[pulseaudio-discuss] Pulse working per-user, but not system-wide

John J Lee jjl at pobox.com
Sat Aug 23 10:47:52 PDT 2008


I have pulse 0.9.10 working fine in per-user mode on my ubuntu hardy 
system (using debian packages from the PPA listed below). 
/etc/default/pulse.pa is configured to use module-native-protocol-unix:

load-module module-native-protocol-unix auth-group=pulse-access

Now I want to play sounds when ssh'd to another user account on the same 
box.  If I don't change anything, but manually chmod the per-user socket 
directory as a hack, I can play sounds from this other user account using 
aplay fine (and if I don't chmod the directory and attempt to play sounds 
using aplay from that other user account, I get a connection refused 
message).  But if I edit /etc/default/pulseaudio to set the variable that 
ubuntu uses to request starting pulse system-wide, kill the per-user pulse 
daemon, and run

sudo /etc/init.d/pulseaudio start

(without changing any other configuration) then attempting to play a sound 
with aplay doesn't work (regardless of whether the user I am is the one I 
logged into using gdm).  It seems happy - no connection refused message, 
exits successfully - but no sound:

$ aplay /usr/share/sounds/generic.wav
Playing WAVE '/usr/share/sounds/generic.wav' : Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 44100 Hz, Mono
$ echo $?


Using module-native-protocol-tcp works (allows other users to play 
sounds), but it annoys me to use TCP when I only ever want to connect from 
the local machine!-)

After starting system-wide:

$ ps ax | grep pulse
16893 ?        S<sl   0:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --system --daemonize --high-priority --log-target=syslog --disallow-module-loading=1
16899 ?        S      0:00 /usr/lib/pulseaudio/pulse/gconf-helper

$ cat /home/john/.asoundrc
# ALSA library configuration file

# Include settings that are under the control of asoundconf(1).
# (To disable these settings, comment out this line.)
$ cat /home/john/.asoundrc.asoundconf
# ALSA library configuration file managed by asoundconf(1).
# Manual changes to the ALSA library configuration should be implemented
# by editing the ~/.asoundrc file, not by editing this file.
pcm.!default { type pulse }
ctl.!default { type pulse }
pcm.pulse { type pulse }
ctl.pulse { type pulse }

I'm using the debian packages from this PPA, as a fix for some flash 




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