[pulseaudio-discuss] Can't get pulseaudio to use alsa/dmix?

Jim Carter jimc at math.ucla.edu
Fri Oct 12 12:31:04 PDT 2007

On Fri, 12 Oct 2007, Marc MERLIN wrote:

> When pulseaudio starts, it seems to take over alsa exclusively.

I think that's its nature, to hold open the ALSA sinks that it's going to 
use.  If you have a sound proxy, all the players, beepers, talkers, etc. 
are supposed to use it, and the proxy handles mixing or multiplexing.  
Otherwise, for example, an audio player would hog the ALSA device and an 
application that wanted to beep would have to wait until the next song.

dmix has the same kind of effect within the ALSA library, but PulseAudio 
gives you more flexibility, and someone else said that in his experience it 
runs faster and gives less latency.

PulseAudio provides an ALSA plugin, so you can do, for example, (with the 
right stanza in .asoundrc)
    aplay -D pulse song.wav
and similarly for GUI players that don't have special sink-input plugins 
for PulseAudio.  

James F. Carter          Voice 310 825 2897    FAX 310 206 6673
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