[pulseaudio-discuss] Accessing audio as root

Henning Oschwald h.oschwald at gmx.de
Fri Nov 27 08:30:22 PST 2009

On Do, Nov 26 2009, Colin Guthrie wrote:

> 'Twas brillig, and Markus Rechberger at 26/11/09 14:50 did gyre and gimble:
>> I don't know how the permission stuff is handled, but root should be
>> an exception for this and
>> be allowed by default.
> The exception to the rule is not necessarily the problem (the concept
> itself is valid enough), but to think about this problem generally you
> need to understand how audio works and, more importantly, what are the
> underlying limitations.
> previously you have to ask yourself some very serious questions when
> you are using a root process to interact with sound anyway? Why should
> any root process be doing that? Root is evil and should be avoided
> except when absolutely necessary.

Well, but nevertheless an X session is required to allow differend user
accounts to access the audio subsystem at the same time. This is a
drawback for me as I'm used to do a lot of my daily work on a text
console outside of a X session, so I need to run X just to share audio
access between different user accounts.

Furthermore, I'm a screenreader user, so I need Speech-Dispatcher
running permanently under its own uid, which is started on boot. Sure I
could run it under my main uid, but this would be kind of a workaround

I really like Pulseaudio's features and use it on my Computer at home
and on the laptop, but it is a lot less conviniend to use without a
running X session than ALSA, which in particular makes sense on laptops
and netbooks. Running PA as a system daemon would solve this problem,
but I understand that this isn't advisable at all.

It would be really cool if we could share PA between users without a
running X session.

Just my 2 cents.


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