Solving ‘waiting for sound system’ issue on linux systems – fix 2

Last year, I had this issue with the pulseaudio engine . There was no sound at all and launching gnome-volume-control would say “waiting for sound system”. Then deleting the ~/.pulse folder did the trick.

Today, after reinstalling my system with my  newly built custom Easylinux OS, while keeping my /home folder intact, I fell prey to this horrible beast again! And this time I was not that lucky!

I tried multiple times to delete the ~/.pulse folder but there was no joy! Then I decided to look into the logs.  There, I found that a file called ~/.pulse-cookie is being denied access .

Here’s the log:

elos-Studio-XPS-1640 pulseaudio[1782]: authkey.c: Failed to open cookie file '/home/elos/.pulse-cookie': Permission denied

As you can see, it clearly showed that something is blocking the ~/.pulse-cookie . If you happen to get the same error, this might be it!  So, I decided to check by listing the file permissions

elos@elos-Studio-XPS-1640:~$ ls -l $HOME/.pulse-cookie
 -rw------- 1 root root 256 2011-05-18 14:01 /home/elos/.pulse-cookie

So, what do I find? The file ~/.pulse cookie which , btw, is not even in the .pulse folder is the main culprit.  It was owned by root instead of the user! To fix this, I changed the file permission using the chown command

 elos@elos-Studio-XPS-1640:~$ sudo chown -R elos:elos ~/.pulse-cookie
 [sudo] password for elos:

Now, the file had permissions of the user , which is what should have been on the first place.

elos@elos-Studio-XPS-1640:~$ ls -l $HOME/.pulse-cookie
 -rw------- 1 elos elos 256 2011-05-18 14:01 /home/elos/.pulse-cookie

Once the permission was changed, the sound started working, I did not even have to logout and login.  Readers wishing to make this change please replace elos with your username.

Sayantan Das

Sayantan is a DevOps Consultant by the day and works mainly with Ansible and Linux . He is a AWS - SA and RedHat Certified Engineer . He loves to tinker with Linux systems .

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