[pulseaudio-discuss] Multiple users (kde) on Debian

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Mon Aug 23 02:10:42 PDT 2010

'Twas brillig, and Halim Sahin at 21/08/10 04:09 did gyre and gimble:
> Hi Folks,
> Taking exclusive soundhardware access is one of the most anoying
> behaviour of pulseaudio.
> One other problem  is that the pa devs seem not wanting to help in any
> place if the requested feature don't fit in their thinking style.

It's not that no-one wants to help, it's just that everyone has
priorities and no one has stepped fully up to the mark to sit down and
make the necessary changes to the tools in question. I spent a lot of
time discussing and coming up with the right approach needed for ally a
while back. Apparently no one has done much with that since (not
publicly anyway). I know some of the guys from Canonical were wanting to
work on it, but I don't think it was officially sponsored work so only
in their own time etc. which is obviously not governed by strict
milestones and deadlines etc.

> this is the reason why a11y is broken in most of the linux plain
> textconsoles and people with disabilities must deal with the broken
> pulseaudio design and lost the stable accessibility of the textconsole.

Your rhetoric is pretty damning. Pulseaudio has a broken design and
that's the end of it. I have discussed the reasons for this approach and
the ways in which is can be fixed properly. The design of PA does not
change in these solutions. The plans are in place as to the how. What is
lacking is the people actually doing the work. I hear people
complaining, but none of them are doing any actual *work* towards the

> If you really don't want to change anything in the pa design, simply offer a
> way that pa can prevented to take exclusive access to the soundhardware
> by falling back to alsa's dmix.

No, that's not the right approach. This has been discussed many times on
this list. Just look at the archives, I'm not wasting hours of my life
reiterating what has already been discussed.

> A global setting for dmix fallback will solve a lot of issues in all
> places.

That as it may be, but it doesn't make the approach any less hacky and

> Don't forget that pulseaudio is in use on many home computers where a
> user itself can be logged in as different users and there are no
> security concern about the user is sniffing his own mike :-).

In 99% of these cases, the "multiple users" will be sharing their X11
session. In these cases the PA configuration is shared and works fine
due to the cookie and connection credentials stored in the root X11
window properties.



Colin Guthrie

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