No sound in Firefox 59 on Linux in some configurations

Revision Information
  • Revision id: 158190
  • Created:
  • Creator: Jed Davis
  • Comment: Create a note for bug 1443612 and bug 1434392, which missed the 59 release.
  • Reviewed: No
  • Ready for localization: No
Revision Source
Revision Content

Firefox 58 and 59 may be unable to play or record sound on some less-common Linux distributions and desktop environments.

In more detail: if the PulseAudio service, which manages audio hardware, is not already running then Firefox will fail to start it due to sandboxing. Most desktop environments start this service when you log in and ensure that it remains running, and some newer distributions use systemd to manage restarting it, but if neither of these applies then this bug can occur.

This will be fixed in the Firefox 60 release.

Affected users can try one of these workarounds:

  1. Run pulseaudio --start --exit-idle-time=-1 from a terminal.
  2. More advanced: Add that command to a script that's run at login (for example, .xinitrc if you use startx).
  3. Use Firefox Beta 60, which has a fix for this bug.