[pulseaudio-discuss] Using module-combine-sink with intermittent devices

Matt Feifarek matt.feifarek at gmail.com
Sun Jan 17 13:50:27 PST 2016

Hi there.

Thanks for the fantastic PA; I'm enjoying its elegance and power, and have
been for years. I've been trying to search the web and the mailing list for
answers to my questions, but the docs are few and the mailing list is hard
to search.


Lately, I'm setting up a sort of a house-wide hifi setup. I'm driving
various audio cables from a HEADLESS computer. I'm having a couple of
challenges, and some questions:

1. In this situation (no actual users, headless) is it "ok" to use system
mode? I've done lots of work-arounds to get PA to run from an account (the
one for mpd). The docs are quite strenuous that it's basically never ok to
use system mode, but seems like I'm pretty much in system land. No?

2. I want to use module-combine-sink to play through several sound sinks at
the same time. It works, but things break down when one of the sinks
disappears, which it does because it's a USB interface to a DAC in a

3. module-combine seems to suffer with the idle detection, should I just
turn that off?

4. What's the difference between adding a "card" and adding a "sink"? Why
would one use card?

I know that you can configure PA to move streams to newly appearing sinks,
but I don't know how to reconfigure an existing sink (combined sink). I
looked at updating property lists, but I don't think that's what it's for.

And since there's no "script language" per-se, I have a similar problem at
start-up: I can't refer to a missing sink when I want to declare the
combine module... and if I wrap it in .nofail tags, it mostly works, but
then I have to manually remove the module and re-init later when the USB
device comes online.

In short, I have two run-states: one with one soundcard, one with two; I
want to support both transparently, playing the same source streams,
without having to log into the server and run pacmd. Is this possible?

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/pulseaudio-discuss/attachments/20160117/41901a5a/attachment.html>

More information about the pulseaudio-discuss mailing list