recently i started having audio problems. at first, the speakers stopped working unless i first plugged in headphones. sound would play through the headphones and then, when i unplugged the headphones, it would play through my laptop's speakers. but today, i can't get it to play through either headphones or laptop speakers. in the sound preferences there is now only the option "dummy output". to my knowledge i have not changed this at all, although i do the updates when they appear.
i am a basic user, i have ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with mate 1.20.1. i can no longer see what the audio hardware is on my laptop, but until today it was working ... i've had a look in the forums & see other people who have encountered the "dummy output" but none of the solutions are appropriate for my situation.