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Linux Mint with Skype: “Problem with audio playback” June 19, 2008

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in How-To, Linux, Linux Mint, Working with Linux.
Tags: ,

(latest update: I am currently using the latest Mint 6 and have faced the same problem and sort of the same solution) I’m currently using Linux Mint 5.0 and I just installed Skype that came from the Mint repository. After installing, I logged on (without problem) and then did a test call… only to see the message: “problem with audio playback”.

A Quick search in the internet led me to a forum site that told me that Skype uses “pulseaudio” which does not allow any interference with other audio processes at the same time. The detailed post is found here: skype help forum.

Obviously I didn’t read all of it… but when  I checked, I had my music folder open at that moment, and so I closed it and tried Skype. And It worked.

Then, I thought I’d just start some other work… and go back to Skype… and it gave me the same problem again… ie. said “problem with audio playback” even though I didn’t have any music folder open. I tried many options to get it working, but it didn’t work.

Then finally, I went to the forum and read it a little more… in detail (though not completely). And it asked me to diagnose the problem with pavucontrol (PulseAudio Volume Control). It was already installed in Mint, so I tried to see the audio processes… there were none.

Then as a long-shot, I decided to change the settings of Skype… in the OPTIONS panel… and configured the sound devices to the first option after “Default”. Some VIA something. After that, Skype worked. And is still working.

But interestingly… now when I go back to Skype, options… the sound devices have reverted back to Default.

So well… that’s my ‘story’ for Mint and Skype… that is working is enough for me…and maybe for other beginners like me to.



1. Anonymous - June 28, 2008

Good post. I changed the sound devices to the fifth one below the default and then it worlked.

2. raghu - June 28, 2008

I Have fedora 8.
installed skype for fedora 7
set the sound device option as pulse.
made sound test. small came and gone I could not here the sound.
I changed the settings adn tried but xould not get the sound

3. Jerry - July 8, 2008

Hey thanks a lot it helped a lot now i can call any one =]

4. Federico - September 13, 2008

thank you so much, it worked for me when i selected “pulse” as the device

5. Mike - October 2, 2008

I have OpenSUSE 11.0, and I found that pulse works as the audio device for this distro of Linux.

6. pontifex - October 14, 2008

thanx a lot
i had the same problem on mandriva 2008.1 x86_64 and changing the audio device helped a bit, i.e. now i hear sounds at least from the left speaker, unfortunately not from the right .-) maybe later… no moment, i tried another device and it works!
i have SiS SI7021 sound card and i could not find it in the list of sound devices in the skype. it did not appear until i used alsaconf to set the default options.
after this i had still problems with soundin device in the skype which had to be set on hw not plughw. this is my definite configuration after a few hours of desperate trying and searching.

7. pontifex - October 14, 2008

i must withdraw my last comment – it worked only in the settings when i clicked on the “test call” button but not in the contact list…

8. tahyk - December 17, 2008

It worked for me on Ubuntu 8.10. Thanks for the tips.
Why Skype not working in default? It would be so much easier.

9. Eapen - January 3, 2009

The following posting talks about an alternate solution:

10. -Teppo - January 18, 2009


Greetings from the snowy Finland and thanks for the great TIP!
Now Skype works for me too in my PCLinuxOS!
My microphone worked ok, as the speakers, but Skype did not, not it’s all OK! :)

11. -Teppo - January 18, 2009


Greetings from the snowy Finland and thanks for the great TIP!
Now Skype works for me too in my PCLinuxOS!
My microphone worked ok, as the speakers, but Skype did not, now it’s all OK! :)

12. helio roberto santana - January 21, 2009

Very, very good!!! I was reseting the computer before when having this problem.

13. 2pix - January 31, 2009

Thanks..Finally- as if being a newbie with Fedora is not tough enough.

works with fedora 10- just tested- if you have more than 1 account, you will have to do it again when you switch…

14. morecambe81 - February 21, 2009

Useful tip NAyK!

I’m using Fedora 10 on an Acer Aspire One and Skype works a treat now.

Thank you.

15. imen daoud - May 10, 2009

j’entend mon correspondant mais il ne m’entend pas

16. Jordan O - June 20, 2009

hey THANKS man,

Your post applied to my situation exactly- and coincidentally I am running Linux Mint 7!
I was shocked that my webcam, (according to lsusb):
“Logitech Quickcam PTZ” worked flawlessly.
And after checking the sound out within skype- I now have video-conferencing!
Absolutely fantastic! Mint is a great distro by the way.

17. Terry G - July 3, 2009

I have just got mine going too. Ubuntu 9.04 but not with music player on.Rythymbox music player. Thanks for the help from Auckland NZ

18. Bilal.M.K - July 25, 2009


I am using debian lenny. I have skype audio playback problem. After reading your post i can fix the problem.

Thanks a lot for a valuable post

19. Mark - August 5, 2009

Thank you Very much, It worked for me when i selected “pulse” as the device

20. Marcelo Geisel - October 5, 2009

Ok, worked for me too.
For audio playback I choose the second option, and for the microfone I choose the third option.

It’s working fine!!

21. Billy J - October 8, 2009

all u need to do on linux mint, is go to skype options and sound devices,and set them all ok ‘H Intel 0’ and to unclik the ‘allow skype to automatically set my mixers’

22. David Z - December 5, 2009

Hi, Try restar pulse audio :
pulseaudio –k
pulseaudio –start

23. Richa - April 23, 2011

I was having the same problem of “audio device.” As suggested above I change the sound devices setting to pulse and it worked for me. I am using Linux mint5.0

24. Anonymous - June 8, 2011

The same with Fedora 15. Thanks

25. _khAttAm_ - September 1, 2011

I am using Fedora 15 and magically changing the settings worked.. But really choppy audio after that.,even system audio is suffering :(

26. computer pc repair - August 10, 2012

Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Many thanks

27. Anonymous - August 20, 2012

just installed Fedora 17 64 bit, since there was no 64 bit rpm for SKYPE, i downloaded the 32 bit.

Installed the RPM with YUM, let it took care of the dependencies.

was able to get it to run, however, first call failed. Essentially, i needed to change the audio / video settings to in skype. Made test calls with SKYPE, which worked, then i made a live call to a person with iphone, worked fine.

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