[pulseaudio-discuss] system mode alternative for multiseats

Tanu Kaskinen tanuk at iki.fi
Thu May 26 09:31:04 UTC 2016

On Thu, 2016-05-26 at 04:42 +0000, Frédéric Henry-Couannier wrote:
> Dear,
> I know it's not recommended to run pulseaudio in system mode...
> however is there any alternative for multiusers (multiseats) to share
> a single sound card simultaneously ?

I'm sure there is some alternative. I doubt that it's much better than
just using the system mode, however. I recommend using the system mode.

> Moreover in my distro it seems that the system mode could be
> activated with the parameter PULSE_SERVER_TYPE=system in a file
> /etc/sysconfig/pulseaudiohowever the following comment in the file
> makes me doubt that this is actually available anymore :#   system  
>  Start a system wide daemon (not yet implemented)
> in the past i remember i always had pulse and pulse_access groups in
> my distro (Mageia)... which is not the case anymore ... did you
> recently change your policy regarding the system mode : decide to
> unactivate it ?thank you for your help ...

We haven't changed anything in this regard. The distribution is
responsible for creating users and groups in the system. I suppose you
can create them yourself too, though. When pulseudio runs in the system
mode, it switches from root to user "pulse". That (and only that) is
what the "pulse" user and group are for. The "pulse-access" group is
for authorizing users to use pulseaudio, so you have to add your users
to that group.


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