[pulseaudio-discuss] Bluetooth audio and user switching

Jure Varlec jure at varlec.si
Tue May 2 14:57:15 UTC 2017


I have a set of bluetooth speakers, a headset and a phone, all of them
working beautifully with each other and with the computer. The only
snag is when more than one user is logged into the computer. The first
user to log in gets access to the devices' audio features and when
another logs in using logind's session management, audio will not work
for them. Even if devices are disconnected and reconnected, and even if
the bluetooth adapter is unplugged and replugged. It is not dependent
on the desktop environment (tested with Plasma and i3) or bluetooth
manager (tested with bluetoothctl, blueman and the Plasma applet).

It seems to me that the first user's pulseaudio instance gets dibs on
bluetooth. This does not happen with the motherboard's audio interface:
when switching users, the first user's audio stops and the second user
can play audio normally. Bluetooth doesn't seem to work that way, when
switching users the audio keeps playing for the first user. Does anyone
know why bluetooth behaves differently and what can be done about this?
For the record, I tried killing the first user's pulseaudio instance,
but it doesn't help; it is immediately respawned of course, and it
doesn't lose its grip on bluetooth. I'm not sure which part of the
system decides access permissions because all users can connect and
disconnect devices, it's just that only the first one to log in can use

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