Ubuntu: “Waiting for sound system to respond”

Logged in to Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10 as root  you may experience a situation where clicking at the speaker / sound volume icon at the top Gnome bar you see that:

  • the volume slider is disabled / grayed out
  • clicking “Preferences”  brings up a message “Waiting for sound system to respond”

The solution:

  • Go to System->Preferences -> Startup Applications
  • Click ‘Add’
  • Enter data:

Name: Pulseaudio daemon
Command:/usr/bin/pulseaudio
Comment: Start the sound daemon

  • Log out and then log back in again.
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