Skip to content
December 23, 2009 / P. Filippaios

Pulseaudio pain

Pulseaudio on Linux causes a lot of headaches.

For many months – maybe years – I really wanted to get rid of pulseaudio. Why ? Let’s see, at first, in general, what’s going on with PA.

Pulseaudio‘s infrastracture is – indeed- what Linux would want in order to modernize the ALSA world within the desktops. ALSA is used in order to make sound devices work, Gstreamer and Xine are used as backends that use ALSA in order to provide audio. After these, ESD/PA servers and KDE Phonon are used in order to administrate the usage of sound on Linux desktop.
Yes,yes, it’s complicated. The problem is not only that we still have a complicated and non-standard sound infrastracture, except for ALSA kernel component, the base for all.  If we want to go even deeper, not even ALSA could be a standard; OSSv4 is very modern and could be used instead of that. But the fact that we do need a standard, easy to use, despite its issues, makes all distros coming with ALSA as default. The problem is not only that we don’t have a unified, stable, easy to use base like that of DirectSound on Windows. It’s one (1) API to use, so everybody codes for that.

Why do I rant about Pulseaudio ?
I can’t make it work. Not only it wouldn’t work on my recent laptop, it can’t work on my desktop. It just won’t start. I’m not a Linux newbee, I know the way around, but the PA problem persists. Huge problem regarding that fact that GNOME is almost dependant on PA and KDE 4.4 seems to be like that. Today, I upgraded to KDE SC 4.4 beta 2 and guess what; PA was default in Multimedia settings (can’t blame the kde 4.4 unstable repo packagers, thay couldn’t know that this could happen !) and … no working sound. I followed the arch wiki page for PA, no results. No audio…

Now I’ll just wait for the fix by the kde-unstable packagers guys (thanks for the repo 🙂 ) and Pierre, the Arch dev, to make it optional or disable it, on the official release.

PS I first tried to make it work when I had GNOME. Guess what again…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: