Mute button works, but LED is not lighting up on muting

Pretty much as it says on the tin; my mute button is perfectly functional, but the little LED that it has doesn’t light up or anything when my system is muted by pressing it. I’ve heard this can be an issue for some HP laptops, but all the info I can find is about Arch distros, whereas I’m on Kubuntu. Is there a way to get the light working?

This is apparently a notorious issue with HP laptops, where consumers models are created with whatever junk is lying around at the assembly plant so you can get two identically looking and named devices with wildly different actual components (HP are not alone in this practice - I love Dell but their Inspiron range suffers from the exact same problem).

The mute LED on these (and other) devices is actually controlled by the audio firmware and really means that the audio codec is muted - unlike most other leds on your device, it is not software controlled.

This comment on the Manjaro forums discusses the issue, links to all the (still open) bug reports on the Linux kernel’s issue reporting system, and explains that the way to get it going is to set up the model option for the snd-hda-intel driver.

This Ubuntu community documentation page explains - in very much details - how to go about doing that and how to choose your model (though from their list I didn’t see the specific model the Manjaro post mentioned, so the list is probably very extensive).

I hope this will help get you going.

Oh man, I didn’t know that was a practice. That feels super slimy, though I suppose it’s because it probably is.

I appreciate the link! It looks like a lot of the second post is about getting sound to work, which thankfully mine does, rather the very slight quality-of-life aspect of having a functioning mute LED isn’t functioning perfectly. I’ll do some more digging! Thank you so much!

It’s a cost cutting measure - basically with consumer models (unlike professional and workstation models), the warranty is basically non existent and support is the level of “did you try to turn it off and on again”, so they don’t actually certify any specific configuration. Laptop are manufactured in batches where you make a few thousands and then retool the assembly line for a different model, and if you run out of stock - you re-retool the assembly line again to make more. There are multiple competing component manufacturers that produce more or less compatible components - RAM, audio codecs, m.2 cards, fans, etc, so the next time you need a few thousands on the assembly line you order from whoever got you the best deal.