[pulseaudio-discuss] using pulseaudio with simultaneous playback from mutiple X sessions

Maarten Bosmans mkbosmans at gmail.com
Mon Nov 7 10:59:00 PST 2011

2011/11/7 Martin Steigerwald <ms at teamix.de>:
> Hi!
> I have two users on my laptop. When I start to playback sound from the session
> of the first user and then switch to the second user pulseaudio stops to play
> back sound from the first user. This way I also do not hear appointment
> reminders from the session thats currently not active unless I switch again.

Correct. This is by design.

> Before using Pulseaudio sound from both sessions has been played
> simultaneously with Phonon + Xine. Now I am using Phonon + GStreamer, but I
> bet stopping the audio comes from Pulseaudio.
> I read about system-wide mode. But first I shouldn't use it and second it
> doesn't solve this issue anyway, cause sound is still stopped. Maybe I missed
> setting autospawn on clients to off - cause I saw three pulseaudio daemons, one
> system-wide and two from the users -, but I do not like messing around with my
> Pulseaudio setup anymore - especially when its not recommended. Reason for
> trying Pulseaudio for me mostly was cause thats whats coming with Debian KDE
> standard install out of the box in the meanwhile.
> So whats the official way to achieve what I had before out of the box? The
> default per-session handling of audio makes sense for unix users being used by
> different human users on a shared computer but it does not make too much sense
> for my use case.

I would load module-protocol-native-tcp with ip-acl=
Then for other users set PULSE_SERVER=localhost.

> Best way would be to tell pulseaudio explicetely when some Unix users may play
> simultaneously. Ideally it should still not allow recording audio streams from
> each other user. But for now I would be fine with a global option.

This recording thing is, among other things, one of the reasons
multiple users aren't allowed to connect to eachothers pulse daemon by

> I found nothing on the wiki on that. And nothing really obvious via search
> engine either. I only found out that I am not the only user puzzled by this
> new different behavior to what I was used to before.
> Thanks,


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