[pulseaudio-discuss] pavucontrol and DISPLAY variable

Dr. Adrian Wrigley mail at adrianwrigley.com
Mon Jan 17 08:38:44 PST 2011

Hi all,

I am attempting to invoke pavucontrol on a particular X server by
setting the DISPLAY environment variable.

I logged in to Machine1 using Gnome.  This machine runs Pulse and
an X server at :0.0.

I then create a xterm window from Machine1 to display on Machine2, which
runs an X server at (started with -ac, no access controls).
This works fine.

I check that everything's working by typing into the xterm:
DISPLAY=:0.0 pavucontrol

This displays the volume control on the Gnome login screen on Machine1,
as expected.

Finally I want to run pavucontrol to control Machine1 Pulse from the X server
on Machine2, I type:

DISPLAY= pavucontrol

This produces three messages in the xterm:

(pavucontrol:3897): atk-bridge-WARNING **: AT_SPI_REGISTRY was not started at session startup.
(pavucontrol:3897): atk-bridge-WARNING **: IOR not set.
(pavucontrol:3897): atk-bridge-WARNING **: Could not locate registry

and then pops up a window "Connection failed: Connection refused", with a "close" button.

and finally:
(pavucontrol:3897): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_main_quit: assertion `main_loops != NULL' failed
and exits.

My questions:
1) Why does this not work as expected, displaying the volume control on the given display?
2) How can I get the volume control to display where I want?

I apologise if this is outside of the Pulseaudio core function, but it does reflect a legitimate
usage model for the Pulse system.  Googling around for clues finds nothing sufficiently
clear and specific on exactly how these things are meant to work :(

Other Pulse utility programs such as pavumeter fail similarly.
Adrian Wrigley

Machine1 is running Knoppix 6.4.3 DVD started in Gnome
Machine2 is running Debian Squeeze on amd64 running KDE

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