with the mic. Any idea what could be the problem?

    • jim Says:

      me too, Ronald. Got incoming audio now but still no microphone… tried the built-in mic and a headset mic. Testing microphone audio outside of Skype works… Anyone have any idea on settings? I’m running 9.04 Ubuntu Netbook Remix on an Acer Aspire One…

      • alex Says:

        same here, incoming audio works but no outgoing audio. mic itself works, I can hear myself in the speakers.

    • bszil Says:

      This helped for me to solve the mic problem. For input, try to use the one which says hw(ur audio device name), 0 .
      (original post with screenshot from Hariharan on Sun Aug 2 2009, 09:50 :

  9. Hiroaki Says:

    Thank you very much!
    Now my Skype works well.

  10. Sebas Says:

    So simple, so cool solution mate!!



  11. Roshdy Says:

    this was a very good solution and a very simple one,…thanx for the great help..

  12. Ubuntu 9.04 and Skype « Tobias Abarbanell Says:

    […] Ubuntu 9.04 and Skype hey, just a short reference to this tip how to solve audio problems with Skype on Ubuntu 9.04 – this got me back in business in no time: […]

  13. soccerlives13 Says:

    I’m using Ubuntu 9.04 and this worked perfectly. Thank You.

  14. Raj Says:

    Your fix worked for me on Ubuntu 9.04, thanks alot

  15. Nicholas Says:

    Problem solved on Ubuntu 9.04. Skype works correctly.

  16. Chris Says:

    Thank you! You’re the best! Thanks to you I finally call my friends again!

  17. Chris Says:

    To fix the microphone problem!

    Change the sound in (in the Skype sound options) to your motherboard instead of Pulse. Now it should work for ya!

    • Jakob Says:

      Motherboard not available as option…

    • Chris Saddler Says:

      all i did was to go to volume mixer settings in ubuntu (right click on volume icon on far right on thike a e taskbar) and from there to “Input” and unmuted the microphone 🙂 no works like a charm. i have linux mint 8 on dell inspiron 1520. also uncheck auto allow skype to adjust mixer settings.

  18. Odd Lots – Jeff Duntemann’s Contrapositive Diary Says:

    […] work a little weirdly generally. The Mute button gets checked all by itself for no apparent reason. This is evidently not a problem I’m having all by my lonesome, but time to fix it has been […]

  19. Einar Says:

    Worked for my I am using Compaq laptop……Thanks allot!

  20. mboudiaf Says:

    Worked like a charm, thank you very much

  21. Travis Says:

    sound works great but my on board mic dont seem to work (my webcam works fine) any idea how to fix that or find out what my mic is called?

  22. Anju Says:

    I use Ubuntu 8.10 but this solution doesnt work for me.I can hear the other person but the person whom im chatting with cant hear me…kindly help !!

  23. Fixing skype audio problem on Ubuntu 9.04 « Says:

    […] 9, 2009 at 19:55 · Filed under Uncategorized via this blog I discovered how to be able to use skype without problems in ubuntu […]

  24. Kuldeep Says:

    Thanks a lot for all of your help.

  25. Srimal Says:

    Thanks dude!

    That was a life saver!!!!

  26. Luis Puente Says:

    Many thanks, also. Your fix worked for me as well in Ubuntu 9.04/Skype.

  27. Daniel Says:

    Have a slightly different problem; anything I say finally gets heard about one minute later.

    Any ideas on this one? Not sure if it’s an audio problem, or a network problem. My network hasn’t been having any issues that I know of otherwise, so I’m not sure.

  28. Roger Says:

    I am having trouble running Skype with Ubuntu 9.04. The instructions above got rid of the “Problem with Audio Playback” and the “Problem with Capture” messages, but the mic still doesn’t seem to work. Was anyone able to get past this?

  29. Srimal Says:

    Well . This is how I fixed it.

    Worked for me .

    Hope it helps someone else too.



  30. muyi Says:

    Thank you very much for this simple howto. my skype works perfectly now. for those who had problems with the mic, i used to have problems with mine and it turned out that it was muted. follow the instructions here and try to use the pavucontrol that will be installed to unmute the microphone. that’s how i did mone anyway.

  31. nasim Says:

    thank u very much. i have fixed my audio problems as ur instruction.

  32. G Mathew Says:

    Great advice, and changing to pulse did play back back on track. thanks.

  33. marco Says:

    Hey! Great! It works! Thanks a lot!!!
    I use LinuxMint 7.

  34. sizedin Says:

    Well, I changed everything to pulse from default. I can now hear and talk.
    that is it for ubuntu 9.04.
    Thanks budy, keep it up.

  35. MOBLIN 2.0 German Keyboard on Mini 9 Says:

    […] 10:03 PM Did you try this fix? Fixing skype audio problem on Ubuntu 9.04 Fun with Linux Obsidian Black Dell Inspiron Mini 9 – 1GB RAM – 8GB SSD – Ubuntu 8.04 Website: […]

  36. Herb Bosselman Says:

    Finally moved from ubuntu 8.04 to 9.04. Generally ok but Skype audio test failed about 90% of the time. Pulse settings were ok.Suspected the Firestarter firewall was starting random unscheduled backfires. Deactivated Firestarter & seems to have stopped the backfires. Firestarter was ok on 8.04—-life is hard.

  37. Carolina Says:

    Thank you!
    It works perfect!

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