Toshiba Laptop Microphone Not Working on Ubuntu

This problem has been plaguing me for a while. Running Ubuntu 8.04 on my Toshiba satellite laptop (p200-EE), when my girlfriend wants to call her family back in New Zealand on skype the microphone never seems to just work - the skype test call always returns nothing.

After hours of testing I have compiled a very specific solution to this problem - finally!

Play around with the settings!

Until I work out exactly what it is that I do during all of my scientific testing that makes the microphone work I'll jot down some of the things that I think make the microphone work :-)

Try opening the volume control (double click the speaker in the top right corner of the screen) and then Edit->Preferences

Tick everything, especially stuff like 'Capture' and 'Capture 1', and stuff like 'Input Source'. Then close that and there should be a bunch more volume controls available.

  • On the capture tab you want to make sure none of your capture devices are muted.
  • On the options tab there may be a dropdown with values like 'Mic', 'Front Mic' and 'Line'. Its a good idea to test these.
  • On the playback tab there may be some controls for 'Mic Boost' and 'Front Mic Boost', get the boost up there a bit.

If playing around with these settings still doesn't work with the skype test call then try System->Preferences->Sound. The setting for 'Sound Capture' is a good one to try setting to something different, although if its set to ALSA thats usually a good option.

So to sum up, I don't really know how to solve this problem but that solution is about as good as I can find on the internet. Find a how to on installing skype on Ubuntu 8.04 here.