Upgrade to Karmic from Jaunty, where’s the sound?

Well, looks like the much anticipated new release of Ubuntu 9.10 codename Karmic Koala had a bunch of problems that go along with it. My previous upgrade from Intrepid (8.10) to Jaunty (9.04) was a snap, the easiest upgrade ever, but the situation is not the same with upgrade from jaunty to Karmic.

As usual, I do the upgrade process using the alternate version of Ubuntu 9.10, turn it into bootable USB drive and run the cdromupgrade script. The upgrade process itself is a brezee, the problem come up after I rebooted the machine. The sound that work flawlessly in jaunty suddenly stop working, it doesn’t even seem to detect the sound card (HDA Intel sound card). The only thing that listed in the sound Preferences is dummy output, wtf??

Googling around and it seems that I’m not the only person with this problem, in fact there seems to be various problems that people encounter during or after upgrading to Karmic. The problems ranging from no sound, screen artefact, X server crash, up to hard locked machine. My problem at that time was only the sound system, and there are some hint on how to enable the sound.

Fisrt I run the ‘aplay -l’ and strange enough, my sound card was listed there. And then I run ‘alsamixer’ command and turn up all the volume sliders and unmute all the controls, and then I run ‘sudo alsactl store 0’ to save the alsa configuration and finally I run ‘sudo alsa force-reload’ to reload the saved configuration with no result, my machine still with no sound even after reboot.

Then I tried to manually add the sound module to load at startup by editing the /etc/modules file and add ‘snd-hda-intel’ on the last line of the file and reboot the machine, again with no result. But when I manually run the ‘modprobe snd-hda-intel’ command and ‘alsa force-reload’ the sound is working. It seems that even after manually add the kernel module to load at startup, it’s not working, I have to do ‘alsa force-reload’ to make the sound works every time I boot the machine.

So with ongoing curiosity, I add these two lines in the last line in /etc/rc.local just before the line that says ‘exit 0’.
(add these lines in /etc/rc.local)
modprobe snd-hda-intel
alsa force-reload

And I restart the machine and, tada, the sound works !. I don’t know what the problem are but I think I’ll go with it until they figure out the problems. On the other side, after upgrading to Karmic, all the multimedia buttons that on my keyboard are all working whereas only the volume up and volume down are working in Jaunty. Now I can open rhythmbox, play, pause, skip to next and previous item with a touch of a button, sweet.

PS: I have to install the GRUB2 package manually also, along with updating the other packages installed in my machine, but other than the sound, they all run flawlessly.

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