[pulseaudio-discuss] How can I forward X display but not pulseaudio?

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Fri Mar 22 16:00:23 PDT 2013

On Fri, March 22, 2013 3:07 pm, Boyd Kelly wrote:

> I would like to ssh into a box as a regular user, start pulseaudio, and
> have my display forwarded back to the source, while playing audio at the
> destination.   The only way I have been able to do this is by running
> fluxbox at the destination.  I would rather just forward the application
> display.
> This post has shed some light on this, and now I understand that there is
> an X display that pulse audio 'likes' when I run fluxbox and connect with
> vnc.

Not quite. When a session starts, dbus is started too. dbus allows
applications to talk to each other. Normally this is tied to the display,
but it doesn't have to be. It does have to export some of it's values to
the environment of any app that wants to use it. There are a few ways to
do this. The easiest is to look at the script called jackstart:

#! /bin/bash
# file: /home/user/data/script/jackstart
# This is ridiculous:
export DISPLAY=:0

# dbus-launch started, DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS exported:
export `dbus-launch | grep ADDRESS`

# dbus-launch started, DBUS_SESSION_BUS_PID exported
export `dbus-launch | grep PID`
jackd -d alsa > ~/Desktop/jack.log 2>&1

You don't want to use exactly this, but the two dbus lines would help.
Then run pulseaudio --start

I use xfce here, but you may be able to translate.

I do:
ssh -Y headless

open a terminal from the panel menu and do:
pulseaudio start

I use a user that I never use local and put only the main menu in it,
shrink the panel and put it in the corner of the screen. Then I use that
menu to start anything I need. That way all apps have the same
environment. the panel app above happens to start dbus on it's own, so I
don't have to.

I haven't done the exact thing you want to do, so try and see. I have had
pulseaudio and jackd talking to each other via dbus though.

Len Ovens

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