October 2, 2016

Correct HDMI Audio Issues with PulseAudio

I recently encountered an issue that caused my default audio output to revert to S/PDIF instead of HDMI audio every time I would wake or reboot the system. After a bit of research, I determined that it was likely that PulseAudio, the sound system used by Ubuntu and many other Linux distros, was attempting to reconnect the last used output, HDMI in my case, prior to the video card bringing up the HDMI interfaces. As such, PulseAudio would revert to a fallback audio output, which in my case was S/PDIF. This meant that each time I resumed from suspend or rebooted the system, I had to manually change the audio output back to HDMI.

To solve the issue, edit /etc/pulse/default.pa and make the following changes:

Find this line:
load-module module-stream-restore

Modify the line as follows:
load-module module-stream-restore restore_device=false

Comment out or remove this line:
#load-module module-switch-on-port-available

Select the desired audio output device within Settings and reboot. The output device should no longer change.

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