How-to: Get Audacity working after a Hardy upgrade

April 28, 2008 at 7:02 am | Posted in tips and tricks, xubuntu | 16 Comments

Xubuntu 8.04 comes shipped with PulseAudio, a new sound management system. For the most part, your commonly used programs should work with this new program. For some, however, Audacity may quit being able to play and record sound. (For those who don’t know, Audacity is a sound editor; which means not being able to play and record sound renders it pretty useless!)

This how-to is extremely easy and short, but it helps me work with one of my favourite programs. In short: uninstall jackd.

1) Go to Xfce Menu > Accessories > Terminal, and enter in the following:

sudo apt-get remove jackd

Reopen up Audacity. Hopefully, it should start working again as it should. If not, you may have to quit the jackd program. Go back to the terminal and enter the following:

killall jackd

Now Audacity should be working just as it did before. Good luck!

(Credit goes to


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  1. Thank you for posting this. It resolved my troubles with regular (not Xubuntu) Ubuntu Hardy.

  2. Remove jack?
    Are you insane?

    My 8.04 installs are currently broken, so when I get them fixed I’m going to be using other sound apps (Ardour, Fluidsynth, etc.) that rely on jack for low-latency.
    How does PulseAudio compare to jack for latency and configurability? Does PA play nice with jack (as in, is this just a temporary hack or do you REALLY have to not run jack)?

    If this is the case, I may have to stick with 7.10…

  3. I understand that a lot of people need jack, but I wasn’t able to get Audacity to work with it in 8.04. Sometimes I need to kill pulseaudio through the System Monitor to get Audacity working too.

    What you could do is write a script that kills jackd and pulseaudio, launches audacity and runs them both back up again. In short, it’d look something like this:


    killall jackd
    killall pulseaudio

    Save it as, make it executable (chmod +x ./, and create a launcher that points to this script. This should help you for now. PulseAudio isn’t quite as robust as I’d like it to be, especially for an LTS.

    In other words:
    If audio editing is really important to you, stick with 7.10.
    If not, move right on up.

  4. 8.04


    firefox doesn’t work
    xfc panel doesn’t work

  5. font sucks

  6. font in 8.04
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  7. Dude, re-install.

  8. Looks like Pulse is not installed by default in my 8.04….
    And according to PulseAudio’s website, Audacity doesn’t support PA anyway:


    Audacity doesn’t support PulseAudio, nor Esound for the moment. You’ll have to kill pulseaudio before you use this application. However, some work has started on the PortAudio cross-platform Audio API, to support PulseAudio.”

    So I’m back where I started… Happy with Jack.

  9. Thanks, your advice works for me (Kubuntu Hardy Heron)!

  10. prelatical says : I absolutely agree with this !

  11. well…

    Pulseaudio can use Jack as a backend.

    so you can have pulseaudio and jackd at the sametime 🙂


  12. Seriously?! Uninstall jackd? Really?! This deserved its own little “article?”

    I’m sorry to sound crass but… uh…

    How about some real help as in assisting folks who — gasp — need to keep jackd (ardour, for one). I would love a little tutorial to help get pulseaudio and jackd to play nicely together so that I can get both ardour AND audacity to work.

    Now THAT would be useful. 🙂


  13. Are you sure it comes with pulseaudio? My installation didn’t. I didn’t change anything prior to it, just did a default install.

  14. thanks I remove jackd and audacity work finaly
    a lot of thanks
    but I don know what is jackd…

  15. I had the same problem with audacity.I am using Ubuntu 8.04.
    The problem was solved when I removed jackd.
    Thanks a lot

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