[pulseaudio-discuss] ALSA plugin "device" parameter

Peter Nagy nagper at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 10:39:14 PDT 2009


I have problems setting up my asound.conf.
Namely that I want to tell the alsa-pulse plugin which pulseaudio
device to use (I have 2 sound cards).

There is a nice short explanation in the plugin's README-pulse file:

"PulseAudio <--> ALSA plugins

This plugin allows any program that uses the ALSA API to access a PulseAudio
sound daemon. In other words, native ALSA applications can play and record
sound across a network.

There are two plugins in the suite, one for PCM and one for mixer control. A
typical configuration will look like:

    pcm.pulse {
        type pulse

    ctl.pulse {
        type pulse

Put the above in ~/.asoundrc, or /etc/asound.conf, and use "pulse" as device
in your ALSA applications. For example:

    % aplay -Dpulse foo.wav
    % amixer -Dpulse

PulseAudio will accept more or less any format you throw at it. So a plug
wrapper is unnecessary. Mixing is also handled so dmix will only cause a
performance hit without any gain.

The plugins will respect your PulseAudio environment variables (like
PULSE_SERVER), but you can override these in ALSA's configuration files.

Both plugins accept the "server" parameter, specifying which PulseAudio server
to contact. Both also accept the "device" parameter, which indicate which
source and sink to use.

The mixer control plugin also accepts the parameters "source" and "sink" for
when you need to specify a sink/source combination with different names. If
you need to do this with PCM:s then specify two PCM:s with different "device".

If you do not specify any source and/or sink, then the server's defaults will
be used."

So what should I write in the asound.conf after the device parameter?
It should be the name of the pulseaudio device what I want pulseaudio to use.
It it the name of the sink? Or the alsa device name (hw:0,0)
Is it a string parameter? Or string?
for example:

    pcm.pulse {
        type pulse
        device "alsa_output.hw_0_0"

    ctl.pulse {
        type pulse
        device "alsa_output.hw_0_0"

I've tried a few things with no success.

Thanks for any help.


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