some settings make pulseaudio startup muted.

this is how you can solve the problem on: Debian 8.7
Linux debian 3.16.0-4-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.16.39-1+deb8u2 (2017-03-07) i686 GNU/Linux

1. checkout your control center -> Sound ->

there is probably an „muted“ checkbox checked.

Uncheck this and set the volume as you like it.

then fire up an terminal.

su; # become root
apt-get install alsa-utils; # install some utils
alsactl store; # save the current volume setting

now try to reboot and check if this worked

by the way you can play a sound file from the terminal like this:

paplay /path/to/sound_file.ogg; # play sound

Startup Bootup Sound Gnome2 Autoplay on boot

to play this sound Debian_Linux_Startup_Linux_Sound_Collection.ogg.tar.gz on startup you can go like this (Gnome2):

1. create a script

mkdir scripts;

vim scripts/; # create startup script in user home folder

paplay /home/user/Musik/Debian_Linux_Startup_Linux_Sound_Collection.ogg; # play startup sound

2. start up Gnome2 control center -> start

3. hit save and close and reboot… you should actually hear your sound being played right after login screen 🙂