Difference between revisions of "PulseAudio"

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[[zh-hans:PulseAudio]]
[[Wikipedia:PulseAudio|PulseAudio]] is the default sound server that serves as a proxy to sound applications using existing kernel sound components like [[ALSA]] or [[OSS]]. Since [[ALSA]] is included in Arch Linux by default so the most common deployment scenarios include PulseAudio with [[ALSA]].
+
{{Related articles start}}
 +
{{Related|PulseAudio/Examples}}
 +
{{Related|PulseAudio/Troubleshooting}}
 +
{{Related articles end}}
 +
[[Wikipedia:PulseAudio|PulseAudio]] is a general purpose sound server intended to run as a middleware between your applications and your hardware devices, either using [[ALSA]] or [[OSS]]. It also offers easy network streaming across local devices using [[Avahi]] if enabled. While its main purpose is to ease audio configuration, its modular design allows more advanced users to configure the daemon precisely to best suit their needs.
  
{{Article summary start}}
+
{{Note|Some confusion may occur between [[ALSA]] and PulseAudio. ALSA includes a Linux kernel component with sound card drivers, as well as a userspace component, {{ic|libalsa}}.[http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Download] PulseAudio builds only on the kernel component, but offers compatibility with {{ic|libalsa}} through {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}}.[http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/FAQ/#index14h3]}}
{{Article summary text|'''PulseAudio''' is a general purpose sound server. For a list of features, see [[Wikipedia:PulseAudio#Features]].}}
 
{{Article summary heading|Related Articles}}
 
{{Article summary wiki|PulseAudio/Examples}}
 
{{Article summary end}}
 
  
 
== Installation ==
 
== Installation ==
  
* Required package:  {{Pkg|pulseaudio}}
+
[[Install]] the {{Pkg|pulseaudio}} package.
* Optional GTK GUIs: {{Pkg|paprefs}} and {{Pkg|pavucontrol}}
 
* Optional volume control via mapped keyboard keys: {{AUR|pulseaudio_ctl}}
 
* Optional console mixer: {{AUR|ponymix-git}} and {{AUR|pamixer-git}}
 
* Optional system tray icon: {{AUR|pasystray-git}}
 
* Optional KDE plasma applet: {{Pkg|kdemultimedia-kmix}} and {{AUR|kdeplasma-applets-veromix}}
 
  
== Running ==
+
{{Note|Some PulseAudio modules have been [https://www.archlinux.org/news/pulseaudio-split/ split] from the main package and must be installed separately if needed.}}
{{Warning|If you have per-user copies of configuration files (such as client.conf, daemon.conf or default.pa) in ~/.pulse/, make sure you keep them in sync with changes to the packaged files in /etc/pulse/. Otherwise, PulseAudio may refuse to start due to configuration errors.}}
 
  
{{Note|
+
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}}, for PulseAudio to manage [[ALSA]] as well, see [[#ALSA]].
* Pulseaudio requires [[D-Bus]] to function.
+
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-bluetooth}}, for [[bluetooth]] support (Bluez), see [[bluetooth headset]] page.
* Most X11 environments start pulseaudio automatically with the X11 session.
+
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-equalizer}}, for equalizer sink (qpaeq).
}}
+
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-jack}}, for [[JACK]] sink, source and jackdbus detection.
 +
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-lirc}}, for infrared (LIRC) volume control.
 +
* {{Pkg|pulseaudio-zeroconf}}, for Zeroconf ([[Avahi]]/DNS-SD) support.
  
In the unlikely event that pulseaudio is not automatically called upon entering X, it can can be started with:
+
=== Front-ends ===
$ pulseaudio --start
 
  
PulseAudio can be stopped with:
+
There are a number of front-ends available for controlling the PulseAudio daemon:
$ pulseaudio -k
 
  
== Equalizer ==
+
==== Console ====
  
Newer pulseaudio versions have an intergrated 10-band equalizer system. In order to use the equalizer do the following:
+
* {{App|ncpamixer|Ncurses mixer for PulseAudio inspired by pavucontrol.|https://github.com/fulhax/ncpamixer|{{AUR|ncpamixer}}}}
 +
* {{App|pacmixer|Alsamixer alike for PulseAudio.|https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer|{{AUR|pacmixer}}}}
 +
* {{App|PAmix|Ncurses PulseAudio mixer similar to pavucontrol.|https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer|{{AUR|pamix-git}}}}
 +
* {{App|pamixer|PulseAudio command line mixer.|https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer|{{Pkg|pamixer}}}}
 +
* {{App|pavolume|Simple command-line volume control for PulseAudio with libnotify messages.|https://github.com/sseemayer/pavolume|{{AUR|pavolume-git}}}}
 +
* {{App|Ponymix|Command line mixer for PulseAudio.|https://github.com/falconindy/ponymix|{{Pkg|ponymix}}}}
 +
* {{App|pulseaudio-ctl|Control PulseAudio volume from the shell or mapped to keyboard shortcuts.|https://github.com/graysky2/pulseaudio-ctl|{{AUR|pulseaudio-ctl}}}}
 +
* {{App|pulsemixer|CLI and curses mixer for PulseAudio|https://github.com/GeorgeFilipkin/pulsemixer|{{Pkg|pulsemixer}}}}
  
=== Load equalizer sink module ===
+
==== Graphical ====
  
$ pactl load-module module-equalizer-sink
+
* {{App|MicTray|Lightweight system tray application which lets you control the microphone state and volume using PulseAudio.|https://github.com/Junker/MicTray|{{AUR|mictray}}}}
 +
* {{App|pa-applet|System tray applet for PulseAudio with volume bar.|https://github.com/fernandotcl/pa-applet|{{AUR|pa-applet-git}}}}
 +
* {{App|pasystray|System tray applet for PulseAudio.|https://github.com/christophgysin/pasystray|{{Pkg|pasystray}}}}
 +
* {{App|plasma-pa|[[KDE]] Plasma applet for audio volume management using PulseAudio|https://cgit.kde.org/plasma-pa.git|{{Pkg|plasma-pa}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseAudio Manager|Simple GTK+ frontend for PulseAudio.|http://0pointer.de/lennart/projects/paman/|{{AUR|paman}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseAudio Preferences|Simple GTK+ configuration dialog for PulseAudio.|https://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/paprefs/|{{Pkg|paprefs}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseAudio Volume Control|Simple GTK+ volume control tool ("mixer") for PulseAudio.|https://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/pavucontrol/|{{Pkg|pavucontrol}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseAudio Volume Control (Qt)|Mixer for PulseAudio (Qt port of pavucontrol).|https://github.com/lxqt/pavucontrol-qt|{{Pkg|pavucontrol-qt}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseAudio Volume Meter|Simple GTK+ volume meter for PulseAudio.|http://0pointer.de/lennart/projects/pavumeter/|{{AUR|pavumeter}}}}
 +
* {{App|PulseEffects|Audio effects for PulseAudio applications.|https://github.com/wwmm/pulseeffects|{{Pkg|pulseeffects}}}}
 +
* {{App|Volctl|Per-application system tray applet volume control for PulseAudio.|https://buzz.github.io/volctl/|{{AUR|volctl}}}}
 +
* {{App|Xfce PulseAudio Panel Plugin|PulseAudio plugin for [[Xfce]]4 panel.|https://goodies.xfce.org/projects/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin|{{Pkg|xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin}}}}
  
=== Install and run the gui frontend ===
+
== Configuration ==
 +
{{Merge|PulseAudio/Configuration|Configuration should stay in the main article, so the linked page should be merged here.|section=Abandoned draft}}
  
Install {{Pkg|python2-pyqt}} and execute:
+
By default, PulseAudio is configured to automatically detect all sound cards and manage them. It takes control of all detected ALSA devices and redirects all audio streams to itself, making the PulseAudio daemon the central configuration point. The daemon should work mostly out of the box, only requiring a few minor tweaks.
  
$ qpaeq
+
While PulseAudio usually runs fine out of the box and requires only minimal configuration, advanced users can change almost every aspect of the daemon by either altering the default configuration file to disable modules or writing your own from scratch.
  
{{Note|If qpaeq has no effect, install pavucontrol and change "ALSA Playback on" to "FFT based equalizer on ..." while the media player is running.}}
+
PulseAudio runs as a server daemon that can run either system-wide or on per-user basis using a client/server architecture. The daemon by itself does nothing without its '''modules''' except to provide an API and host dynamically loaded modules. The audio routing and processing tasks are all handled by various modules, including PulseAudio's native protocol itself (provided by [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/Modules/#index22h3 module-native-protocol-unix]). Clients reach the server through one of many protocol modules that will accept audio from external sources, route it through PulseAudio and eventually have it go out through a final other module. The output module does not have to be an actual sound output: it can dump the stream into a file, stream it to a broadcasting server such as [[Icecast]], or even just discard it.
  
=== Load equalizer module on every boot ===
+
You can find a detailed list of all available modules at [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/Modules/ Pulseaudio Loadable Modules]. To enable them you can just add a line {{ic|load-module <module-name-from-list>}} to {{ic|~/.config/pulse/default.pa}}.
  
Edit the file {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}} with your favorite editor and append the following lines:
+
=== Configuration files ===
  
### Load the integrated pulseaudio equalizer module
+
PulseAudio will first look for configuration files in the home directory {{ic|~/.config/pulse}}, then system-wide {{ic|/etc/pulse}}.
load-module module-equalizer-sink
 
  
== Backend Configuration ==
+
{{Tip|
 +
* It is strongly suggested not to edit system-wide configuration files, but rather edit user ones. Create the {{ic|~/.config/pulse}} directory, then copy the system configuration files into it and edit according to your need.
 +
* Make sure you keep user configuration in sync with changes to the packaged files in {{ic|/etc/pulse/}}. Otherwise, PulseAudio may refuse to start due to configuration errors.
 +
* There is usually no need to add your user to the {{ic|audio}} group, as PulseAudio uses [[udev]] and ''logind'' to give access dynamically to the currently "active" user. Exceptions would include running the machine headless so that there is no currently "active" user.}}
  
=== ALSA ===
+
==== daemon.conf ====
  
* Recommended package: {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}}
+
This is the main configuration file to configure the daemon itself. It defines base settings like the default sample rates used by modules, resampling methods, realtime scheduling and various other settings related to the server process. These can not be changed at runtime without restarting the PulseAudio daemon. The defaults are sensible for most users, see the {{man|5|pulse-daemon.conf}} manpage for additional information. Boolean options accepts any of these: {{ic|true}}, {{ic|yes}}, {{ic|on}} and {{ic|1}} as well as {{ic|false}}, {{ic|no}}, {{ic|off}} and {{ic|0}}.
* Optional packages: {{Pkg|lib32-libpulse}} and {{Pkg|lib32-alsa-plugins}}
 
  
{{Note|Optional packages are needed only if running x86_64 and wanting to have sound for 32 bit programs (like Wine).}}
+
{{Note|PulseAudio does not perform tilde expansion on paths in this file. Use absolute paths for any files.}}
  
For the applications that do not support PulseAudio and support ALSA it is '''recommended''' to install the PulseAudio plugin for ALSA. This package also contains the necessary {{ic|/etc/asound.conf}} for configuring ALSA to use PulseAudio.
+
{| class="wikitable"
 +
|+ Notable configuration options
 +
! Option || Description
 +
|+
 +
| daemonize || Controls whether the server will daemonize itself and return. Set to {{ic|no}} when debugging so you can see the debugging information on the terminal.
 +
|+
 +
| resample-method || Which resampler to use when audio with incompatible sample rates needs to be passed between modules (e.g. playback of 96kHz audio on hardware which only supports 48kHz). The available resamplers can be listed with {{ic|$ pulseaudio --dump-resample-methods}}. Choose the best tradeoff between CPU usage and audio quality for the present use-case. {{Tip|In some cases PulseAudio will generate a high CPU load. This can happen when multiple streams are resampled (individually). If this is a common use-case in a workflow, it should be considered to create an additional sink at a matching sample rate which can then be fed into the main sink, resampling only once.}}
 +
|+
 +
| avoid-resampling || With {{ic|1=avoid-resampling = yes}}, PulseAudio automatically configures the hardware to the sample rate which the application uses, if the hardware supports this sample rate (needs [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Notes/11.0/ PA 11] or higher)
 +
{{Warning|Enabling this feature might cause audio distortion, therefore it is disabled by default, see the [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Notes/11.0/ release notes] for more information.}}
 +
|+
 +
| enable-remixing || When the input and output have a different channel count (for example, outputting a 6 channel movie into a stereo sink), pulse can either remix all the channels (default, {{ic|yes}}) or just trivially map the channels by their name (left goes to left, right to right, all others ignored) when {{ic|no}}
 +
|+
 +
| system-instance || If set to {{ic|yes}}, run the daemon as a [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/SystemWide/ system-wide] instance. [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/WhatIsWrongWithSystemWide/ Highly discouraged] as it can introduce security issues. Useful on [[Xorg multiseat|Multiseat]] systems, or headless systems that have no real local users. Defaults to {{ic|no}}.
 +
|+
 +
| flat-volumes ||{{ic|flat-volumes}} scales the device-volume with the volume of the "loudest" application. For example, raising the VoIP call volume will raise the hardware volume and adjust the music-player volume so it stays where it was, without having to lower the volume of the music-player manually. Defaults to {{ic|yes}} upstream, but to {{ic|no}} within Arch. {{Note|The default behavior upstream can sometimes be confusing and some applications, unaware of this feature, can set their volume to 100% at startup, potentially blowing your speakers or your ears. This is why Arch defaults to the classic (ALSA) behavior by setting this to {{ic|no}}.}}
 +
|+
 +
| realtime-scheduling || If your [[kernel]] supports realtime scheduling (for instance, [[Realtime kernel]] or [[Linux-ck]]), set this to {{ic|yes}} to ensure PulseAudio can deliver low-latency glitch-free playback. You can adjust {{ic|realtime-priority}} as well to have it use the correct priority, especially when [[JACK]] is also running on the system.
 +
|+
 +
| nice-level || Since PulseAudio runs in userspace and involves inter-process communication, audio can be subject to dropouts if the daemon does not have enough CPU time to process the audio. The default usually is enough, but can be tweaked to give pulse the wanted priority over (or below) other applications.
 +
|+
 +
| exit-idle-time || If you want to run PulseAudio only when needed and use ALSA otherwise, you can set a delay in seconds after which the daemon will automatically shutdown after all clients are disconnected. Set it to -1 to disable this feature.
 +
|+
 +
| log-level || When debugging, you may want to increase the logging level of the daemon to see exactly why a specific module fails to load. High logging levels will sometimes print useful information such as detected minimum latency for the system, which can then be used to tweak {{ic|default-fragments}} and {{ic|default-fragment-size-msec}}.
 +
|+
 +
| default-sample-format || Usually does not need change, but if your sound card's native format is diffent performance and quality can be improved by setting the right format here.
 +
|+
 +
| default-sample-rate || The default sample rate user by pulse unless overriden at module level. Change this if your sound card does not support 44100Hz or if you wish to upsample all audio. See previous note about CPU usage.
 +
|+
 +
| alternate-sample-rate || To fix a common limitation where movies at 48000Hz were needlessly downsampled to 44100Hz, some modules support changing their sample rate dynamically to avoid resampling when possible. See manual for more in-depth information. Usually do not need any change.
 +
|+
 +
| default-channels || The default number of channels when not specified. Usually do not need any change as you can configure more channels on per-module basis.
 +
|+
 +
| default-fragments || Audio samples are split into multiple fragments of {{ic|default-fragment-size-msec}} each. The larger the buffer is, the less likely audio will skip when the system is overloaded. On the downside this will increase the overall latency. Increase this value if you have issues.
 +
|+
 +
| default-fragment-size-msec || The size in milliseconds of each fragment. This is the amount of data that will be processed at once by the daemon. TODO: Verify
 +
|}
  
To prevent applications from using ALSA's OSS emulation and bypassing Pulseaudio (thereby preventing other applications from playing sound), make sure the module {{ic|snd_pcm_oss}} is not being loaded at boot. If it is currently loaded (<code>lsmod|grep oss</code>), disable it by executing:
+
==== default.pa ====
# rmmod snd_pcm_oss
 
  
=== ALSA/dmix without grabbing hardware device ===
+
This file is a startup script and is used to configure modules. It is actually parsed and read after the daemon has finished initializing and additional commands can be sent at runtime using {{ic|$ pactl}} or {{ic|$ pacmd}}. The startup script can also be provided on the command line by starting PulseAudio in a terminal using {{ic|$ pulseaudio -nC}}. This will make the daemon load the CLI module and will accept the configuration directly from the command line, and output resulting information or error messages on the same terminal. This can be useful when debugging the daemon or just to test various modules before setting them permanently on disk. The manual page is quite self-explanatory, consult {{man|5|pulse-cli-syntax}} for the details of the syntax.
  
{{Note|This section describes alternative configuration, which is generally '''not''' recommended.}}
+
{{tip|
 +
* Rather than being a complete copy, {{ic|~/.config/pulse/default.pa}} can start with the line {{ic|.include /etc/pulse/default.pa}} and then just override the defaults.
 +
* Run {{ic|<nowiki>$ pacmd list-sinks|egrep -i 'index:|name:'</nowiki>}} to list available sinks. The present default sink is marked with an asterisk.
 +
* Edit {{ic|~/.config/pulse/default.pa}} to insert/alter the set-default-sink command using the sink's name as the numbering cannot be guaranteed repeatable.
 +
}}
  
You may want to use ALSA directly in most of your applications and to be able to use other applications, which constantly require PulseAudio at the same time. The following steps allow you to make PulseAudio use dmix instead of grabbing ALSA hardware device.
+
==== client.conf ====
 +
This is the configuration file read by every PulseAudio client application. It is used to configure runtime options for individual clients. It can be used to set and configure the default sink and source statically as well as allowing (or disallowing) clients to automatically start the server if not currently running.
  
* Remove package {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}}, which provides compatibility layer between ALSA applications and PulseAudio. After this your ALSA apps will use ALSA directly without being hooked by Pulse.
+
=== Configuration command ===
  
* Edit {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}.
+
The main command to configure a server during runtime is {{ic|$ pacmd}}. Run {{ic|$ pacmd --help}} for a list options, or just run {{ic|$ pacmd}} to enter the shell interactive mode and {{ic|Ctrl+d}} to exit. All modifications will immediately be applied.
:Find and uncomment lines which load backend drivers. Add '''device''' parameters as follows. Then find and comment lines which load autodetect modules.
 
load-module module-alsa-sink '''device=dmix'''
 
load-module module-alsa-source '''device=dsnoop'''
 
# load-module module-udev-detect
 
# load-module module-detect
 
  
* ''Optional:'' If you use {{Pkg|kdemultimedia-kmix}} you may want to control ALSA volume instead of PulseAudio volume:
+
Once your new settings have been tested and meet your needs, edit the {{ic|default.pa}} accordingly to make the change persistent. See [[PulseAudio/Examples]] for some basic settings.
$ echo export KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 > ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
 
$ chmod +x ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
 
  
* Now, reboot your computer and try running alsa and pulseaudio applications at the same time. They both should produce sound simultaneously.
+
{{Tip|leave the {{ic|load-module module-default-device-restore}} line in the {{ic|default.pa}} file untouched. It will allow you to restart the server in its default state, thus dismissing any wrong setting.}}
:Use {{Pkg|pavucontrol}} to control PulseAudio volume if needed.
 
  
=== OSS ===
+
It is important to understand that the "sources" (processes, capture devices) and "sinks" (sound cards, servers, other processes) accessible and selectable through PulseAudio depend upon the current hardware "Profile" selected.  These "Profiles" are those ALSA "pcms" listed by the command {{ic|aplay -L}}, and more specifically by the command {{ic|pacmd list-cards}}, which will include a line "index:", a list beginning "profiles:", and a line "active profile: <...>" in the output, among other things. "Profiles" correspond to different card input/output configurations, notably the number of available input/output channels.
  
There are multiple ways of making OSS-only programs play to PulseAudio:
+
The "active profile"  can be set with the command {{ic|pacmd set-card-profile INDEX PROFILE}}, with ''no'' comma separating INDEX and PROFILE, where INDEX is just the number on the line "index:" and a PROFILE name is everything shown from the beginning of any line under "profile:" to just ''before'' the colon and first space, as shown by the command {{ic|pacmd list-cards}}.  For instance, {{ic|pacmd set-card-profile 0 output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo}}.
  
==== ossp ====
+
It may be easier to select a "Profile" with a graphical tool like {{ic|pavucontrol}}, under the "Configuration" tab, or KDE System Settings, "Multimedia/Audio and Video Settings", under the "Audio Hardware Setup" tab.  Each audio "Card", which are those devices listed by the command {{ic|aplay -l}}, or again by the command {{ic|pacmd list-cards}}, will have its own selectable "Profile".  When a "Profile" has been selected, the then available "sources" and "sinks" can be seen by using the commands {{ic|pacmd list-sources}} and {{ic|pacmd list-sinks}}.  Note that the "index" of the available sources and sinks will change each time a card profile is changed.
  
Install {{Pkg|ossp}} package and start '''ossp''' service.
+
The selected "Profile" can be an issue for some applications, especially the Adobe Flash players, typically {{ic|/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so}} and {{ic|/usr/lib/PepperFlash/libpepflashplayer.so}}.  Often, these Flash players will only work when one of the Stereo profiles is selected, and otherwise, will play video with no sound, or will simply "crash".  When all else fails, you might try selecting a different profile.
  
==== padsp wrapper (part of PulseAudio) ====
+
Of course, when configuring some variation of Surround Sound in PulseAudio, the appropriate Surround profile will have to be selected, before Surround Sound will work, or in order to do things like remap the speaker channels.
  
Programs using OSS can work with PulseAudio by starting it with padsp:
+
== Running ==
  
$ padsp OSSprogram
+
PulseAudio on Arch has {{ic|pulseaudio.socket}} enabled by default for the [[systemd/User]] instance. This means that PulseAudio will automatically start when needed.
A few examples:
 
$ padsp aumix
 
$ padsp sox foo.wav -t ossdsp /dev/dsp
 
  
You can also add a custom wrapper script like this: 
+
{{Note|
{{hc|/usr/local/bin/OSSProgram|<nowiki>
+
* To disable {{ic|pulseaudio.socket}}, make sure that {{ic|$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/systemd/user/}} exists and run {{ic|systemctl --user mask pulseaudio.socket}}.
#!/bin/sh
+
* Many [[desktop environments]] support [[XDG Autostart]]. In those desktop environments, PulseAudio will be launched automatically regardless of the socket activation status.
exec padsp /usr/bin/OSSprogram "$@"
+
}}
</nowiki>}}
 
Make sure {{ic|/usr/local/bin}} comes before {{ic|/usr/bin}} in your '''PATH'''.
 
  
=== GStreamer ===
+
For more information, see [http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/Running/ PulseAudio: Running].
  
To make [[GStreamer]] use PulseAudio, you need to install {{Pkg|gst-plugins-good}} or {{Pkg|gstreamer0.10-good-plugins}}.
+
== Back-end configuration ==
  
=== OpenAL ===
+
=== ALSA ===
  
OpenAL Soft should use PulseAudio by default, but can be explicitly configured to do so: {{hc|/etc/openal/alsoft.conf|2=drivers=pulse,alsa}}
+
If you have applications that do not support PulseAudio explicitly but rely on ALSA, these applications will try to access the sound card directly via ALSA and will therefore bypass PulseAudio. PulseAudio will thus not have access to the sound card any more. As a result, all applications relying on PulseAudio will not be working any more, leading to [[PulseAudio/Troubleshooting#The only device shown is "dummy output" or newly connected cards are not detected|this issue]]. To prevent this, you will need to install the {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}} package. It contains the necessary {{ic|/etc/asound.conf}} for configuring ALSA to use PulseAudio. Also make sure that {{ic|~/.asoundrc}} does not exist, as it would override the {{ic|/etc/asound.conf}} file.
  
=== libao ===
+
Also install {{Pkg|lib32-libpulse}} and {{Pkg|lib32-alsa-plugins}} if you run a x86_64 system and want to have sound for 32-bit [[multilib]] programs like [[Wine]] and [[Steam]].
  
Edit the libao configuration file:
+
To prevent applications from using ALSA's OSS emulation and bypassing PulseAudio (thereby preventing other applications from playing sound), make sure the module {{ic|snd_pcm_oss}} is not being loaded at boot. If it is currently loaded ({{ic|<nowiki>lsmod | grep oss</nowiki>}}), disable it by executing:
{{hc|/etc/libao.conf|2=default_driver=pulse}}
+
  # rmmod snd_pcm_oss
Be sure to remove the {{ic|1=dev=default}} option of the alsa driver or adjust it to specify a specific Pulse sink name or number. Alternatively, note that you could keep the libao standard of outputting to the ''alsa'' driver and its default device if you install {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}} since the ALSA default device then '''is''' PulseAudio.
 
   
 
=== ESD ===
 
  
PulseAudio is a drop-in replacement for the enlightened sound daemon (ESD). While PulseAudio is running, ESD clients should be able to output to it without configuration.
+
==== Enable DTS via ALSA ====
  
== Desktop environments ==
+
To enable PulseAudio DTS via ALSA install {{aur|dcaenc}} package and enable it:
  
=== General X11 ===
+
{{hc|/etc/asound.conf|2=
 +
<confdir:pcm/dca.conf>
 +
}}
  
{{Note|As mentioned previously, PulseAudio is very likely launched automatically via either {{ic|/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/pulseaudio}} or the files in {{ic|/etc/xdg/autostart/}} if users have some DE installed.}}
+
Finally restart PulseAudio. If experience volume issues with your DTS device and/or PulseAudio, you may fix it by looking for more setting option at [https://github.com/darealshinji/dcaenc dcaenc's Github].
  
Check to see if PulseAudio is running:
+
==== Expose PulseAudio sources, sinks and mixers to ALSA ====
 +
Although {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}} contains the necessary configuration file to allow ALSA applications to use PulseAudio's default device, ALSA's {{ic|pulse}} plugin is more versatile than that:
  
{{hc|<nowiki>$ ps aux | grep pulse</nowiki>|
+
{{hc|~/.asoundrc (or /etc/asound.conf)|2=
  facade  1794 0.0 0.0 360464 6532 ?        S<l 15:33  0:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start
+
  # Create an alsa input/output using specific PulseAudio sources/sinks
  facade  1827 0.0 0.0 68888 2608 ?        S    15:33  0:00 /usr/lib/pulse/gconf-helper
+
  pcm.pulse-example1 {
 +
    type pulse
 +
    device "my-combined-sink" # name of a source or sink
 +
    fallback "pulse-example2" # if combined not available
 +
}
 +
 +
  pcm.pulse-example2 {
 +
    type pulse
 +
    device "other-sound-card" # name of a source or sink
 +
    # example: device "alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 +
  }
 +
   
 +
# Create an alsa mixer using specific PulseAudio sources/sinks
 +
# these can be tested with "alsamixer -D pulse-example3"
 +
  ctl.pulse-example3 {
 +
    type pulse
 +
    device "my-output" # name of source or sink to control
 +
   
 +
    # example: always control the laptop speakers:
 +
    # device "alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 +
    fallback "pulse-example4" # supports fallback too
 +
}
 +
 +
# Mixers also can control a specific source and sink, separately:
 +
  ctl.pulse-example4 {
 +
    type pulse
 +
    sink "my-usb-headphones"
 +
    source "my-internal-mic"
 +
   
 +
    # example: output to HDMI, record using internal
 +
    sink "alsa_output.pci-0000_01_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra1"
 +
    source "alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 +
}
 +
   
 +
  # These can override the default mixer (example: for pnmixer integration)
 +
ctl.!default {
 +
    type pulse
 +
    sink "alsa_output.pci-0000_01_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra1"
 +
    source "alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 +
}
 
}}
 
}}
  
If Pulseaudio is not running and users are using X, the following will start PulseAudio with the needed the X11 plugins manually:
+
The [http://git.alsa-project.org/?p=alsa-plugins.git;a=tree;f=pulse;hb=HEAD source code] can be read to know all available options.
$ start-pulseaudio-x11
 
  
If you are not running Gnome, KDE or XFCE and your {{ic|~/.xinitrc}} does not source the scripts in {{ic|/etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d}} (such as is done in the example file {{ic|/etc/skel/.xinitrc}}) then you can launch PulseAudio on boot with:
+
==== ALSA/dmix without grabbing hardware device ====
{{hc|~/.xinitrc|
 
/usr/bin/start-pulseaudio-x11
 
}}
 
  
=== GNOME ===
+
{{Note|This section describes alternative configuration, which is generally '''not''' recommended.}}
  
As of GNOME 3, GNOME fully integrates with PulseAudio and no extra configuration is needed.
+
You may want to use ALSA directly in most of your applications while still being able to use applications which require PulseAudio at the same time. The following steps allow you to make PulseAudio use dmix instead of grabbing ALSA hardware device.
  
=== KDE 3 ===
+
* Remove package {{Pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}}, which provides compatibility layer between ALSA applications and PulseAudio. After this your ALSA apps will use ALSA directly without being hooked by Pulse.
  
PulseAudio is ''not'' a drop-in replacement for aRts. Users of KDE 3 cannot use PulseAudio. However note, recent versions of PulseAudio may have eliminated the prohibition:
+
* Edit {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}.
  
See: http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/PerfectSetup KDE 3 uses the artsd sound server by default. However, artsd itself can be configured to use an Esound backend. Edit {{ic|kcmartsrc}} (either in {{ic|/etc/kde}} or {{ic|/usr/share/config}} for global configuration or {{ic|.kde/share/config}} to configure only one user) like this:
+
:Find and uncomment lines which load back-end drivers. Add '''device''' parameters as follows. Then find and comment lines which load autodetect modules.
  
  [Arts]
+
  load-module module-alsa-sink '''device=dmix'''
Arguments=\s-F 10 -S 4096 -a esd -n -s 1 -m artsmessage -c drkonqi -l 3 -f
+
load-module module-alsa-source '''device=dsnoop'''
  NetworkTransparent=true
+
# load-module module-udev-detect
SuspendTime=1
+
  # load-module module-detect
  
=== KDE Plasma Workspaces and Qt4 ===
+
* ''Optional:'' If you use {{Pkg|kmix}} you may want to control ALSA volume instead of PulseAudio volume:
  
PulseAudio, it will be used by KDE/Qt4 applications. For more information see the [http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/KDE KDE page in the PulseAudio wiki].
+
$ echo export KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 > ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
 +
$ chmod +x ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
  
PulseAudio support has been merged into KMix, the default KDE sound mixer.
+
* Now, reboot your computer and try running ALSA and PulseAudio applications at the same time. They both should produce sound simultaneously.
 +
:Use {{Pkg|pavucontrol}} to control PulseAudio volume if needed.
  
If the phonon-gstreamer backend is used for Phonon, GStreamer should also be [[PulseAudio#GStreamer|configured]] to use PulseAudio by installing {{Pkg|gstreamer0.10-good-plugins}}.
+
=== OSS ===
  
One useful tidbit from that page is to add {{ic|load-module module-device-manager}} to {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}.
+
There are multiple ways of making OSS-only programs output to PulseAudio:
  
Additionally, the {{AUR|kdeplasma-applets-veromix}} is available in the [[AUR]] as a KDE alternative to KMix or pavucontrol.
+
==== ossp ====
  
=== Xfce ===
+
Install {{Pkg|ossp}} package and start {{ic|osspd.service}}.
  
Applications running under Xfce can take advantage of PulseAudio. To manage PulseAudio settings you can use {{Pkg|pavucontrol}}.
+
==== padsp wrapper ====
  
== Applications ==
+
Programs using OSS can work with PulseAudio by starting it with padsp (included with PulseAudio):
  
=== Audacious ===
+
$ padsp OSSprogram
  
[[Audacious]] natively supports PulseAudio. In order to use it, set Audacious Preferences -> Audio -> Current output plugin to 'PulseAudio Output Plugin'.
+
A few examples:
  
=== Java/OpenJDK 6 ===
+
$ padsp aumix
 +
$ padsp sox foo.wav -t ossdsp /dev/dsp
  
Create a wrapper for the java executable using padsp as seen on the [[Java#Java_sound_with_Pulseaudio|Java sound with Pulseaudio]] page.
+
You can also add a custom wrapper script like this: 
  
=== Music Player Daemon (MPD) ===
+
{{hc|/usr/local/bin/OSSProgram|<nowiki>
 +
#!/bin/sh
 +
exec padsp /usr/bin/OSSprogram "$@"
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
[http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/PulseAudio configure] [[MPD]] to use PulseAudio. See also [[MPD/Tips_and_Tricks#MPD_.26_PulseAudio]].
+
Make sure {{ic|/usr/local/bin}} comes before {{ic|/usr/bin}} in your '''PATH'''.
  
=== MPlayer ===
+
=== GStreamer ===
  
[[MPlayer]] natively supports PulseAudio output with the "{{ic|-ao pulse}}" option. It can also be configured to default to PulseAudio output, in {{ic|~/.mplayer/config}} for per-user, or {{ic|/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf}} for system-wide:
+
Install {{Pkg|gst-plugins-good}}, or {{AUR|gstreamer0.10-good-plugins}} if your intended program has a legacy [[GStreamer]] implementation.
{{hc|/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf|2=ao=pulse}}
 
  
=== Skype (x86_64 only) ===
+
=== OpenAL ===
  
Install {{Pkg|lib32-libpulse}}, otherwise the following error will occur when trying to initiate a call: "Problem with Audio Playback".
+
OpenAL Soft should use PulseAudio by default, but can be explicitly configured to do so: {{hc|/etc/openal/alsoft.conf|2=drivers=pulse,alsa}}
  
== Troubleshooting ==
+
By default, OpenAL does not allow pulseaudio to move audio streams to a different device. To change this, add the allow-moves option:
  
=== No sound after install ===
+
{{hc|/etc/openal/alsoft.conf|2=
 +
[pulse]
 +
allow-moves=true
 +
}}
  
==== Muted audio device ====
+
=== libao ===
  
If one experiences no audio output via any means while using ALSA, attempt to unmute the sound card.  To do this, launch {{ic|alsamixer}} and make sure each column has a green 00 under it (this can be toggled by pressing {{Keypress|m}}):
+
Edit the libao configuration file:
$ alsamixer -c 0
+
{{hc|/etc/libao.conf|2=default_driver=pulse}}
 +
Be sure to remove the {{ic|1=dev=default}} option of the alsa driver or adjust it to specify a specific Pulse sink name or number.
  
==== Auto-Mute Mode ====
+
{{Note|You could possibly also keep the libao standard of outputting to the ''alsa'' driver and its default device if you install {{pkg|pulseaudio-alsa}} since the ALSA default device then '''is''' PulseAudio.}}
  
Auto-Mute Mode may be enabled. It can be disabled using {{ic|alsamixer}}.
+
== Equalizer ==
  
See http://superuser.com/questions/431079/how-to-disable-auto-mute-mode for more.
+
{{Warning|The equalizer module is considered unstable and might be removed from PulseAudio. For more, see the [https://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/pulseaudio-discuss/2014-March/020174.html mailing list].}}
  
==== Bad configuration files ====
+
{{Tip|You might want to use {{pkg|pulseeffects}} instead.}}
  
If after starting pulseaudio, the system outputs no sound, it may be necessary to delete the contents of {{ic|~/.pulse}}. Pulseaudio will automatically create new configuration files on its next start.
+
PulseAudio has an integrated 10-band equalizer system. In order to use the equalizer do the following:
  
==== Flash content ====
+
Install {{Pkg|pulseaudio-equalizer}}:
  
Since Adobe Flash does not directly support PulseAudio the recommended way is to [https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio#ALSA configure ALSA to use the virtual PulseAudio soundcard].
+
=== Load equalizer sink and dbus-protocol module ===
  
Alternatively you may try out {{AUR|libflashsupport-pulse}} from the [[AUR]].
+
$ pactl load-module module-equalizer-sink
{{Note|This may invariably crash the flash plugin.}}
+
$ pactl load-module module-dbus-protocol
  
==== No cards ====
+
=== GUI front-end ===
  
If PulseAudio starts, run {{ic|pacmd list}}. If no cards are reported, make sure that the ALSA devices are not in use:
+
run:
$ fuser -v /dev/snd/*
 
$ fuser -v /dev/dsp
 
  
Make sure any applications using the pcm or dsp files are shut down before restarting PulseAudio.
+
$ qpaeq
  
==== The only device shown is "dummy output" ====
+
{{Note|If qpaeq has no effect, install {{pkg|pavucontrol}} and change "ALSA Playback on" to "FFT based equalizer on ..." while the media player is running.}}
  
This may be caused by different reasons, one of them being the {{ic|.asoundrc}} file in $HOME is taking precedence over the systemwide {{ic|/etc/asound.conf}}.
+
=== Load equalizer and dbus module on every boot ===
  
The user file is modified also by the tool {{ic|asoundconf}} or by its graphical variant {{ic|asoundconf-gtk}} (the latter is named "Default sound card" in the menu) as soon as it  runs. Prevent the effects of {{ic|.asoundrc}} altogether by commenting the last line like this:
+
Edit the {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}} or {{ic|~/.config/pulse/default.pa}} file with your favorite editor and append the following lines:
{{hc|.asoundrc|
 
# </home/''yourusername''/.asoundrc.asoundconf>
 
}}
 
  
Maybe some program is monopolizing the audio device:
+
### Load the integrated PulseAudio equalizer and D-Bus module
{{hc|# fuser -v /dev/snd/*|
+
  load-module module-equalizer-sink
                    USER      PID ACCESS COMMAND
+
  load-module module-dbus-protocol
/dev/snd/controlC0:  root        931 F....  timidity
 
                    bob        1195 F....  panel-6-mixer
 
/dev/snd/controlC1: bob        1195 F....  panel-6-mixer
 
                    bob        1215 F....  pulseaudio
 
/dev/snd/pcmC0D0p:  root        931 F...m  timidity
 
/dev/snd/seq:        root        931 F....  timidity
 
/dev/snd/timer:      root        931 f....  timidity
 
}}
 
  
That means timidity blocks pulseaudio from accessing the audio devices. Just killing timidity will make the sound work again.
+
{{Note|The equalizer sink needs to be loaded after the master sink is already available.}}
  
Another reason is [[FluidSynth]] conclicting with pulseaudio as discussed in [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=154002 this thread]. The solution is to remove FluidSynth:
+
=== Alternative equalizers ===
  
# pacman -Rnsc fluidsynth
+
{{Pkg|pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa}} (based on {{Pkg|swh-plugins}}) can be used as an alternative to {{Pkg|pulseaudio-equalizer}}.
  
==== KDE4 ====
+
{{Pkg|pulseeffects}} applies peak limiting, compression, reverberation, auto volume and 15 bands equalization to Pulseaudio applications output.
  
It may be that another output device set as preferred in phonon. Make sure that every setting reflects the preferred output device at the top, and check the playback streams tab in {{ic|kmix}} to make sure that applications are using the device for output.
+
== Applications ==
  
==== Failed to create sink input: sink is suspended ====
+
=== QEMU ===
  
If you do not have any output sound and receive dozens of errors related to a suspended sink in your {{ic|journalctl -b}} log, then backup first and then delete your user-specific pulse folders:
+
Refer to [[QEMU#Host]] for a detailed guide on how to configure pulseaudio within [[QEMU]].
  
$ rm -r ~/.pulse ~/.pulse-cookie
+
=== AlsaMixer.app ===
  
=== Bluetooth headset replay problems ===
+
Make {{AUR|alsamixer.app}} dockapp for the {{AUR|windowmaker}} use pulseaudio, e.g.
 +
$ AlsaMixer.app --device pulse
  
Some user [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=117420 report] huge delays or even no sound when the bluetooth connection does not send any data. This is due to an idle-suspend-module that puts the related sinks/sources automatically into suspend. As this can cause problems with headset, the responsible module can be deactivated.  
+
Here is a two examples where the first one is for ALSA and the other one is for pulseaudio. You can run multiple instances of it. Use the {{ic|-w}} option to choose which of the control buttons to bind to the mouse wheel.
  
  $ cp /etc/pulse/default.pa ~/.pulse/default.pa
+
  # AlsaMixer.app -3 Mic -1 Master -2 PCM --card 0 -w 1
 +
# AlsaMixer.app --device pulse -1 Capture -2 Master -w 2
  
{{hc|~/.pulse/default.pa|
+
{{Note|It can use only those output sinks that set as default.}}
; load-module module-suspend-on-idle
 
}}
 
  
$ pulseaudio -k && pulseaudio --start
+
=== XMMS2 ===
  
[http://robert.orzanna.de/2011/08/prevent-idle-suspend-with-bluetooth.html More information]
+
Make it switch to pulseaudio output
  
=== Automatically switch to Bluetooth or USB headset ===
+
$ nyxmms2 server config output.plugin pulse
  
Add the following:
+
and to alsa
{{hc|/etc/pulse/default.pa|
 
# automatically switch to newly-connected devices
 
load-module module-switch-on-connect
 
}}
 
  
=== Pulse overwrites ALSA settings ===
+
$ nyxmms2 server config output.plugin alsa
  
Pulseaudio usually overwrites the ALSA settings- for example set with alsamixer- at start up, even when the alsa daemon is loaded. Since there seems to be no other way to restrict this behaviour, a workaround is to restore the alsa settings again after pulseaudio had started. Add the following command to {{ic|.xinitrc}} or {{ic|.bash_profile}} or any other [[Autostarting|autostart]] file:
+
To make xmms2 use a different output sink, e.g.
  
  restore_alsa() {
+
  $ nyxmms2 server config pulse.sink alsa_output.pci-0000_04_01.0.analog-stereo.monitor
  while [ -z "$(pidof pulseaudio)" ]; do
 
  sleep 0.5
 
  done
 
  alsactl -f /var/lib/alsa/asound.state restore
 
}
 
restore_alsa &
 
  
=== Prevent Pulse from restarting after being killed ===
+
See also the official guide [https://xmms2.org/wiki/Using_the_application].
  
Sometimes you may wish to temporarily disable Pulse. In order to do so you will have to prevent Pulse from restarting after being killed.
+
=== KDE Plasma Workspaces and Qt4 ===
  
$ echo autospawn=no > ~/.pulse/client.conf
+
PulseAudio will automatically be used by KDE/Qt4 applications. It is supported by default in the KDE sound mixer. For more information see the [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Desktops/KDE/ KDE page in the PulseAudio wiki].
  
=== Daemon startup failed ===
+
One useful tidbit from that page is that {{ic|load-module module-device-manager}} should be loaded. This usually happens automatically at login through the script {{ic|/usr/bin/start-pulseaudio-x11}}; if you find that the module is not loaded automatically you can consider adding it manually to {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}. See [[#Switch on connect]] for possible conflicts with the {{ic|module-switch-on-connect}}.
  
Try resetting PulseAudio:
+
If the phonon-gstreamer backend is used for Phonon, GStreamer should also be configured as described in [[#GStreamer]].
$ rm -rf /tmp/pulse* ~/.pulse*
 
$ pulseaudio -k
 
$ pulseaudio --start
 
  
If there is no server running but pulseaudio fails to start with an error message "User-configured server at ... refusing to start/autospawn", the issue may be with PulseAudio settings from a previous login. Check to see if there are any stale properties attached to the X11 root window with {{ic|pax11publish -d}}, and if there are, remove them with {{ic|pax11publish -r}} before trying to start the server. This manual cleanup is always required when using LXDM because it does not restart the X server on logout; see [[LXDM#PulseAudio]].
+
=== Audacious ===
  
==== inotify issue ====
+
[[Audacious]] natively supports PulseAudio. In order to use it, set Audacious Preferences -> Audio -> Current output plugin to 'PulseAudio Output Plugin'.
  
If the previous fix doesn't work, run the following:
+
=== Music Player Daemon (MPD) ===
$ pulseaudio -vvvv
 
  
If you see an error that looks like this:
+
[http://mpd.wikia.com/wiki/PulseAudio configure] [[MPD]] to use PulseAudio. See also [[MPD/Tips and Tricks#PulseAudio]].
E: [pulseaudio] module-udev-detect.c: You apparently ran out of inotify watches, probably because Tracker/Beagle took them all away. I wished people would do their homework first and fix inotify before using it for watching whole directory trees which is something the current inotify is certainly not useful for. Please make sure to drop the Tracker/Beagle guys a line complaining about their broken use of inotify.
 
  
Then you have run out of inotify watches.
+
=== MPlayer ===
  
This can quickly be resolved by running:
+
[[MPlayer]] natively supports PulseAudio output with the {{ic|-ao pulse}} option. It can also be configured to default to PulseAudio output, in {{ic|~/.mplayer/config}} for per-user, or {{ic|/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf}} for system-wide:
$ echo 100000 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches
 
  
To have it permanently changed, add to {{ic|/etc/sysctl.conf}}
+
{{hc|/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf|2=
 
+
ao=pulse
# Increase inotify max watchs per user
+
}}
fs.inotify.max_user_watches = 100000
 
 
 
=== padevchooser ===
 
 
 
If one cannot launch the PulseAudio Device Chooser, first restart the Avahi daemon ('''avahi-daemon''').
 
 
 
=== Glitches, skips or crackling ===
 
 
 
The newer implementation of PulseAudio sound server uses a timer-based audio scheduling instead of the traditional interrupt-driven approach.
 
 
 
Timer-based scheduling may expose issues in some ALSA drivers. On the other hand, other drivers might be glitchy without it on, so check to see what works on your system.
 
 
 
To turn timer-based scheduling off add {{ic|1=tsched=0}} in {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}:
 
{{hc|/etc/pulse/default.pa|<nowiki>
 
load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
 
</nowiki>}}
 
 
 
Then restart the PulseAudio server:
 
$ pulseaudio -k
 
$ pulseaudio --start
 
 
 
Do the reverse to enable timer-based scheduling, if not already enabled by default.
 
 
 
Please report any such cards to [http://pulseaudio.org/wiki/BrokenSoundDrivers PulseAudio Broken Sound Driver page]
 
 
 
=== Setting the default fragment number and buffer size in Pulseaudio ===
 
 
 
[http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=44862 More Information]
 
  
==== Finding out your audio device parameters (1/4) ====
+
=== guvcview ===
  
To find your sound card buffering settings:
+
{{Pkg|guvcview}} when using the PulseAudio input from a [[Webcam]] may have the audio input suspended resulting in no audio being recordedYou can check this by executing:
$ echo autospawn = no >> ~/.pulse/client.conf
 
  $ pulseaudio -k
 
$ LANG=C timeout --foreground -k 10 -s kill 10 pulseaudio -vvvv 2>&1 | grep device.buffering -B 10
 
$ sed -i '$d' ~/.pulse/client.conf
 
  
For each sound card detected by Pulseaudio, you will see output similar to this:
+
  $ pactl list sources
  I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    alsa.long_card_name = "HDA Intel at 0xfa200000 irq 46"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:1b.0"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1b.0/sound/card0"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.bus = "pci"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.vendor.id = "8086"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.vendor.name = "Intel Corporation"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.product.name = "82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.form_factor = "internal"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.string = "front:0"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.buffering.buffer_size = "768000"
 
I: [pulseaudio] source.c:    device.buffering.fragment_size = "384000"
 
  
Take note the buffer_size and fragment_size values for the relevant sound card.
+
If the audio source is "suspended" then modifying the following line in {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}} and changing:
  
==== Calculate your fragment size in msecs and number of fragments (2/4) ====
+
load-module module-suspend-on-idle
  
Pulseaudio's default sampling rate and bit depth are set to {{ic|44100Hz}} @ {{ic|16 bits}}.
+
to
  
With this configuration, the bit rate we need is {{ic|44100}}*{{ic|16}} = {{ic|705600 bits per second. That's {{ic|1411200 bps}} for stereo.
+
#load-module module-suspend-on-idle
  
Let's take a look at the parameters we've found in the previous step:
+
And then either restarting PulseAudio or your computer will only idle the input source instead of suspending it.  guvcview will then correctly record audio from the device.
  
device.buffering.buffer_size = "768000" => 768000/1411200 = 0.544217687075s = 544 msecs
+
== Networked audio ==
device.buffering.fragment_size = "384000" => 384000/1411200 = 0.272108843537s = 272 msecs
 
  
==== Modify Pulseaudio's configuration file (3/4) ====
+
{{Expansion|please allow for some time for me to port the most important information here -- [[User:Nodiscc|Nodiscc]]|Talk:PulseAudio#Networked_audio}}
 +
Play sound through the outputs of another computer on the network
  
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
+
=== Basic setup with direct connection ===
; default-fragments = X
 
; default-fragment-size-msec = Y
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
In the previous step, we calculated the fragment size parameter.
+
==== On the server ====
The number of fragments is simply buffer_size/fragment_size, which in this case ({{ic|544/272}}) is {{ic|2}}:
 
  
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
+
Edit {{ic|~/.config/pulse/default.pa}} or {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}} (or {{ic|/etc/pulse/system.pa}} if PulseAudio is started in system mode) and add the following line:
; default-fragments = '''272'''
 
; default-fragment-size-msec = '''2'''
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
==== Restart the Pulseaudio daemon (4/4) ====
+
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1;172.16.0.0/16
  
$ pulseaudio -k
+
Here only client from the IPs or IPs range specified here can stream sound.
$ pulseaudio --start
 
  
For more information, see: [http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=44862 Linux Mint topic]
+
To allow access from everywhere:
  
=== Laggy sound ===
+
load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=true
  
This issue is due to incorrect buffer sizes.
+
{{Note| If {{ic|auth-ip-acl}} neither {{ic|auth-anonymous}} are specified, authentification is done via {{ic|~/.pulse-cookie}} which must be the same on clients and server.}}
  
Either disable any modifications (if any) to these entries, or, if issue still exists, uncomment:
+
By default PulseAudio listens on port {{ic|tcp/4713}} for incoming connections, you may need to open this port in your [[firewall]].
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
 
default-fragments = 8
 
default-fragment-size-msec = 5
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
=== Choppy, overdriven sound ===
+
==== On the client ====
  
Choppy sound in pulsaudio can result from wrong settings for the sample rate. Try:
+
Edit {{ic|~/.config/pulse/client.conf}} or {{ic|/etc/pulse/client.conf}}, to respectively apply this directive to one user or to all, and add :
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
 
default-sample-rate = 48000
 
</nowiki>}}
 
and restart the PulseAudio server.
 
  
If one experiences choppy sound in applications using openAL, change the sample rate in {{ic|/etc/openal/alsoft.conf}}:
+
  default-server = ''server-address''
  frequency = 48000
 
  
Setting the PCM volume above 0dB can cause clipping of the audio signal.  Running {{ic|alsamixer -c0}} will allow you to see if this is the problem and if so fix it.
+
''server-address'' can be a simple domain-name or IPv4, for more see [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/Documentation/User/ServerStrings/ the documentation]
  
=== Volume adjustment does not work properly ===
+
It is also possible to set the server address in the environment variable {{ic|$PULSE_SERVER}}.
  
Check:
+
== Tips and tricks ==
{{ic|/usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output.conf.common}}
 
  
If the volume does not appear to increment/decrement properly using {{ic|alsamixer}} or {{ic|amixer}}, it may be due to pulseaudio having a larger number of increments (65537 to be exact). Try using larger values when changing volume (e.g. {{ic|amixer set Master 655+}}).
+
{{Merge|PulseAudio/Examples|Same topic.}}
  
=== Volume gets louder every time a new application is started ===
+
=== Keyboard volume control ===
  
Per default, it seems as if changing the volume in an application sets the global system volume to that level instead of only affecting the respective application. Applications setting their volume on startup will therefore cause the system volume to "jump".
+
See [[Keyboard shortcuts#Xorg]] to bind the following commands to your volume keys: {{ic|XF86AudioRaiseVolume}}, {{ic|XF86AudioLowerVolume}} and {{ic|XF86AudioMute}}.
  
Fix this by:
+
First find out which sink corresponds to the audio output you would like to control.
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
+
To list available sinks:
flat-volumes = no
 
</nowiki>}}
 
and then restarting PulseAudio by executing
 
$ pulseaudio -k && pulseaudio --start
 
  
When Pulse comes back after a few seconds, applications will not alter the global system volume anymore but have their own volume level again.
+
$ pactl list sinks short
  
{{Note|A previously installed and removed pulseaudio-equalizer may leave behind remnants of the setup in {{ic|~/.pulse/default.pa}} which can also cause maximized volume trouble. Comment that out as needed.}}
+
Suppose sink 0 is to be used, to raise the volume:
 +
sh -c "pactl set-sink-mute 0 false ; pactl set-sink-volume 0 +5%"
  
=== No mic on ThinkPad T400/T500/T420 ===
+
To lower the volume:
  
Run:
+
  $ sh -c "pactl set-sink-mute 0 false ; pactl set-sink-volume 0 -5%"
  alsamixer -c 0
 
Maximize the volume of/unmute the "Internal Mic".
 
  
Once you see the device with:
+
To mute/unmute the volume:
arecord -l
 
you might still need to adjust the settings. The microphone and the audio jack are duplexed. Set the configuration of the internal audio in pavucontrol to ''Analog Stereo Duplex''.
 
  
=== No mic input on Acer Aspire One ===
+
$ pactl set-sink-mute 0 toggle
  
Install pavucontrol, unlink the microphone channels and turn down the left one to 0.
+
To mute/unmute the microphone:
Reference: http://getsatisfaction.com/jolicloud/topics/deaf_internal_mic_on_acer_aspire_one#reply_2108048
 
  
=== Sound output is only mono on M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card ===
+
$ pactl set-source-mute 1 toggle
  
Add the following:
+
{{Tip|To have keyboard shortcuts operate always on the default sink, specify {{ic|@DEFAULT_SINK@}} as the sink number, for example {{ic|pactl set-sink-mute @DEFAULT_SINK@ toggle}}.}}
{{hc|/etc/pulseaudio/default.pa|<nowiki>
 
load-module module-alsa-sink sink_name=delta_out device=hw:M2496 format=s24le channels=10 channel_map=left,right,aux0,aux1,aux2,aux3,aux4,aux5,aux6,aux7
 
load-module module-alsa-source source_name=delta_in device=hw:M2496 format=s24le channels=12 channel_map=left,right,aux0,aux1,aux2,aux3,aux4,aux5,aux6,aux7,aux8,aux9
 
set-default-sink delta_out
 
set-default-source delta_in
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
=== Static noise in microphone recording ===
+
=== Play sound from a non-interactive shell (systemd service, cron) ===
  
If we are getting static noise in skype, gnome-sound-recorder, arecord, etc.'s recordings then the sound card samplerate is incorrect. That is why there is static noise in linux microphone recordings. To fix this We need to set sample-rate in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}} for the sound hardware.
+
Set {{ic|XDG_RUNTIME_DIR}} before the command (replace {{ic|''user_id''}} with the ID of the user running PulseAudio):
  
==== Determine soundcards in the system (1/5) ====
+
$ XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=/run/user/''user_id'' paplay /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/complete.oga
  
This requires alsa-utils and related packages to be installed:
+
Or use {{ic|machinectl}}:
{{hc|$  arecord --list-devices|
 
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
 
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 0: ALC888 Analog [ALC888 Analog]
 
  Subdevices: 1/1
 
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 
card 0: Intel [HDA Intel], device 2: ALC888 Analog [ALC888 Analog]
 
  Subdevices: 1/1
 
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
 
}}
 
  
Sound card is {{ic|hw:0,0}}.
+
# machinectl shell .host --uid=''user_id'' /usr/bin/paplay /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/complete.oga
  
==== Determine sampling-rate of the sound card (2/5) ====
+
=== X11 Bell Events ===
{{hc|arecord -f dat -r 60000 -D hw:0,0 -d 5 test.wav|
 
"Recording WAVE 'test.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 60000 Hz, Stereo
 
Warning: rate is not accurate (requested = 60000Hz, '''got = 96000Hz''')
 
please, try the plug plugin
 
}}
 
  
observe, the {{ic|got = 96000Hz}}. This is the max sample-rate of our card.
+
To get pulseaudio to handle X11 bell events, run the following commands after the X11 session has been started:
  
==== Setting the soundcard's sampling rate into pulse audio configuration (3/5) ====
+
$ pactl upload-sample /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/bell.oga x11-bell
 +
$ pactl load-module module-x11-bell sample=x11-bell display=$DISPLAY
  
The default sample-rate in pulseaudio:
+
To adjust the volume of the X11 bell, run the following command:
{{hc|$ grep "default-sample-rate" /etc/pulse/daemon.conf|
 
; default-sample-rate = 44100
 
}}
 
  
{ic|44100}} is disabled and needs to be changed to {{ic|96000}}:
+
  $ xset b 100
  # sed 's/; default-sample-rate = 44100/default-sample-rate = 96000/g' -i /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
 
  
==== Restart pulseaudio to apply the new settings (4/5) ====
+
100 is a percentage. This requires the {{Pkg|xorg-xset}} package. See [[Autostarting]] for a way to run these commands automatically when the X11 session is started.
  
$ pulseaudio -k
+
=== Switch on connect ===
$ pulseaudio --start
 
  
==== Finally check by recording and playing it back (5/5) ====
+
This is a module used to switch the output sound to the newly connected device. For example, if you plug in a USB headset, the output will be switched to that. If you unplug it, the output will be set back to the last device. This used to be quite buggy but got a lot of attention in PulseAudio 8.0 and should work quite well now.
  
Let us record some voice using mic for say 10 seconds. Make sure the mic is not muted and all
+
If you just want to test the module then you can load it at runtime by calling:
$ arecord -f cd -d 10 test-mic.wav
 
  
After 10 seconds, let us play the recording...
+
  $ pactl load-module module-switch-on-connect
  $ aplay test-mic.wav
 
  
Now hopefully, there is no static noise in microphone recording anymore.
+
If you want to make the change persistent you will have to add it to your local pulseaudio settings or to /etc/pulse/default.pa (system wide effect). In either case, add this line:
  
=== My Bluetooth device is paired but does not play any sound ===
+
load-module module-switch-on-connect
  
[[Bluetooth#My_device_is_paired_but_no_sound_is_played_from_it|See the article in Bluetooth section]]
+
{{Accuracy|Editing {{ic|/usr/bin/start-pulseaudio-x11}} will not survive package upgrade. The offending module can be unloaded in the config before loading {{ic|module-switch-on-connect}}, see [[Talk:Bluetooth_headset#GDMs_pulseaudio_instance_captures_bluetooth_headset]].}}
  
Starting from PulseAudio 2.99 and bluez 4.101 you should '''avoid''' using Socket interface. Do NOT use:
+
On KDE/Plasma5 you should furthermore disable module-device-manager. As soon as Plasma5 is started it loads (via start-pulseaudio-x11) the module module-device-manager for pulseaudio to manage the devices. But that module apparently conflicts with module-switch-on-connect. Therefore you should disable that module by editing /bin/start-pulseaudio-x11 and commenting the lines for KDE. Simply logout and login again and in order to renew your pulseaudio session. On connect switching should now work properly.
{{hc|/etc/bluetooth/audio.conf|<nowiki>
 
[General]
 
Enable=Socket
 
</nowiki>}}
 
If you face problems with A2DP and PA 2.99 make sure you have {{Pkg|sbc}} library.
 
  
=== Subwoofer stops working after end of every song  ===
+
=== Script for switching analog outputs ===
  
Known issue: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/494099
+
Some sound cards present the option of multiple analog outputs, being switchable through using Pulseaudio profiles. But switching manually can become a chore, so you can use the following commands to switch it:
  
To fix this, must edit: {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}} and enable {{ic|enable-lfe-remixing}} :
+
$ pactl set-sink-port 'number of the card' 'port'
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
 
enable-lfe-remixing = yes
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
=== Pulseaudio uses wrong microphone ===
+
This will set the default output to whatever port you chose.
 +
Example:
  
If Pulseaudio uses the wrong microphone, and changing the Input Device with Pavucontrol did not help, take a look at alsamixer. It seems that Pavucontrol does not always set the input source correctly.
+
$ pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-speaker"
  
$ alsamixer
+
The values can be easily obtained using:
  
Press {{keypress|F6}} and choose your sound card, e.g. HDA Intel. Now press {{keypress|F5}} to display all items. Try to find the item: {{ic|Input Source}}. With the up/down arrow keys you are able to change the input source.
+
$ pactl list
  
Now try if the correct microphone is used for recording.
+
Current output can be obtained through:
  
=== Choppy Sound with Analog Surround Sound Setup ===
+
$ pactl list sinks | grep "active profile"| cut -d ' ' -f 3-
  
The low-frequency effects (LFE) channel is not remixed per default. To enable it the following needs to be set in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}} :
+
This process can be automated through a simple script. This script then can be given a shortcut by the user:
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
 
enable-lfe-remixing = yes
 
</nowiki>}}
 
  
=== No sound below a volume cutoff ===
+
{{hc|~/pa.sh (or anything the user wants)|<nowiki>
 +
#!/bin/bash
 +
# This script uses kdialog notification to warn the user of the currently swapped to profile. User could adapt it to their needs or change it.
  
Known issue (won't fix): https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/pulseaudio/+bug/223133
+
CURRENT_PROFILE=$(pactl list sinks | grep "active profile"| cut -d ' ' -f 3-)
  
If sound doesn't play when Pulseaudio's volume is set below a certain level, try {{ic|1=ignore_dB=1}} in {{ic|/etc/pulse/default.pa}}:
+
if [ "$CURRENT_PROFILE" = "analog-output;output-speaker" ] ; then
{{hc|/etc/pulse/default.pa|<nowiki>
+
        pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-headphones-1"
load-module module-udev-detect ignore_dB=1
+
        kdialog --title "Pulseaudio" --passivepopup "Headphone" 2 &
 +
else
 +
        pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-speaker"     
 +
        kdialog --title "Pulseaudio" --passivepopup  "Speaker" 2 &
 +
fi
 
</nowiki>}}
 
</nowiki>}}
  
However, be aware that it may cause another bug preventing pulseaudio to unmute speakers when headphones or other audio devices are unplugged.
+
This script is intended to swap between two profiles. First checking the current profile then swapping it. Users are required to change the field 'active profile' according to the language pactl reports. Users might need to change the number of the card and the output to fit their machine.
  
=== Low volume for internal mic ===
+
== Troubleshooting ==
 
 
If you experience low volume on internal notebook microphone, try setting:
 
{{hc|/etc/pulse/default.pa|<nowiki>
 
set-source-volume 1 300000
 
</nowiki>}}
 
 
 
=== Clients alter master output volume (aka volume jumps to 100% after running appliaction) ===
 
  
If changing volume in specific applications changes also master output volume you can try to diasble flat volumes. Set:
+
See [[PulseAudio/Troubleshooting]].
{{hc|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|<nowiki>
 
flat-volumes = no
 
</nowiki>}}
 
Then restart Pulseaudio daemon:
 
# pulseaudio -k
 
# pulseaudio --start
 
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
  
* [http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/PerfectSetup http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/PerfectSetup] - A good guide to make your configuration perfect
+
* [https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/PulseAudio/ PulseAudio official website], including documentation
* [http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Asoundrc http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Asoundrc] - Alsa wiki on .asoundrc
+
* [https://gavv.github.io/blog/pulseaudio-under-the-hood/ Pulseaudio under the hood]
* [http://www.pulseaudio.org/ http://www.pulseaudio.org/] - PulseAudio official site
 
* [http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/FAQ http://www.pulseaudio.org/wiki/FAQ] - PulseAudio FAQ
 

Latest revision as of 15:27, 14 October 2018

PulseAudio is a general purpose sound server intended to run as a middleware between your applications and your hardware devices, either using ALSA or OSS. It also offers easy network streaming across local devices using Avahi if enabled. While its main purpose is to ease audio configuration, its modular design allows more advanced users to configure the daemon precisely to best suit their needs.

Note: Some confusion may occur between ALSA and PulseAudio. ALSA includes a Linux kernel component with sound card drivers, as well as a userspace component, libalsa.[1] PulseAudio builds only on the kernel component, but offers compatibility with libalsa through pulseaudio-alsa.[2]

Installation

Install the pulseaudio package.

Note: Some PulseAudio modules have been split from the main package and must be installed separately if needed.

Front-ends

There are a number of front-ends available for controlling the PulseAudio daemon:

Console

  • ncpamixer — Ncurses mixer for PulseAudio inspired by pavucontrol.
https://github.com/fulhax/ncpamixer || ncpamixerAUR
  • pacmixer — Alsamixer alike for PulseAudio.
https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer || pacmixerAUR
  • PAmix — Ncurses PulseAudio mixer similar to pavucontrol.
https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer || pamix-gitAUR
  • pamixer — PulseAudio command line mixer.
https://github.com/cdemoulins/pamixer || pamixer
  • pavolume — Simple command-line volume control for PulseAudio with libnotify messages.
https://github.com/sseemayer/pavolume || pavolume-gitAUR
  • Ponymix — Command line mixer for PulseAudio.
https://github.com/falconindy/ponymix || ponymix
  • pulseaudio-ctl — Control PulseAudio volume from the shell or mapped to keyboard shortcuts.
https://github.com/graysky2/pulseaudio-ctl || pulseaudio-ctlAUR
  • pulsemixer — CLI and curses mixer for PulseAudio
https://github.com/GeorgeFilipkin/pulsemixer || pulsemixer

Graphical

  • MicTray — Lightweight system tray application which lets you control the microphone state and volume using PulseAudio.
https://github.com/Junker/MicTray || mictrayAUR
  • pa-applet — System tray applet for PulseAudio with volume bar.
https://github.com/fernandotcl/pa-applet || pa-applet-gitAUR
  • pasystray — System tray applet for PulseAudio.
https://github.com/christophgysin/pasystray || pasystray
  • plasma-paKDE Plasma applet for audio volume management using PulseAudio
https://cgit.kde.org/plasma-pa.git || plasma-pa
  • PulseAudio Manager — Simple GTK+ frontend for PulseAudio.
http://0pointer.de/lennart/projects/paman/ || pamanAUR
  • PulseAudio Preferences — Simple GTK+ configuration dialog for PulseAudio.
https://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/paprefs/ || paprefs
  • PulseAudio Volume Control — Simple GTK+ volume control tool ("mixer") for PulseAudio.
https://freedesktop.org/software/pulseaudio/pavucontrol/ || pavucontrol
  • PulseAudio Volume Control (Qt) — Mixer for PulseAudio (Qt port of pavucontrol).
https://github.com/lxqt/pavucontrol-qt || pavucontrol-qt
  • PulseAudio Volume Meter — Simple GTK+ volume meter for PulseAudio.
http://0pointer.de/lennart/projects/pavumeter/ || pavumeterAUR
  • PulseEffects — Audio effects for PulseAudio applications.
https://github.com/wwmm/pulseeffects || pulseeffects
  • Volctl — Per-application system tray applet volume control for PulseAudio.
https://buzz.github.io/volctl/ || volctlAUR
  • Xfce PulseAudio Panel Plugin — PulseAudio plugin for Xfce4 panel.
https://goodies.xfce.org/projects/panel-plugins/xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin || xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin

Configuration

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with PulseAudio/Configuration.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Configuration should stay in the main article, so the linked page should be merged here. (Discuss in Talk:PulseAudio#Abandoned draft)

By default, PulseAudio is configured to automatically detect all sound cards and manage them. It takes control of all detected ALSA devices and redirects all audio streams to itself, making the PulseAudio daemon the central configuration point. The daemon should work mostly out of the box, only requiring a few minor tweaks.

While PulseAudio usually runs fine out of the box and requires only minimal configuration, advanced users can change almost every aspect of the daemon by either altering the default configuration file to disable modules or writing your own from scratch.

PulseAudio runs as a server daemon that can run either system-wide or on per-user basis using a client/server architecture. The daemon by itself does nothing without its modules except to provide an API and host dynamically loaded modules. The audio routing and processing tasks are all handled by various modules, including PulseAudio's native protocol itself (provided by module-native-protocol-unix). Clients reach the server through one of many protocol modules that will accept audio from external sources, route it through PulseAudio and eventually have it go out through a final other module. The output module does not have to be an actual sound output: it can dump the stream into a file, stream it to a broadcasting server such as Icecast, or even just discard it.

You can find a detailed list of all available modules at Pulseaudio Loadable Modules. To enable them you can just add a line load-module <module-name-from-list> to ~/.config/pulse/default.pa.

Configuration files

PulseAudio will first look for configuration files in the home directory ~/.config/pulse, then system-wide /etc/pulse.

Tip:
  • It is strongly suggested not to edit system-wide configuration files, but rather edit user ones. Create the ~/.config/pulse directory, then copy the system configuration files into it and edit according to your need.
  • Make sure you keep user configuration in sync with changes to the packaged files in /etc/pulse/. Otherwise, PulseAudio may refuse to start due to configuration errors.
  • There is usually no need to add your user to the audio group, as PulseAudio uses udev and logind to give access dynamically to the currently "active" user. Exceptions would include running the machine headless so that there is no currently "active" user.

daemon.conf

This is the main configuration file to configure the daemon itself. It defines base settings like the default sample rates used by modules, resampling methods, realtime scheduling and various other settings related to the server process. These can not be changed at runtime without restarting the PulseAudio daemon. The defaults are sensible for most users, see the pulse-daemon.conf(5) manpage for additional information. Boolean options accepts any of these: true, yes, on and 1 as well as false, no, off and 0.

Note: PulseAudio does not perform tilde expansion on paths in this file. Use absolute paths for any files.
Notable configuration options
Option Description
daemonize Controls whether the server will daemonize itself and return. Set to no when debugging so you can see the debugging information on the terminal.
resample-method Which resampler to use when audio with incompatible sample rates needs to be passed between modules (e.g. playback of 96kHz audio on hardware which only supports 48kHz). The available resamplers can be listed with $ pulseaudio --dump-resample-methods. Choose the best tradeoff between CPU usage and audio quality for the present use-case.
Tip: In some cases PulseAudio will generate a high CPU load. This can happen when multiple streams are resampled (individually). If this is a common use-case in a workflow, it should be considered to create an additional sink at a matching sample rate which can then be fed into the main sink, resampling only once.
avoid-resampling With avoid-resampling = yes, PulseAudio automatically configures the hardware to the sample rate which the application uses, if the hardware supports this sample rate (needs PA 11 or higher)
Warning: Enabling this feature might cause audio distortion, therefore it is disabled by default, see the release notes for more information.
enable-remixing When the input and output have a different channel count (for example, outputting a 6 channel movie into a stereo sink), pulse can either remix all the channels (default, yes) or just trivially map the channels by their name (left goes to left, right to right, all others ignored) when no
system-instance If set to yes, run the daemon as a system-wide instance. Highly discouraged as it can introduce security issues. Useful on Multiseat systems, or headless systems that have no real local users. Defaults to no.
flat-volumes flat-volumes scales the device-volume with the volume of the "loudest" application. For example, raising the VoIP call volume will raise the hardware volume and adjust the music-player volume so it stays where it was, without having to lower the volume of the music-player manually. Defaults to yes upstream, but to no within Arch.
Note: The default behavior upstream can sometimes be confusing and some applications, unaware of this feature, can set their volume to 100% at startup, potentially blowing your speakers or your ears. This is why Arch defaults to the classic (ALSA) behavior by setting this to no.
realtime-scheduling If your kernel supports realtime scheduling (for instance, Realtime kernel or Linux-ck), set this to yes to ensure PulseAudio can deliver low-latency glitch-free playback. You can adjust realtime-priority as well to have it use the correct priority, especially when JACK is also running on the system.
nice-level Since PulseAudio runs in userspace and involves inter-process communication, audio can be subject to dropouts if the daemon does not have enough CPU time to process the audio. The default usually is enough, but can be tweaked to give pulse the wanted priority over (or below) other applications.
exit-idle-time If you want to run PulseAudio only when needed and use ALSA otherwise, you can set a delay in seconds after which the daemon will automatically shutdown after all clients are disconnected. Set it to -1 to disable this feature.
log-level When debugging, you may want to increase the logging level of the daemon to see exactly why a specific module fails to load. High logging levels will sometimes print useful information such as detected minimum latency for the system, which can then be used to tweak default-fragments and default-fragment-size-msec.
default-sample-format Usually does not need change, but if your sound card's native format is diffent performance and quality can be improved by setting the right format here.
default-sample-rate The default sample rate user by pulse unless overriden at module level. Change this if your sound card does not support 44100Hz or if you wish to upsample all audio. See previous note about CPU usage.
alternate-sample-rate To fix a common limitation where movies at 48000Hz were needlessly downsampled to 44100Hz, some modules support changing their sample rate dynamically to avoid resampling when possible. See manual for more in-depth information. Usually do not need any change.
default-channels The default number of channels when not specified. Usually do not need any change as you can configure more channels on per-module basis.
default-fragments Audio samples are split into multiple fragments of default-fragment-size-msec each. The larger the buffer is, the less likely audio will skip when the system is overloaded. On the downside this will increase the overall latency. Increase this value if you have issues.
default-fragment-size-msec The size in milliseconds of each fragment. This is the amount of data that will be processed at once by the daemon. TODO: Verify

default.pa

This file is a startup script and is used to configure modules. It is actually parsed and read after the daemon has finished initializing and additional commands can be sent at runtime using $ pactl or $ pacmd. The startup script can also be provided on the command line by starting PulseAudio in a terminal using $ pulseaudio -nC. This will make the daemon load the CLI module and will accept the configuration directly from the command line, and output resulting information or error messages on the same terminal. This can be useful when debugging the daemon or just to test various modules before setting them permanently on disk. The manual page is quite self-explanatory, consult pulse-cli-syntax(5) for the details of the syntax.

Tip:
  • Rather than being a complete copy, ~/.config/pulse/default.pa can start with the line .include /etc/pulse/default.pa and then just override the defaults.
  • Run $ pacmd list-sinks|egrep -i 'index:|name:' to list available sinks. The present default sink is marked with an asterisk.
  • Edit ~/.config/pulse/default.pa to insert/alter the set-default-sink command using the sink's name as the numbering cannot be guaranteed repeatable.

client.conf

This is the configuration file read by every PulseAudio client application. It is used to configure runtime options for individual clients. It can be used to set and configure the default sink and source statically as well as allowing (or disallowing) clients to automatically start the server if not currently running.

Configuration command

The main command to configure a server during runtime is $ pacmd. Run $ pacmd --help for a list options, or just run $ pacmd to enter the shell interactive mode and Ctrl+d to exit. All modifications will immediately be applied.

Once your new settings have been tested and meet your needs, edit the default.pa accordingly to make the change persistent. See PulseAudio/Examples for some basic settings.

Tip: leave the load-module module-default-device-restore line in the default.pa file untouched. It will allow you to restart the server in its default state, thus dismissing any wrong setting.

It is important to understand that the "sources" (processes, capture devices) and "sinks" (sound cards, servers, other processes) accessible and selectable through PulseAudio depend upon the current hardware "Profile" selected. These "Profiles" are those ALSA "pcms" listed by the command aplay -L, and more specifically by the command pacmd list-cards, which will include a line "index:", a list beginning "profiles:", and a line "active profile: <...>" in the output, among other things. "Profiles" correspond to different card input/output configurations, notably the number of available input/output channels.

The "active profile" can be set with the command pacmd set-card-profile INDEX PROFILE, with no comma separating INDEX and PROFILE, where INDEX is just the number on the line "index:" and a PROFILE name is everything shown from the beginning of any line under "profile:" to just before the colon and first space, as shown by the command pacmd list-cards. For instance, pacmd set-card-profile 0 output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo.

It may be easier to select a "Profile" with a graphical tool like pavucontrol, under the "Configuration" tab, or KDE System Settings, "Multimedia/Audio and Video Settings", under the "Audio Hardware Setup" tab. Each audio "Card", which are those devices listed by the command aplay -l, or again by the command pacmd list-cards, will have its own selectable "Profile". When a "Profile" has been selected, the then available "sources" and "sinks" can be seen by using the commands pacmd list-sources and pacmd list-sinks. Note that the "index" of the available sources and sinks will change each time a card profile is changed.

The selected "Profile" can be an issue for some applications, especially the Adobe Flash players, typically /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so and /usr/lib/PepperFlash/libpepflashplayer.so. Often, these Flash players will only work when one of the Stereo profiles is selected, and otherwise, will play video with no sound, or will simply "crash". When all else fails, you might try selecting a different profile.

Of course, when configuring some variation of Surround Sound in PulseAudio, the appropriate Surround profile will have to be selected, before Surround Sound will work, or in order to do things like remap the speaker channels.

Running

PulseAudio on Arch has pulseaudio.socket enabled by default for the systemd/User instance. This means that PulseAudio will automatically start when needed.

Note:
  • To disable pulseaudio.socket, make sure that $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/systemd/user/ exists and run systemctl --user mask pulseaudio.socket.
  • Many desktop environments support XDG Autostart. In those desktop environments, PulseAudio will be launched automatically regardless of the socket activation status.

For more information, see PulseAudio: Running.

Back-end configuration

ALSA

If you have applications that do not support PulseAudio explicitly but rely on ALSA, these applications will try to access the sound card directly via ALSA and will therefore bypass PulseAudio. PulseAudio will thus not have access to the sound card any more. As a result, all applications relying on PulseAudio will not be working any more, leading to this issue. To prevent this, you will need to install the pulseaudio-alsa package. It contains the necessary /etc/asound.conf for configuring ALSA to use PulseAudio. Also make sure that ~/.asoundrc does not exist, as it would override the /etc/asound.conf file.

Also install lib32-libpulse and lib32-alsa-plugins if you run a x86_64 system and want to have sound for 32-bit multilib programs like Wine and Steam.

To prevent applications from using ALSA's OSS emulation and bypassing PulseAudio (thereby preventing other applications from playing sound), make sure the module snd_pcm_oss is not being loaded at boot. If it is currently loaded (lsmod | grep oss), disable it by executing:

# rmmod snd_pcm_oss

Enable DTS via ALSA

To enable PulseAudio DTS via ALSA install dcaencAUR package and enable it:

/etc/asound.conf
<confdir:pcm/dca.conf>

Finally restart PulseAudio. If experience volume issues with your DTS device and/or PulseAudio, you may fix it by looking for more setting option at dcaenc's Github.

Expose PulseAudio sources, sinks and mixers to ALSA

Although pulseaudio-alsa contains the necessary configuration file to allow ALSA applications to use PulseAudio's default device, ALSA's pulse plugin is more versatile than that:

~/.asoundrc (or /etc/asound.conf)
# Create an alsa input/output using specific PulseAudio sources/sinks
 pcm.pulse-example1 {
     type pulse
     device "my-combined-sink" # name of a source or sink
     fallback "pulse-example2" # if combined not available
 }
 
 pcm.pulse-example2 {
     type pulse
     device "other-sound-card" # name of a source or sink
     # example: device "alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 }
 
 # Create an alsa mixer using specific PulseAudio sources/sinks
 # these can be tested with "alsamixer -D pulse-example3"
 ctl.pulse-example3 {
     type pulse
     device "my-output" # name of source or sink to control
 
     # example: always control the laptop speakers:
     # device "alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
     fallback "pulse-example4" # supports fallback too
 }
 
 # Mixers also can control a specific source and sink, separately:
 ctl.pulse-example4 {
     type pulse
     sink "my-usb-headphones"
     source "my-internal-mic"
     
     # example: output to HDMI, record using internal
     sink "alsa_output.pci-0000_01_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra1"
     source "alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 }
 
 # These can override the default mixer (example: for pnmixer integration)
 ctl.!default {
     type pulse
     sink "alsa_output.pci-0000_01_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra1"
     source "alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo"
 }

The source code can be read to know all available options.

ALSA/dmix without grabbing hardware device

Note: This section describes alternative configuration, which is generally not recommended.

You may want to use ALSA directly in most of your applications while still being able to use applications which require PulseAudio at the same time. The following steps allow you to make PulseAudio use dmix instead of grabbing ALSA hardware device.

  • Remove package pulseaudio-alsa, which provides compatibility layer between ALSA applications and PulseAudio. After this your ALSA apps will use ALSA directly without being hooked by Pulse.
  • Edit /etc/pulse/default.pa.
Find and uncomment lines which load back-end drivers. Add device parameters as follows. Then find and comment lines which load autodetect modules.
load-module module-alsa-sink device=dmix
load-module module-alsa-source device=dsnoop
# load-module module-udev-detect
# load-module module-detect
  • Optional: If you use kmix you may want to control ALSA volume instead of PulseAudio volume:
$ echo export KMIX_PULSEAUDIO_DISABLE=1 > ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
$ chmod +x ~/.kde4/env/kmix_disable_pulse.sh
  • Now, reboot your computer and try running ALSA and PulseAudio applications at the same time. They both should produce sound simultaneously.
Use pavucontrol to control PulseAudio volume if needed.

OSS

There are multiple ways of making OSS-only programs output to PulseAudio:

ossp

Install ossp package and start osspd.service.

padsp wrapper

Programs using OSS can work with PulseAudio by starting it with padsp (included with PulseAudio):

$ padsp OSSprogram

A few examples:

$ padsp aumix
$ padsp sox foo.wav -t ossdsp /dev/dsp

You can also add a custom wrapper script like this:

/usr/local/bin/OSSProgram
#!/bin/sh
exec padsp /usr/bin/OSSprogram "$@"

Make sure /usr/local/bin comes before /usr/bin in your PATH.

GStreamer

Install gst-plugins-good, or gstreamer0.10-good-pluginsAUR if your intended program has a legacy GStreamer implementation.

OpenAL

OpenAL Soft should use PulseAudio by default, but can be explicitly configured to do so:

/etc/openal/alsoft.conf
drivers=pulse,alsa

By default, OpenAL does not allow pulseaudio to move audio streams to a different device. To change this, add the allow-moves option:

/etc/openal/alsoft.conf
[pulse]
allow-moves=true

libao

Edit the libao configuration file:

/etc/libao.conf
default_driver=pulse

Be sure to remove the dev=default option of the alsa driver or adjust it to specify a specific Pulse sink name or number.

Note: You could possibly also keep the libao standard of outputting to the alsa driver and its default device if you install pulseaudio-alsa since the ALSA default device then is PulseAudio.

Equalizer

Warning: The equalizer module is considered unstable and might be removed from PulseAudio. For more, see the mailing list.
Tip: You might want to use pulseeffects instead.

PulseAudio has an integrated 10-band equalizer system. In order to use the equalizer do the following:

Install pulseaudio-equalizer:

Load equalizer sink and dbus-protocol module

$ pactl load-module module-equalizer-sink
$ pactl load-module module-dbus-protocol

GUI front-end

run:

$ qpaeq
Note: If qpaeq has no effect, install pavucontrol and change "ALSA Playback on" to "FFT based equalizer on ..." while the media player is running.

Load equalizer and dbus module on every boot

Edit the /etc/pulse/default.pa or ~/.config/pulse/default.pa file with your favorite editor and append the following lines:

### Load the integrated PulseAudio equalizer and D-Bus module
load-module module-equalizer-sink
load-module module-dbus-protocol
Note: The equalizer sink needs to be loaded after the master sink is already available.

Alternative equalizers

pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa (based on swh-plugins) can be used as an alternative to pulseaudio-equalizer.

pulseeffects applies peak limiting, compression, reverberation, auto volume and 15 bands equalization to Pulseaudio applications output.

Applications

QEMU

Refer to QEMU#Host for a detailed guide on how to configure pulseaudio within QEMU.

AlsaMixer.app

Make alsamixer.appAUR dockapp for the windowmakerAUR use pulseaudio, e.g.

$ AlsaMixer.app --device pulse

Here is a two examples where the first one is for ALSA and the other one is for pulseaudio. You can run multiple instances of it. Use the -w option to choose which of the control buttons to bind to the mouse wheel.

# AlsaMixer.app -3 Mic -1 Master -2 PCM --card 0 -w 1
# AlsaMixer.app --device pulse -1 Capture -2 Master -w 2
Note: It can use only those output sinks that set as default.

XMMS2

Make it switch to pulseaudio output

$ nyxmms2 server config output.plugin pulse

and to alsa

$ nyxmms2 server config output.plugin alsa

To make xmms2 use a different output sink, e.g.

$ nyxmms2 server config pulse.sink alsa_output.pci-0000_04_01.0.analog-stereo.monitor

See also the official guide [3].

KDE Plasma Workspaces and Qt4

PulseAudio will automatically be used by KDE/Qt4 applications. It is supported by default in the KDE sound mixer. For more information see the KDE page in the PulseAudio wiki.

One useful tidbit from that page is that load-module module-device-manager should be loaded. This usually happens automatically at login through the script /usr/bin/start-pulseaudio-x11; if you find that the module is not loaded automatically you can consider adding it manually to /etc/pulse/default.pa. See #Switch on connect for possible conflicts with the module-switch-on-connect.

If the phonon-gstreamer backend is used for Phonon, GStreamer should also be configured as described in #GStreamer.

Audacious

Audacious natively supports PulseAudio. In order to use it, set Audacious Preferences -> Audio -> Current output plugin to 'PulseAudio Output Plugin'.

Music Player Daemon (MPD)

configure MPD to use PulseAudio. See also MPD/Tips and Tricks#PulseAudio.

MPlayer

MPlayer natively supports PulseAudio output with the -ao pulse option. It can also be configured to default to PulseAudio output, in ~/.mplayer/config for per-user, or /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf for system-wide:

/etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf
ao=pulse

guvcview

guvcview when using the PulseAudio input from a Webcam may have the audio input suspended resulting in no audio being recorded. You can check this by executing:

$ pactl list sources

If the audio source is "suspended" then modifying the following line in /etc/pulse/default.pa and changing:

load-module module-suspend-on-idle

to

#load-module module-suspend-on-idle

And then either restarting PulseAudio or your computer will only idle the input source instead of suspending it. guvcview will then correctly record audio from the device.

Networked audio

Tango-view-fullscreen.pngThis article or section needs expansion.Tango-view-fullscreen.png

Reason: please allow for some time for me to port the most important information here -- Nodiscc (Discuss in Talk:PulseAudio#Networked_audio)

Play sound through the outputs of another computer on the network

Basic setup with direct connection

On the server

Edit ~/.config/pulse/default.pa or /etc/pulse/default.pa (or /etc/pulse/system.pa if PulseAudio is started in system mode) and add the following line:

load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=127.0.0.1;172.16.0.0/16

Here only client from the IPs or IPs range specified here can stream sound.

To allow access from everywhere:

load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-anonymous=true
Note: If auth-ip-acl neither auth-anonymous are specified, authentification is done via ~/.pulse-cookie which must be the same on clients and server.

By default PulseAudio listens on port tcp/4713 for incoming connections, you may need to open this port in your firewall.

On the client

Edit ~/.config/pulse/client.conf or /etc/pulse/client.conf, to respectively apply this directive to one user or to all, and add :

default-server = server-address

server-address can be a simple domain-name or IPv4, for more see the documentation

It is also possible to set the server address in the environment variable $PULSE_SERVER.

Tips and tricks

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with PulseAudio/Examples.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Same topic. (Discuss in Talk:PulseAudio#)

Keyboard volume control

See Keyboard shortcuts#Xorg to bind the following commands to your volume keys: XF86AudioRaiseVolume, XF86AudioLowerVolume and XF86AudioMute.

First find out which sink corresponds to the audio output you would like to control. To list available sinks:

$ pactl list sinks short

Suppose sink 0 is to be used, to raise the volume:

sh -c "pactl set-sink-mute 0 false ; pactl set-sink-volume 0 +5%"

To lower the volume:

$ sh -c "pactl set-sink-mute 0 false ; pactl set-sink-volume 0 -5%"

To mute/unmute the volume:

$ pactl set-sink-mute 0 toggle

To mute/unmute the microphone:

$ pactl set-source-mute 1 toggle
Tip: To have keyboard shortcuts operate always on the default sink, specify @DEFAULT_SINK@ as the sink number, for example pactl set-sink-mute @DEFAULT_SINK@ toggle.

Play sound from a non-interactive shell (systemd service, cron)

Set XDG_RUNTIME_DIR before the command (replace user_id with the ID of the user running PulseAudio):

$ XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=/run/user/user_id paplay /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/complete.oga

Or use machinectl:

# machinectl shell .host --uid=user_id /usr/bin/paplay /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/complete.oga

X11 Bell Events

To get pulseaudio to handle X11 bell events, run the following commands after the X11 session has been started:

$ pactl upload-sample /usr/share/sounds/freedesktop/stereo/bell.oga x11-bell
$ pactl load-module module-x11-bell sample=x11-bell display=$DISPLAY

To adjust the volume of the X11 bell, run the following command:

$ xset b 100

100 is a percentage. This requires the xorg-xset package. See Autostarting for a way to run these commands automatically when the X11 session is started.

Switch on connect

This is a module used to switch the output sound to the newly connected device. For example, if you plug in a USB headset, the output will be switched to that. If you unplug it, the output will be set back to the last device. This used to be quite buggy but got a lot of attention in PulseAudio 8.0 and should work quite well now.

If you just want to test the module then you can load it at runtime by calling:

$ pactl load-module module-switch-on-connect

If you want to make the change persistent you will have to add it to your local pulseaudio settings or to /etc/pulse/default.pa (system wide effect). In either case, add this line:

load-module module-switch-on-connect

Tango-inaccurate.pngThe factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.Tango-inaccurate.png

Reason: Editing /usr/bin/start-pulseaudio-x11 will not survive package upgrade. The offending module can be unloaded in the config before loading module-switch-on-connect, see Talk:Bluetooth_headset#GDMs_pulseaudio_instance_captures_bluetooth_headset. (Discuss in Talk:PulseAudio#)

On KDE/Plasma5 you should furthermore disable module-device-manager. As soon as Plasma5 is started it loads (via start-pulseaudio-x11) the module module-device-manager for pulseaudio to manage the devices. But that module apparently conflicts with module-switch-on-connect. Therefore you should disable that module by editing /bin/start-pulseaudio-x11 and commenting the lines for KDE. Simply logout and login again and in order to renew your pulseaudio session. On connect switching should now work properly.

Script for switching analog outputs

Some sound cards present the option of multiple analog outputs, being switchable through using Pulseaudio profiles. But switching manually can become a chore, so you can use the following commands to switch it:

$ pactl set-sink-port 'number of the card' 'port'

This will set the default output to whatever port you chose. Example:

$ pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-speaker" 

The values can be easily obtained using:

$ pactl list

Current output can be obtained through:

$ pactl list sinks | grep "active profile"| cut -d ' ' -f 3-

This process can be automated through a simple script. This script then can be given a shortcut by the user:

~/pa.sh (or anything the user wants)
#!/bin/bash
# This script uses kdialog notification to warn the user of the currently swapped to profile. User could adapt it to their needs or change it.

CURRENT_PROFILE=$(pactl list sinks | grep "active profile"| cut -d ' ' -f 3-)

if [ "$CURRENT_PROFILE" = "analog-output;output-speaker" ] ; then
        pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-headphones-1"
        kdialog --title "Pulseaudio" --passivepopup "Headphone" 2 & 
else 
        pactl set-sink-port 0 "analog-output;output-speaker"      
        kdialog --title "Pulseaudio" --passivepopup  "Speaker" 2 &
fi

This script is intended to swap between two profiles. First checking the current profile then swapping it. Users are required to change the field 'active profile' according to the language pactl reports. Users might need to change the number of the card and the output to fit their machine.

Troubleshooting

See PulseAudio/Troubleshooting.

See also