Input level

I am trying out using Audacity on my Thinkpad laptop running under Linux.
I plugged a sound source into the correct socket and started Audacity, but
it did not register any sound.

I assume I have to tell it where to look for it - how do I do that? I tried the
little menu on the input bars, but nothing works.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Which Linux distribution?

What sound source and what socket?

In Audacity, use the recording input setting in the device toolbar.
Depending on your set-up you may need to also configure the sound system.

Thanks all. I will check for the device toolbar. The Linux version is Suse 12.2, and
the sound source is the headphone output of a cassette recorder. There is a small
red socket on the side of the laptop and that’s where I plugged the cable in.

On a lot of laptops the only audio input is a microphone socket.
Microphone inputs are unsuitable for anything other than connecting a microphone because they are too sensitive and usually mono. When you get this working, if the sound is very loud and distorted then you will probably need to get a USB audio interface that has stereo, line level inputs. I use a Behringer UCA 202 because it is cheap with very good sound quality. There are many alternative products.