How to Fix the Sound in Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a security and forensic-driven Linux distro that has many uses beyond its specialist toolset. It is based on Debian, which means it has a lot of benefits and also unfortunately some bugs or problems. One of the issues Kali users face is the lack of sound on a fresh installation. It is important to note that this is not a lack of care or key development, rather that the distribution is not geared toward audio output, nor is this a major concern of its support community.

How to fix Kali’s sound issue

Getting Kali to give audio output is a simple enough process with a little bit of effort. The first thing to do is kill all existing sound services to prevent any conflicts for the later stages of this guide. This can be done via the Terminal by entering the following command:

sudo killall pulseaudio

This will enable the next step which is to remove Pulseaudio completely:

sudo apt-get purge pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio paman pavumeter pavucontrol

We will be returning to Pulseaudio later on. However, it is wise to use apt-purge as opposed to apt-remove because this ensures that the configuration files are removed to prevent conflicts.

Next, we need an alternative to the absent Pulseaudio. This is where Alsa and its drivers can be used. Alsa-base is a set of configuration files that allow the driver to be used by the Kernel. Linux 2.6 was shipped with the drivers needed for the majority of sound cards.

Install Alsa with the following:

sudo apt-get install alsa-base alsa-tools alsa-tools-gui alsa-utils alsa-oss alsamixergui libalsaplayer0

Now that Alsa is installed, we need some way to control it. KMix is a good way to do this.

sudo apt-get install kmix

At this point, it is wise to reboot so that KMix and Alsa will load. Once the small volume control, KMix, is installed, we can return to Pulseaudio.

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio

The final step is to install Gnome-Core. This gives several vital packages and components for desktop environments. You can install it by typing this into the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install gnome-core

Once this is complete, you should restart the device to ensure everything plays well together. If you find any problems, then repeat the steps carefully.

It is important to remember that while all of this seems like a great deal of effort, Kali is meant to be used by ethical penetration testers, security professionals, or by those who want to learn this craft. It is not meant to be used necessarily as a daily driver, or as a media device. As with all Linux distributions, users are free to modify their systems to suit their needs. However, if you need something that is media friendly, then perhaps Linux Mint is the way to go.

Let us know in the comments if you have a better way to enable sound on Kali Linux.

Matthew Muller

Matt has worked in the tech industry for many years and is now a freelance writer. His experience is within Windows, Linux, Privacy and Android.

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