Pulse Audio and/or ALSA

No audio with certain applications only? Version 11 introduces PulseAudio network based audio system. I see pulseaudio cookies, pulseaudio error messages (i.e. connection refused) and other mystery messages. Firefox and KDE startup have audio connections (obviously through PulseAudio), but other applications do not play.

Setup of Sound through YAST fails, probably because it still sets up the ALSA sound system. My guess is that you can’t run both at the same time, but where is the information located on this? Following the SuSE Sound troubleshooting site, you are directed to run all kinds of tests to see if the ALSA sound modules are loaded, etc. That appears to do no good if PulseAudio is in control.

It may be time for a sticky on this subject because there are no clear answers available at the moment. Is a networked sound manager desireable if you don’t want to access/distribute sound on a VLAN? Or is the term “networked sound” a bit misleading - since it also provides an easier way for applications to obtain sound connections to the card when using a standard network protocol.

SuSE 11 was supposed to address sound nightmares, but it seems to have just made things more mysterious and more difficult.

comments welcome.

allright pulseaudio has a bug that whenever u start yast or any apps using su then pulse audio for the current user breaks.

its this bug specifically:


type in terminal

killall pulseaudio

press ALT+F2 and type in “pulseaudio” and press enter

thats it for now, the bug is being fixed

I wrote that audio troubleshooting guide, and I am just as much in the dark as you on this.

But this is pretty much typical when a new release comes out. The documentation for the sort of detail you are asking, will filter down eventually, and when it does, myself, or someone else, will update that guide.

It is a wiki, which means anyone, including you, can add improvements to it.

If one wants really stable audio, then IMHO one is best to go with JAD. … Not so cutting edge, but it gives you very advanced audio capabilities in an openSUSE based distribution: jacklab.org - the home of JAD

My very crude understanding pulseaudio is replacing

arts sound daemon

If Gnome
esd sound daemon

In the Linux kernel, there have historically been two uniform sound APIs used… Alsa or OSS will always be needed regardless of sound daemon. Open Sound System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

actually, it’s a sound server, many programs bypassed esd and arts, but pulseaudio forces all calls to alsa to pass through itself first, so the volume can actually be used properly :wink:
so it’s a good thing, but suse didn’t properly implement it, in fact i had to add all of the normal users to the pulse-access group for papref, the pulseaudio preferences, to work

Thank you though you lead me into a speculative question not that I intend to do it.

Would it be transparent if for some reason I felt the need to use OSS?

NM I should just read my own sig some days, the answer was found on wiki :wink:

openSUSE patched KDE to avoid any need for ARtS many years ago. On openSUSE I highly doubt there exists a single application that support ARtS but no ALSA. So ARtS is not needed at all.

OSS on Linux is deprecated. There are few apps that only support it. So you can forget about it. For the few apps that still need it:

  • If you don’t use PulseAudio
    Append “aoss” to the command call to use ALSA user-space emulation instead of kernel-space emulation (with kernel space emulation you can’t use other sound apps while using the OSS one).
  • If you use PulseAudio
    Append “padsp” to the command call to use PulseAudio.

The big problem I see with PlseAudio right now is that I think it uses a big buffer by default. So you end with a lot of delay between audio and video in games. But you can change it… and next version will not have the problem.

There is a new OSS not that I’ve tried my question was an if, but it is not deprecated.

4Front Technologies there is OSSv4

Yes, I know. That’s why i put those “****” between Linux (meaning the kernel tree from kernel.org).
But if you are going to use PulseAudio I would use ALSA. If you read Lennart Poettering blog you will see he has not a great oppinion about OSS (3 or 4)… and this is reflected on PulseAudio support.

But yes, you should be able to use padsp with OSS4 since it uses the same API (extended).

These are the sort of specifics that we need to nail down.

I know philosophically what pulse audio is supposed to do, and I documented that in the sound concepts wiki some time back, long before 11.0 was released:
Sound-concepts - openSUSE

I believe what we need for the audio troubleshooting guide is a practical (not theoretical) “pulse audio” section/step with tried and proven work arounds/methods to make it work. Its the tried and proven practical where I am in the dark. What config files? What does each pulse audio library do? Each application do? At present I’ve read 3 or 4 different approaches, and I have no idea as to the success rate of any of them, … and hence my reluctance to:
a. recommend any (as its big speculation on my part), and
b. document any (as once its documented in a guide, if wrong, frustrated users will tear apart the poster with very unkind words).