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A comment [[User:Larry|Larry]] 13:52, 13 May 2024 (UTC)
: A reply [[User:Sally|Sally]] 13:22, 18 June 2024 (UTC)
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How to start the daemon

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When installing pulseaudio, it was not clear how to start the daemon reading this wiki. Maybe a section about systemd and .xinitrc could be added ? Alexdarcy (talk) 13:06, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

Bugs or Out-Dated Configs within Gentoo PulseAudio Wiki?

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My system is up to date as of 2012.11.30 and was previously configured to use Alsa. I'll also include some additional information during my installation of pulseaudio, such as my ease of installation experience and some preliminary information on other peoples' opinions and recommendations. References are also sited below.

1. Adding "load-module module-oss" to "/etc/pulse/" results in pulseaudio complaining about an unknown option during start. And, I think it's desired for a package to just work with default configs without editing such files -- for which I think is already implemented, but this wiki hasn't been updated to reflect a possible fixed bug requiring this config hack? Or, maybe pulseaudio requires the USE flag "oss" for this to load the oss module? (ie: echo "media-sound/pulseaudio oss" >> /etc/portage/package.use && emerge -q pulseaudio)

2. Adding ao=pulseaudio to /etc/mplayer.conf or $HOME/.mplayer/config seems not needed. But, indeed it is, as sometimes the pulseaudio service isn't started or used properly by the sound application. This can be verified with using pavucontrol to initially automatically start the pulseaudio service before using mplayer. Also, pavucontrol will show the active mplayer playing stream vs. when mplayer is started without the ao pulseaudio. (Another freakish note, mplayer isn't reading the properly from $HOME/.mplayer/config here properly before starting, but mplayer will complain when "ao" option has an incorrect syntax or argument specified. So the $HOME/.mplayer/config file is being read, just the "ao=" option isn't being used for some reason. Hence, best to specify "ao=pulse" within the system wide /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf file.

3. Consolekit appears to be called or started already on a default Desktop Profile Gentoo system dated 2012.11.30 without the need for "rc-update add consolekit default" here. And adding or trying to start the consolekit service manually results in a failure -- likely because it's already called and running by another service? (ie. "ps ax |grep consolekit" already shows it running)

4. The Important Note about removing users from the audio group seemed not to work for me and doesn't really make sense as it appears to be more of a workaround for a past bug within pulseaudio. Removing users from the audio group here for a Gentoo system as of 2012.11.30 caused a permissions denied on /dev/dsp. Readding the user(s) to the audio group resolved this. And, it would make more sense if a group exists for both audio and pulse audio, so users can listen/play audio through /dev/dsp and chosen users can manage pulseaudio -- for which I think is already integrated, but I am no pulseaudio geek by far!

5. Something missing from this Wiki; Users should be advised sound programs automatically (somehow magically) call and start pulseaudio if it is not already started when the user logs in! (ie: "ps ax|grep pulseaudio") (But, now this seems flaky. I'm no longer seeing mplayer start the pulseaudio service for some reason ... maybe because I compiled with USE=pulseaudio? Again, how odd!)

6. I just noticed on a pretty much default mplayer config setup, mplayer is complaining about "[AO OSS] audio_setup: Can't open audio device /dev/dsp: Device or resource busy" when playing more then one sound files at once. ao=pulse doesn't resolve it and mplayer is compiled with the pulseaudio USE Flag and it's dependencies. I've figured this out some-what. It would appear applications were not starting the pulseaudio service or properly starting the pulseaudio service, but using the pavucontrol (PulseAudio control frontend) to properly automatically start the pulseaudio service seems to have resolved this bug here. (This is related to my "Adding ao=pulseaudio to /etc/mplayer.conf or $HOME/.mplayer/config seems not needed. But indeed it is..." issue above.) Applications need the pulseadio USE Flag to properly start the pulseaudio service, as the pulseaudio service has not /etc/init.d service.

7. For those still enjoying the use of CLI/curses/ncurses use of alsamixer along side pulseaudio, you need to start alsamixer with "alsamixer -Dhw". (Alsamixer will get the cursor key up/down for volume up/down reversed when more the two mplayer streams are playing at the same time.)

8. I think it be worth mentioning as to why somebody would want to install pulseaudio. A vote on shows more then twice the people still prefer alsasound over the pulseaudio sound service. Those using professional Jack Sound Service, provides insite on integrating PulseAudio Sound Service with the Jack Sound Service including Pros/Cons and side effects on performance.


  • Alsasound service just works to they've never had any problems with it.
  • Problems with configuring and using pulseaudo.
  • Alsasound has ncurses mixers and controls. (My note here. ;-)


  • Pulseaudio is a universal sound service allowing cross platform for developers developing applications using sound.
  • Pulseaudio provides network streaming.
  • Pulseaudio apparently remembers user peripheral and application sound mixer settings, while Alsasound only remembers the last set mixing level.
  • Major distributions now ship using/installing PulseAudio by default such as Fedora.

Wew! Seems I have now a properly working pulseaudio service. Clarification of the above by some of you audio geeks might help. Once the responses are filed here, I'll be glad to update the Wiki with the info within the troubleshooting section or elsewhere. Roger 23:41, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Ad 1) Yes, you need the oss USE flag to get module-oss installed.
Ad 2) With ALSA mplayer works without ao=pulse (not ao=pulseaudio !!), because ALSA itself reroutes the sound to PA. But why reroute, when mplayer supports PA directly.
Ad 3) The instructions are conditional and are IMO correct.
Ad 4) Can't reproduce, because I'm not using OSS and /dev/dsp. But the note makes sense, because only CK should control the permissions (only supported configuration by upstream and Gentoo developers). Being part of the audio group overrides this control. Maybe there's a udev rule missing for OSS. I suggest to open a bug report.
Ad 5) For KDE and GNOME desktop applications it works out the box, because they start PA over D-Bus, I guess. For apps without D-Bus support, you have to start PA yourself, I guess (again). We should find out and enhance the article.
Ad 6) I don't use OSS, but my mplayer correctly reports "AO: [pulse] ..." with ao=pulse.
Ad 8) We have a short feature list on top and the linked Wikipedia article has some more. It doesn't matter, what random people think (there's still alot of hate against PA, because of early problems).
Ad Cons:
1) It's not a cons of PA. It's just a pro of ALSA.
2) That's what this article is about. The article should of course be complete and correct.
--Astaecker 09:08, 1 December 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps add some guidance for users of JACK1 could be included? I updated my system with PulseAudio on 2/8/2013 and initially followed steps for Option 4 on the JACK audio configuration page ( Unfortunately there seems to be something not quite right with the pasuspender approach and after stopping JACK1 I needed to pulseaudio -k in order for sound to be restored (which I soon discovered was less than ideal).
On 2/10/2013 I changed my configuration in line with guidance on the Arch wiki ( after which JACK1 and PA appeared to cooperate a little better. Those that are using an overlay providing JACK2 may be able to take advantage of an alternate approach


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This discussion is done as of April 28, 2017.

it seems to me this is for pulse 2 and pulse 4 is coming down as stable for me. there is no pulseaudio service on my system. 666threesixes666 (talk) 23:03, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

Nothing to discuss here. Discussions are for proposed article changes, not idle talk. --Maffblaster (talk) 05:18, 29 April 2017 (UTC)


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I wanted to use as the default ALSA Dmix and only for some apps pulseaudio. I've done such configuration on my PC. How do you think is this non-standard configuration needed in this article? --Gragory (talk) 12:22, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Added Outdated Template to Headless Section

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See and compare to instructions on arch wiki. The section does not mention authentication cookies or how to bypass the requirement. I presume this info here is mainly for older versions. I would add the information myself but have no way to test it's correctness at the moment. Davidm (talk) 02:10, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

If something is wrong, just fix it. --Grknight (talk) 16:10, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

with Virtualbox 5.0.0 sound works inside guest OS but is not heard on host OS

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No sound was heard on host, although on guest all levels seem to indicate it was working. Solution for me was to remove the string codec="AD1980" from inside the .vbox file for my virtual machine (typically located in ~/VirtualBox\ VMs/vmname/vmname.vbox on a Manjaro host OS; unsure where on a gentoo OS)


- <AudioAdapter controller="AC97" codec="AD1980" driver="Pulse" enabled="true"/>

+ <AudioAdapter controller="AC97" driver="Pulse" enabled="true"/>

Zazdxscf (talk) 07:25, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Forgot to mention that the codec="AD1980" is added automatically by virtualbox when the virtual machine (Type: Linux version: Gentoo (64bit)) is created, on virtualbox 5.0.0 r101573 but not on a version 4.* virtualbox
Also worth noting that selecting Intel HD Audio(from the default ICH AC97) and then selecting back ICH AC97 will clear this codec flag and all is well. (OK must be pressed after each selection, ofc.) (This is in virtualbox on host, in Settings->Audio->Audio Controller ) Zazdxscf (talk) 07:41, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Closing this as no comments in years and it's not really a discussion of an issue with the article. --Grknight (talk) 16:11, 25 January 2022 (UTC)

Keep CONFIG_GRKERNSEC_SYSFS_RESTRICT deselected for pulseaudio to work.

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No sound card is detected under a hardened kernel with grsecurity enabled (with that option selected) thus it's necessary to keep it disabled:

[ ] Sysfs/debugfs restriction


"This option also breaks pulseaudio and battery widgets, which won’t be able to get access to the /sys filesystem, which is why the pulseaudio on a hardened system might not work. Don’t enable this option if you’re on a desktop system." - quote from — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Zazdxscf (talkcontribs)

This sounds like it should be in the article, but is likely outdated with the removal of grsecurity from the kernel. --Grknight (talk) 16:08, 25 January 2022 (UTC)