Doesn't PLAY in Ubuntu like in XP

Can’t get Audacity to PLAY in Ubuntu12.0.4. I’ve used (and liked) Audacity for several years on my desktop PC with Windows. Now on the same machine, but with Ubuntu in place of XP, and of course a different version (2.0.0) of Audacity, nothing happens when I hit the start button. I can see the dynamic input and output meters responding and hear the source material on my headphones. Any suggestions?

Ubuntu 12.04 and Audacity 2.0.0 are very old now. Was there a reason you obtained an old version of Ubuntu? It is still supported until next year, but you will have to upgrade it then.

What playback device are you choosing in Device Toolbar? Your can post the contents of Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity if you wish to.

On old Ubuntu it was sometimes necessary to install pavucontrol (PulseAudio Volume Control) before sound would work correctly in all applications.


Thanks, Gale. Yes I did ad pavucontrol. I have tried all available input devices/sources and I can see the line in amplitude display on both Audacity and under sound in system settings but the PLAY button doesn’t respond, so it doesn’t initiate a time domain waveform display. Perhaps I’ll have to upgrade my PC so that I can use a newer version of Ubuntu. Other than little glitches like this, Ubuntu has performed very well since partitioning the hard drive for a dual boot. Particularly so in light of the anguish my wife is experiencing these days with Win 10.

I don’t completely understand the symptoms. I thought you meant for example that you could hear on your headphones but not your computer speakers.

Are you saying that the green playback triangle and cursor does not move across the blue waveform when you Play?

It could be a bad setting. Have you tried exiting Audacity, finding the folder ~/.audacity-data then in that folder, delete audacity.cfg?

Playback may sometimes freeze up Audacity if you choose the “default” playback device, but if that happened you would not be able to use Audacity at all and would have to force quit it. See

Ubuntu has nominally lower system requirements than Windows 10, but modern desktop Ubuntu is now if anything a “heavier” operating system than Windows 10. If you only just meet the Windows 10 system requirements you will probably be better with a “lighter” variant of Ubuntu such as Lubuntu.