As software continues to require more and more resources, my aging laptop (an HP DV6-7010) has gotten to the point where it requires a lighter distro to perform optimally when bogged down with my gazillion browser tabs and graphics I’m editing. I tried Xubuntu, but found that even it started getting kind of funky when I dealt with a heavy workload. So of course the next step was Lubuntu with its LXDE desktop environment. This was my first experience with anything LXDE based, so yup – I was a newbie just like you probably are. I soon discovered that Lubuntu is the intermediate distro of the Ubuntu family, requiring some under the hood tweaks to get basic functionality like audio going. Don’t let this scare you though – these tweaks are quick and easy to apply, and well worth the effort when you need a seriously lightweight desktop environment. The Lubuntu setup actually has taken less time than it takes me to tweak any of the other Ubuntu family distros, simply because I am ONLY adding things and not having to REMOVE things simultaneously that I don’t want.

Lubuntu Audio Configuration

It took me about a week to notice I had no audio in Lubuntu by default (I don’t use it very much). Fortunately, this is a super easy fix. Open up Terminal and type the following, then press Enter:

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol

Type in your user password, press Enter again, then let the installation finish. Next, type the following in Terminal:


Press Enter. Now you should see this:

pavucontrol volume control output devices in lubuntu

Click the highlighted arrow until you come to the Configuration tab.

pavucontrol volume control configuration in lubuntu

Under Built-In Audio, make sure that Analog Stereo Output is selected. Chances are if you have no audio in Lubuntu, it’s because this is set to Analog Stereo Duplex or HDMI.

Once you close out of pavucontrol and reboot, you should have fully functioning audio in Lubuntu.

Lubuntu Volume Control Settings

You may notice now that you have fully functioning audio that the Lubuntu volume control is missing from the taskbar (in Linux this is often referred to as a panel, because they’re multi-purpose and may not be necessarily used for tasks). Don’t worry – this is the easiest fix of all as a simple point-and-click procedure.

Right click anywhere on the panel. Then left click on Add/Remove Panel Items.

add/remove panel items in lubuntu

Under the Panel Applets tab, click on the Add button.

panel preference panel applets in lubuntu

This should place a volume icon on your panel, and now you can use the Up and Down buttons to change its placement on the panel.

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