Ubuntu Sound Problems on Dell Studio

July 22, 2009 | By Naman Bagga | Filed in: Linux, Tech Talk.

I started installing Linux on my Dell Studio 1555 as soon as I got it and checked that everything was alright. I installed OpenSUSE 11.1 initially. I had issues with installing drivers for my ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570. The OpenSUSE wiki said that its drivers had no Linux version. I tried different methods but the drivers just refused to work. Actually the problem is that ATI is gradually making its drivers open source and getting rid of the proprietary drivers. I was on the verge of believing that I had no option but to wait for the release of the Linux drivers and use Windows till then. That was a very bad feeling. Then I thought about giving Ubuntu a try. The proprietary FGLRX driver worked perfectly well with Ubuntu.

I installed Ubuntu and everything seemed to be alright initially. After a while, I realized that there was a problem with sound. In fact, I was getting no sound. I searched the Ubuntu forums and found a simple solution to the issue. Here’s how to solve the no-sound problem in Ubuntu on Dell Studio.

You just need to edit the alsa-base.conf file. To do that run this command in the terminal-

sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

Then add this line to the file-

options snd-hda-intel model=dell-m6

Save the file and restart your laptop. This should solve the problem. You should start getting sound now.

12 comments on “Ubuntu Sound Problems on Dell Studio

  1. Hey,
    I recommend you mail takashi iwai (tiwai@suse.de), who is an alsa-driver maintainer and ask him to add your sound card’s PCI ID to the dell-m6 model list in patch_realtek.c so that it is loaded by default without you physically having to force the model name in future versions of the linux kernel.

  2. Thank you, Naman, for a great post. I installed Ubuntu 9.04 on my Dell laptop Studio 1555 and got no sound. I searched the website but could not find anything helpful. I almost pulled my hair out, then I found your post. It worked when I added the options line to the alsa-base.conf file.

    Thanks again,


  3. hi
    I am facing similar problem on my Dell Studio 1450 and the dell-m6 trick does not solve my problem. I have been googling like hell for past two months and switching distros with the hope that atleast one might work but all in vain.

    can you guide me through?

  4. I got it working .. used oss .. instead of alsa… but no mater whether you plug in a jack or not.. the speakers of my laptop keep working ..

    hope I will be able to figure this out in a week or two 🙂
    thanks for your response

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