Getting Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) Sound Card to Work in Gutsy

Update 2:

This how-to is very old. If you have this sound card and sound is not working for you with the latest version of Ubuntu (currently 10.04) this guide will not help you. Please file a bug report on Launchpad.


If you are going to upgrade to Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron you will notice that it will want to remove the linux-backports-modules package.  This is OK.  Doing so will not affect your sound since it now works out of the “box” with 8.04. 😀


There’s currently a bug in the latest stable version of the ALSA drivers (1.0.14). There is no sound with a HDA Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) sound card.

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
        Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Unknown device 30cc
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 23
        Memory at f8500000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
        Capabilities: [60] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit+ Queue=0/0 Enable-
        Capabilities: [70] Express Unknown type IRQ 0

There was no sound in Feisty and the only way to get it working was to compile ALSA with the special instructions here along with a custom patch for the Realtek codec which you had to go digging through the ALSA bug tracking system to find. Anyways a lot of work to get sound working in Feisty.

But now that Gutsy is out, there still is no sound out of the virtual “box”. 😛 However, getting sound to work is extremely easy now. The issue was fixed in the latest development version of ALSA (1.0.15rc3), but Gutsy ships with 1.0.14. Compiling ALSA is not necessary to get sound working anymore. In fact, doing so would only cause more problems due to the fact that when you compile ALSA, it places a module in one place while Ubuntu has that same module, but a different version, in a different place causing a bunch of conflicts and in the end, no sound.

So in order to fix this all you need to do is open the Software Properties, go to the Updates tab, and enable the Gutsy Backports.

(click for a larger view)

Click the Reload button when prompted.

Then just run this command
sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-generic

If you are running a different kernel, such as the i386 kernel, replace generic with i386. The default install uses a generic kernel. Reboot and you should have sound working. 😀

The reason it works is because that package contains ALSA 1.0.15rc3

This worked for me on an HP Pavilion dv6500t laptop

(Edit: Gutsy Proposed Updates is not needed for this.)


91 thoughts on “Getting Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) Sound Card to Work in Gutsy”

  1. Hey I had the same sound card but on a Compal, this is the lspci output:

    00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller (rev 03)
    Subsystem: COMPAL Electronics Inc Unknown device 0023
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 20
    Memory at f8400000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]

    I followed the steps you posted and when i reboot, i get on the mixer a lot of channels that didnt appear before (Front, Front Mic Boost, Mic Boost, Capture, Capture 1, etc)
    The problem is the sound keep dont working, neither speakers nor headphone and same for the microphone…

    I have just installed a 64bits Gutsy on a Compal FT00 Laptop with the kernel 2.6.22-14-generic, the rest of the hardware work out of the box but the card reader (is not problem, i dont use it)

    Do you have any idea what can i do to fix the sound problem??

    PD: On feisty it works compiling alsa with a realtek patch

  2. I´m relatively new to linux/ubuntu. I had a lot of trouble trying to get the sound working in Gutsy 7.10. Have a gagteway laptop gt6816 with sigmatel(?) sound card. This WORKED for me! (finally!) THANK YOU!!!! My only question is that the max volume is not very loud- is there any way to make the volume louder?

  3. Al final solucioné el problema siguiendo el primer enlace que ha puesto este chiko q habla en portugues. Lo hice añadiendo al archivo “/etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base” lo siguiente:

    options snd-hda-intel model=acer

    Muchas gracias por la ayuda 😉

  4. Thanks so much! I spent pretty much all day looking for a solution and tried so many that didn’t work. Of course, I’m very new to linux and had no clue what I was doing…

    Your solution worked like a charm! Thanks again!

  5. Thank you!!!! This solved my problem after hours of tweaking, several crashes (Linux isn’t stable when you play), and multiple re-installs. Why wasn’t this fix on the Ubuntu bug site?

  6. Thank you thank you thank you sooo much!!!!!

    I have the same laptop as you and I’ve been trying to get sound to work for a month! it was sooo simple to fix it thank you sooo much for the howto, i think you’ve just earned yourself a loyal reader for this!!

    thanks sooo much again

  7. HOLY CRAP!!! i’ve been trying to get sound working for almost a MONTH. THANKS MAN!

    you can’t imagine how happy I am right now :’)
    *puts your blog in specto*

  8. Hi,

    Unfortunately that didn’t do the trick for me. I’ve got rev 02 though, but not sure it’s related.
    I get sorted thanks to the method b of this page:
    Note that i used version 1.0.15 instead of 1.0.15rc1, since this one is now out.
    I just get an error while trying to configure (./configure): i needed the kernel source. So i get them (sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`), and everything went like a charm. Don’t forget to reboot after installation.

  9. Wow! Thanks so much! I’ve been struggling with my laptop for two months, even tried to recompile the kernel and crushed the system as a result.

    And now it works!

    Toshiba Satellite U305

  10. Another happy customer with sound! Thanks for the info. I’m using a system76 darter ultra laptop and this was one issue that was a puzzle.

    One item that might be of concern. I noticed after using the backports and running

    sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-generic

    I had a bunch of failures on apps using python in gnome. I had to reinstall the software sources app and the add/remove programs app.

    I’ve since turned off the backports in my sources.list and sound is working.

    Thanks again!

  11. Pingback: ..:: My notes
  12. Thank you very much. I have spent several days working on this. What an easy fix. I have a Toshiba Satellite A135 with a realtek sound controller. Works fine now with Ubuntu Gutsy.

  13. You have made life better for so many Ubuntuers, me included.

    Any ideas why the microphone on my Dell Vostro 1500 is not picking up sound though? Do I have some more tweaking to do before that’s ironed out?
    😀 Thanks

  14. You’re welcome! 😀
    Hmm. I haven’t been able to get my mic working either. I haven’t fooled around with it much though. I’m not to sure what to do about that. Hopefully it will work in later versions of ALSA.

  15. Superb, thanks so much for this, read countless threads on the tedious process of compiling from source, with this a few clicks later and all is working wonderfully!

    Computer: VAIO VGN C2S
    Original Problem: Speakers wouldn’t mute when headphones plugged in
    –SOLVED — 😀

  16. Thank you! After hours and hours on different forums and after trying a whole series of unsuccessful “solution”, at last a solution that works!

  17. Hi,

    Ref: the first post on this page by “Posted on October 19, 2007 by linuxtechie” titled “Getting Intel ICH8 Family (rev 03) Sound Card to Work in Gutsy”.

    Thanks linuxtechie. This worked for me. I got compaq presario 6000 series. All i did was as follows (copied from your solution) :

    So in order to fix this all you need to do is open the Software Properties, go to the Updates tab, and enable the Gutsy Backports.

    Then just run this command
    sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-generic


  18. For me I have to manually mute the main speakers when I plug in headphones, then I get sound out of the headphones. There should be a volume control under System>Preferences. If not just press Alt+F2 and type in
    and mute the Master if I remember correctly.

  19. If it’s still not working for you, make sure that your sound is turned on. I have a Toshiba Satellite U305, and I had to do this fix, as well as turn the sound on the front panels.

    To do that, type in the following at the command prompt:


    and then find “Front.” Press ‘m’ to unmute it, and the up arrow to turn up the volume.

  20. I don’t know how did u find this solution.It is really helpful for thousand of linux users.I really tried heart and soul to find the solution using alias.But didn’t work.Everytime after messing up the system I installed ubuntu 7.1 again.So that it becomes fresh .then I tried again but didn’t work.But your solution is awesome.

    It worked with my Laptop HP pavilion 6568se..

    Thanks a lot…………………………………………………………………………………….

  21. Thankyou so much… spent hours trying to fix sound instead of wrapping presents… now to do them. You deserve a medal. I nominate you for a knighthood. This should be on the ubuntu forums pages, but couldn’t find it and spent hours doing useless compiling. Thankyou thankyou thankyou

  22. When typing sudo apt-get install linux-backports-modules-generic, I get the error E: Couldn’t find package linux-backports-modules-generic

    Any ideas?

  23. Travis, make sure you have all the repositories enabled. Go System→Administration→Software Sources. Make sure all the boxes are checked. Uncheck the one for the CD-ROM if it happens to be checked. Also go under the Updates tab and you will find the check box for the Gutsy Backports. Check that too. Reload the sources when prompted.

  24. Thank You very much! This was so so so simple. I ran it on my Toshiba Satellite A200 and work immediately after reboot. The speakers mute when the headphones are plugged in, and the volume knob works a treat.

    I am literally gobsmacked by this. It’s by far the simplest solution so far and the only one that’s actually worked.

    Now to just my wireless working…

  25. hi! thank you 4 your guide, very simple and useful. but i still have a problem with my microphone that doesn’t work (nor the internal neither the external one). i have a dv6687el. what could i do?

  26. Hi. Having no success with this, but something doesn’t gel. Your instructions state “The reason it works is because that package contains ALSA 1.0.15rc3”.
    Having no luck after following your steps, I probed a little and found:
    $ dpkg -s linux-backports-modules-generic
    Description: Backported drivers for generic kernel image
    This empty package allows people to keep their backported modules
    up-to-date when upgrading their Linux kernel.

    $ dpkg -s alsa-base
    Version: 1.0.14-1ubuntu2

    I wonder if something in these repositories has changed since your post?

  27. Dawg!

    Someone needs to sticky this info onto Ubuntu forums – would save lots of hair.

    Worked on a hp dv6575ca laptop – without flaw

  28. The linux-backports-modules-generic package is a meta package so that when a new kernel update comes through it keeps the linux-backports-modules-generic up to date with the kernel. The package that actually contains the modules is (as of now) linux-backports-modules-2.6.22-14.10. The version of alsa-base will not change since it’s not altering alsa-base. The linux-backports-modules-generic contains a number of new sound modules, some of them from Alsa 1.0.15rc3. The one that most likely is the cause of the fix is /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/updates/sound/pci/hda/snd-hda-intel.ko

  29. Hi There,
    This isn’t working for me today for some reason (i’ve just done a fresh install). I am getting the error:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Couldn’t find package linux-backports-modules-generic

    Is the file still posted?

  30. Worked for me on the HP dv6775us model, sound is great. Now that Vista is gone the last two weeks of validation h*ll (that never worked) is now over.

  31. Hello linuxtechie,
    It did’nt worked for me.
    I had managed to get sound on feisty but when i upgraded to gusty it stopped working.
    I tried your method, installed the linux-backports-modules-generic, rebooted my PC but I still don’t have sound.

    I run a TOSHIBA P200 12V
    00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller (rev 02)
    Subsystem: Toshiba America Info Systems Unknown device ff03
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
    Memory at dc440000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]

  32. thanks alot dude….u dont know how happy i m today..jus bcoz of u ..
    when i logged in after rebooting dat ws the sweetest sound i heard evr…ws struggling like for evr…thanks a lot again u rock!!!!! …:)



  34. After enabling the backports repository make sure you have reloaded the sources. If you are unsure if you did this just run sudo apt-get update to reload the apt database. Then try again.

  35. This does not seem to be working. I just followed the above 2 steps and when i restart the system I get two version of linux to choose from. some linux-generic 15.22 and linux-generic14.22. The sound does not work on either of these. Some new problems have come in 15.22 thing. I am not able to connect to the internet which i was previously able to. can u suggest any solution. plz……..
    My lap is a Asus F3Sr x52 series. My sound card is Intel hda ALC861VD rev03
    Note: My alsa mixer version is still 1.14 even after installing the backports

  36. Thank you for the information man, now I can hear the sounds of the system.

    It’s a Laptop Gateway M-6806m.

    $lspci -vvv

    00:1a.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4 (rev 03) (prog-if 00 [UHCI])
    Subsystem: Gateway 2000 Unknown device 0561
    Control: I/O+ Mem- BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B-
    Status: Cap- 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- SERR- /proc/asound/card0/codec#0 /proc/asound/card0/codec#1 <==
    Codec: Conexant ID 2c06

    $ dmidecode

    Handle 0x0012, DMI type 10, 6 bytes
    On Board Device Information
    Type: Sound
    Status: Disabled
    Description: HD-Audio

    $ cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat
    Sound Driver:3.8.1a-980706 (ALSA v1.0.16 emulation code)
    Kernel: Linux laptop 2.6.24-21-generic #1 SMP Mon Aug 25 17:32:09 UTC 2008 i686
    Config options: 0

    Installed drivers:
    Type 10: ALSA emulation

    Card config:
    HDA Intel at 0xf3400000 irq 22

    Audio devices:
    0: STAC92xx Analog (DUPLEX)

    Synth devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG

    Midi devices: NOT ENABLED IN CONFIG

    7: system timer

    0: SigmaTel STAC9205

    I just made the moditication to /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base that JuDRuNK commented:

    options snd-hda-intel model=acer

    And the package I installed was:


    Hope this helps also.

  37. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  38. Sorry but I am a noob. I have an HP dv6000 ( dv6573cl) and get no sound out of the laptop, while headphones work OK. What file do I need to modify? Seems lke I am missing instructions?
    How do I get to this step: “So in order to fix this all you need to do is open the Software Properties, go to the Updates tab, and enable the Gutsy Backports.”

  39. This guide is very old. The problem was fixed way back in 8.04. You probably have a different problem. Try running ‘alsamixer’ in the terminal and make sure that the Master, Headphone, and Speaker channels are not muted and turned up. Esc to quit.

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