[Bug 605827] [NEW] Sound cuts out in some specific applications

Alistair Buxton a.j.buxton at gmail.com
Thu Jul 15 10:36:02 UTC 2010

Public bug reported:

After a program which makes sound has been running for minutes to hours,
the pulse sound sink eventually stops accepting new data. The problem
only affects a specific set of applications: wine, virtualbox, and very
rarely flash (which I rarely run long enough for it to be affected.)

The symptoms seen vary depending on the application. Applications
running in Wine will completely stop outputting sound. The do not just
stop producing sound from the speakers, they stop producing any sound at
all because the sink is blocking. The sound sink still shows up in sound
preferences and is not muted, but will not accept further audio.

When the problem happens with virtualbox it seems that virtualbox itself
recovers but passes the error through to it's virtual soundcard. All
applications inside virtualbox will now stop producing audio and crash
or otherwise behave strangely. Restarting the apps *inside* virtualbox
(but not virtualbox itself) and they will start making sound again.

When the problem happens, pulseaudio daemon does not output any
debugging information at all. (even with --log-level=debug) It does not
even log that the sink changed state in any way. It does not log an
underrun or that the sink was closed.

The problem usually only affects one application at a time. Other
applications are able to continue playing sound. After pulseaudio has
just been restarted the error will not show up for a few hours but after
pulse has been running for a few days, all affected applications will
freeze after playing one buffer worth of sound data every single time,
no matter how many times you restart that particular app. When that
happens I have to restart pulseaudio in order for these apps to make
more than 0.2 seconds of sound again.

This problem does not happen with vanilla kernels, both older and newer
than affected Lucid (and Karmic) kernels. The problem seems to either
happen under high CPU load conditions, or itself causes a CPU load
spike. It happens both with and without the cpu-limit = no option to
pulse. Another clue is that virtualbox, wine, flash etc are all running
32 bit and I have a 64 bit system, so that could be involved somehow.
Also all the affected programs use ALSA plug in.

Advice on how to debug this would be appreciated, since I can't get
anything useful from any of the involved programs regarding why they can
no longer write to the sink.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
Package: linux-image-2.6.32-23-generic 2.6.32-23.37
Regression: Yes
Reproducible: No
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-23.37-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-23-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
 Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.23.
 Compiled on Jun 14 2010 for kernel 2.6.32-23-generic (SMP).
Architecture: amd64
 **** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: SB [HDA ATI SB], device 0: VT1708S Analog [VT1708S Analog]
   Subdevices: 1/2
   Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
   Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
CRDA: Error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory
 Card hw:0 'SB'/'HDA ATI SB at 0xf9ff4000 irq 16'
   Mixer name	: 'VIA VT1708S'
   Components	: 'HDA:11060397,1043836c,00100000'
   Controls      : 38
   Simple ctrls  : 22
 Card hw:1 'NVidia'/'HDA NVidia at 0xfbcfc000 irq 19'
   Mixer name	: 'Nvidia GT240 HDMI'
   Components	: 'HDA:10de000d,10de0101,00100100'
   Controls      : 16
   Simple ctrls  : 4
Date: Thu Jul 15 11:06:32 2010
Frequency: Once a day.
HibernationDevice: RESUME=UUID=bdef25ff-56b0-4e0a-abf9-2cf62176f3d4
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release amd64 (20100429)
MachineType: System manufacturer System Product Name
ProcCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-23-generic root=UUID=22e9f849-0bd5-4f9f-9021-f69e2b3433ae ro quiet splash
 PATH=(custom, user)
RelatedPackageVersions: linux-firmware 1.34.1
 0: hci0: Bluetooth
 	Soft blocked: no
 	Hard blocked: no
SourcePackage: linux
 Jul 15 08:32:02 al-desktop kernel: [645189.857411] device eth0 entered promiscuous mode
 Jul 15 09:14:25 al-desktop kernel: [647733.327747] npviewer.bin[4239]: segfault at 30 ip 00000000f5eef00d sp 00000000ff843a40 error 4 in libflashplayer.so[f5e96000+b04000]
 Jul 15 09:24:26 al-desktop kernel: [648334.401257] device eth0 left promiscuous mode
dmi.bios.date: 11/25/2009
dmi.bios.vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
dmi.bios.version: 0704
dmi.board.asset.tag: To Be Filled By O.E.M.
dmi.board.name: M4A79XTD EVO
dmi.board.vendor: ASUSTeK Computer INC.
dmi.board.version: Rev X.0X
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: Asset-1234567890
dmi.chassis.type: 3
dmi.chassis.vendor: Chassis Manufacture
dmi.chassis.version: Chassis Version
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnAmericanMegatrendsInc.:bvr0704:bd11/25/2009:svnSystemmanufacturer:pnSystemProductName:pvrSystemVersion:rvnASUSTeKComputerINC.:rnM4A79XTDEVO:rvrRevX.0X:cvnChassisManufacture:ct3:cvrChassisVersion:
dmi.product.name: System Product Name
dmi.product.version: System Version
dmi.sys.vendor: System manufacturer

** Affects: linux (Ubuntu)
     Importance: Undecided
         Status: New

** Tags: amd64 apport-bug audio lucid needs-upstream-testing regression-update

Sound cuts out in some specific applications
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